Family Buddhism

Family Buddhism is about parenting and family relationships and how to bring the Buddha’s teachings into these areas of our lives.  Family Buddhism is written, compiled and presented so that we might all be better able to practice Buddhism within the family context.  And that we might be able to support others to bring the Buddha’s teachings into daily life ie being engaged Buddhists.

Engaged Buddhism is about living our lives through the Buddhist principles and precepts.  It is about bringing Buddhism into every aspect of our lives – into our work, our family, our community, our home, our leisure.

Sometimes it is tempting to wish we had the opportunity to be a monk or nun so that we are able to devote our time to the study and practice of the Dharma. Yet, there is no better place to practice the Dharma than in our everyday life – especially in our family life. There is a saying:

The best place to meditate is in the tiger’s mouth.

This means that it is relatively easy to meditate on our comfy meditation cushion in the peace and quiet of the gompa.  This takes very little skill or effort.  But to stay calm and meditate in the midst of the turmoil and stress of life’s challenging moments is not so easy. This is where we can really advance our Buddhist practice. And what is more challenging than family life.

How wonderful!
How wonderful!
All things are
Exactly as they are!
           The Buddha

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Buddhism and fair trade and socially sustainable

From a market stall a retail business with an annual turnover of £ 9 million Windhorse Trading has an impeccable track record in sustainable business driven by faith.

Highlights for five consecutive years in the independent league of fastest growing companies in the UK, Windhorse Trading is a business gift wholesale and retail, and supply craft products, such as textiles, photo frames, books handmade wood carvings and ornaments, located mainly in the poorest countries in the East.

Buddhism is central to the business, and guidance from relationships with suppliers and employees to how to spend the surplus. As a staff member Ratnaprabha of Bookkeeper Bondi Junction explains:

“The business is owned by Windhorse Trust, whose managers are ordained Buddhist, and had two main objectives in establishing Windhorse as trade: to raise funds for projects Buddhists, and to create a workplace to support the Buddhist practice of our staff. The main virtue in Buddhism is Dana, meaning “generosity”.

Most of our employees are in a support package, “rather than a salary, live together and work effectively for what they need and give away the rest. Of the £ 9,000,000 turnover last year, £ 400,000 was given away in grants, both Buddhist projects, as well as education initiatives and welfare in the communities of those responsible. “
The decision to focus on the sale of gifts is a Dana expression; We are encouraging our customers to develop their own generous in offering beautiful things so that they can give “impulses.

Of the 200 employees in the warehouse and stores, at least 150 are professed Buddhist, and one of the functions of Ratnaprabha is to support teams of each store in his Buddhist spiritual practice. Through discussion meetings, reading text, meditate together and share devotional practice around the shrines that are in the staff room, staff are encouraged to implement their principles at work while performing the most mundane tasks .

But Ratnaprabha acknowledges that it has not always been easy. “Our rapid growth meant that people worked very hard and forgot their own needs, but I think this is common in most companies highly idealistic. Deliberately it has continued to grow and consolidate our position, to create more space for personal practice. “

And it is not only the staff who benefits from this faith-based approach to business. Justice is another Buddhist precept, so the business pays its bills on time, make honest statements in their marketing, treats its suppliers ethically and is open to the challenges of monitoring their complex supply chain and marketing for ensure fair trade.

Care of living things is also a key principle, and the company recycles packaging materials, green energy use in the transport of valuables, it does not pollute the air and is investigating the eco-fuel for its fleet of van.

Despite handle all aspects of sustainable development, Ratnaprabha admits that “our message is low profile, do not say ‘Buddhist shops” or “Fair Trade stores.”

We will not put up a fuss about our approach, but customers often comment on the special atmosphere and level of service of staff. We have no proselytizing objective, although it is good to know when people are attracted to join our team in spiritual practice with others. “

With its impressive economic performance, its proactive stance towards the environment and the loving care of their staff, suppliers and customers, Windhorse Trading shows how faith can create a truly sustainable business.

White, the dog that taught Buddhism

A journalist adopts a stray dog, and soon discovers that it is actually the animal that is taking people through the neighborhood.

In a square in Akita, in Japan, there is an exquisite statue in honor of Hachiko, the dog kept waiting at the train station to its owner returned from work, even after the death of man, and was adamant that place until the end of days. A few years ago they made a movie with her story. In Resistencia (Chaco), there are two sculptures in homage to Fernando, the stray dog who ate breakfast every day with the manager of the National Bank, and attended all social events in the city. Alberto Cortez wrote a song, which later was covered by Attack 77. There are famous dogs, big dog legends have traveled the world, animals that have been buried with military honors, honored for entire cities, or immortalized in literature and art. In autumn 2008, a few months after I moved to live in Rosario, I met a dog that could make you believe in reincarnation and a question suddenly appeared in my mind “does my dog have hip dyspasia
I will not tell that the dog had a stain shaped virgin or saving grace to the poor children of being killed, or he could do skills that astonished people. In fact, this dog had no interest in wowing anyone with impunity was vague, and only used his social skills to better exploit the human system. But he possessed an autonomy superior to other animals and people I’ve met in my life, and handled in the world with detachment and joy of a Buddhist monk. One morning in June 2008, very early, opened the elevator door on the fourth floor and the dog was there, in a corner, staring at me with bovine eyes.
It was a grayish-white, almost blue in the dirt, and was so skinny that he noticed the ribs. One of his ears was missing a piece. He did not move when he saw me, he did not shake the tail, did nothing. I watched almost indifferently. I looked back, turning his head from side to side reflex gesture-that one does to know if anyone observando-, but the hall was empty. I got on the elevator carefully, I think even I said “hello” and down, each in his corner, still looking at us. When we reached the ground floor dog stood behind the door, she waited for him to open, and saw him away toward the corner, where the Freedom square was. Now I think the meetings that end up becoming something meaningful in our lives, always start like this: with a sense of strangeness, knowing that we have not fully understood what just happened. That was my first encounter with Blanco.
My neighbor told her “stamp”. The cuidacoches of the square told “Manchis”. A lady from the neighborhood told “Fido”. My ex-girlfriend and I were saying “White” or “Whitey”. The dog began to appear that fall in the corridor on the fourth floor: floor neighbors, who loved animals to limit the disease-they had an irrational number of dogs and cats in an apartment of two main rooms, they knew of the square and entered the building cool evenings. Since they could not have it at home, because they alter the balance of family fauna, left in the hallway, with a blanket and a plate of food. One night we decided to open: White entered the house, sniffed environments, and turned next to the door to let him out. He never left bribe the first. After two attempts, he finally accepted the offer: he came in, sniffed all over again, climbed a poof we had in the living room and fell asleep. That was how we adopt a stray dog in mixed regime. Thereafter, White appeared at the door of the building almost every day, on time, to 21. We went down to open, had dinner with us, and went to sleep. At eight o’clock the next day at the latest, demanded going outside. When my girlfriend slept at home the dog out with her coming to work early. When he was alone with me, he was forced to wake up. To achieve this using two techniques with different levels of aggressiveness. First he brought a bone to my room and hit him several times on the floor beside the bed, watching me askance. If that did not work, he climbed into bed and began to hit me head butts literally until reacted. Then I got up, opened the apartment door, and he took care of the rest: down four flights of stairs emergency, and stood by the door of the building, waiting for someone to come out.
“Animals are magical beings, perhaps the only magic left on earth,” wrote Silvina Giganti in a text about his dog Poxi. It may be impossible to make them understand how you White dominated without violence on our neighborhood, and took the affection of the people for assault, meekly, but without asking permission. The year started sleeping with us, when winter came, the dog used to get to your appointment of the 21 with a different sweater every day. A day brought a layer of embroidered cloth. Another day appeared with a diver green handwoven wool. Sometimes he wore a long-sleeved shirt pink. While not always spend the night at my house, the origin of his clothes was a mystery. One morning I decided to follow him to know where he was going. I walked him to the door of the building, I waited to put out a little and started to follow him. I did not get to do half a block when the dog found me. We were in the square, playing with a bottle. Soon, a lady stopped beside us, shouted “Manchiiiita” he petted the dog, and looked at me.
Is it yours?
-. He asked More or less I said is not mine but sleeps in my house.
Ahh, my neighbor is what makes him the coats, she lives around here, by Entre Rios
said? – You live in Cochabamba street, is not it No ma’am I said, I live in street Mitre .
Ahh he said, with an expression confusedly because I’ve seen leaving a house in Cochabamba street …
Thus it was discovered that Whitey had three different families in the same neighborhood. Some mornings, when I went to breakfast at the corner bar, White was already there, lying under a table. A lunch out on the balcony and saw in front, on the third floor of the building that was half-built, eating roast with masons. Whenever some tramp collapsed in the square, Whitey threw himself at her side to sleep: he had a predilection for the drunks. A couple of times, after I followed often appeared alone in the house of my friends, and they did him in, offered him food and let him be. Her necklace was changing as fast as her winter clothes, and never knew well who made him a leather belt, a necklace of green canvas, an old stocking. My girlfriend hung strips of blue tulle, tired of being robbed necklaces, which made him look effeminate tanguero.
Two years after moving to Rosario, I decided to disarm my life in the city and go to tour South America, with no return date, to fulfill an old dream of traveling and writing. Write “decided” and write “disarm”, although in reality my life was falling apart, and I needed to give up everything for a while to rebuild myself: sometimes needed to be lost. The dog, I considered the first new friend who had made the city proud-and that- I sensed that I was from the beginning, and began to stagger their visits. Two weeks before my departure disappeared completely, and just returned the day I was leaving, as if to say goodbye. It was a very tough time. I remember I bought a rotisserie half chicken, I’ll cut my hands (he had already packed all) and we were wandering around for hours in the empty apartment, which was already inhabited by the ghosts of nostalgia.
The most important things are the hardest to count, says the protagonist of a story by Stephen King, and that’s because everything that we consider most important is always too close to our feelings and innermost desires. In late 2011 I returned to Rosario for a while. He had traveled 14 months, he had stripped me of many habits and thoughts that bothered me, and I wanted to see my friends. But he also needed to start remembering who he was, resume from where he had left, meet what remained. It was not the best time to do it. My friends were too stressed by the madness of the end of the year, afflicted by economic problems and feuding with their families. I no longer had a home, and my ex-girlfriend had insisted to me that I stay in yours, but, despite their good intentions, seemed about to stick a knife at any time. I could not stay there, but before I left I asked him Whitey. “He lives in a house Cochabamba street,” he said, and I described how it was. The following Sunday, before noon, I went to my old neighborhood, I touched timbre in that strange house and said I came to visit Blanco. The lady who served me did not know what he was talking, until I described. “Ahh said, yes, that dog lives here, but now is not. When not come to this hour, it is because you are eating around here, in the seventh A “. I smiled with his answer but I was disappointed, and I was in a bank in Liberty Square without knowing what to do. Within two days of returning to the city, he was more alone and disoriented before leaving. Ten minutes later, he came trotting slowly Whitey, went to the bank where I was, and hit me head. It had been a year and a half of the last time I had seen, and I soon forgot all that distressed me. We were in the square all afternoon, until it began to get dark. When I went there I had gotten a little reconciled with existence, just as happens to me sometimes, when the young son of a friend hugs me for no reason. I would like to explain that the reunion with the dog made me realize that some vital things remain, and it is possible to build based on love and detachment links, but nothing happened that afternoon had to do with words, I now forced to bury the body in the mire of sentimentality.
Which can provide a dog “is like giving the wild animal that accompanies us through the forest,” wrote more than half a century ago Konrad Lorenz, medical and Viennese zoologist who received the Nobel Prize for his studies of animal behavior: “One possibility to restore direct link with nature, with the omniscient reality of nature, that civilized man has lost.”
Lorenz, considered the father of ethology, said in strange and calamitous times cities, had always wanted the company dog followed him, and he had found solace in the simple fact of its existence: “He has been my support comparable to that found in the memories of childhood, in memory of the dense forests of our country, something that will tell us that, in the constant flow of life, we are still us. ”

The Legend of Buddha’s tooth

It remains in the so-called Temple Buddha Tooth in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Temple of Tooth of Buddha
Buddha images inside the Temple of the Tooth. Photo: Chikuado, Wikimedia.

According to legend, when Buddha died, his body was cremated on a pyre of sandalwood and his left canine tooth was found in the funeral pyre by one of his disciples, who gave it to the king of Dantapuri, to be revered.

the belief that the holder of the tooth had the divine right to rule the land was forged. As expected, several wars broke out for possession of the relic.

A king named Paandu decided to destroy it and ordered to take him to his city. It is said that once in the presence of the tooth, a miracle occurred and the king Paandu converted to Buddhism.

In the fourth century, 800 years after Buddha’s death, the tooth was in the hands of the king of Kalinga Guhaseeva, who had converted to Buddhism and began to worship the relic. This caused the discontent of some of his subjects, who thought the king had stopped believing in God and had begun to worship a tooth.

Temple of Tooth of Buddha
Panoramic of the Royal Palace of Kandy. The main sanctuary of the temple is under the golden roof. Photo: McKay Savage, Wikimedia.

Dantha, prince of the city of ūdeņi, who had also converted to Buddhism, Hemamala married the daughter of King Guhaseeva of Kalinga. Other princes who aspired to the possession of the tooth attacked the king Guhaseeva. But when they entered the city, Dantha and Hemamala already been made except taking the canine of Buddha.

Hemamala hid the relic in a hair ornament and the royal couple dressed as Brahmins to avoid detection. They set sail from a port at the mouth of the Ganges and landed on the island of Sri Lanka. A legend says that Buddha had claimed that his religion would be safe in Sri Lanka for 2,500 years.

Kithsirimevan King was delighted when he heard the news of the arrival of Dantha and Hemamali to the island. He received the sacred relic with great reverence and built a temple in his own palace to house. Thereafter, he ordered to be held annually a party ( Esala Perahera ) in honor of the tooth.

Buddha Tooth Temple
Construction called Pattirippuwa. Behind her a piece of gold roof covering the main sanctuary currency. Photo: Sek Keung Lo .

Buddha Tooth Temple
Inside. Photo: Thushil Perera .

Over time, the relic was changing hands and place. It is said that fell to the Portuguese, who took on a heavy ransom for his return. Finally, he took the city of Kandy, where it remains today in the so – called Temple of the Tooth ( Sri Dalada Maligawa ), which is included in the complex of the Freedom Dental Melbourne.

The relic is kept in a chamber surrounded by seven stupas of gold set with precious stones.The room doors are carved in ivory. Other noteworthy features are the Golden Pavilion built in 1987 on the main sanctuary and gold fence surrounding the shrine.

Tooth Relic is considered a symbolic representation of the life of Buddha and receive offerings, and is the subject of rituals and ceremonies. The festival Esala Perahera is still celebrated today.

The Wikipedia describes its development:

“The tooth is at the center of social life in Kandy and is the main protagonist of the biggest holiday of the town: an annual celebration that takes place between the months of July and August since medieval times to honor Buddha a long holiday ten days full of elephants, dancers, music and fire: the Perahera or Buddha Tooth Procession. The main attraction of the festival is the nightly parade of elephants, dressed in richly embroidered robes and illuminated with bulbs. The spectacular procession is led by the largest, adorned with golden cases in fangs animal, which has the honor of carrying on his back a heavy palanquin gold in which the relic is carried, only this time from the temple and he wanders around town (sometimes even a backup of the relic is used, watching the original inside the temple). “

All this is what gives him the story of an ordinary tooth. Well, nothing vulgar, it was Buddha😉

Temple of Tooth of Buddha
Elephant decked out in Esala Perahera the annual procession. Photo: Xinhuanet.

Temple of Tooth of Buddha
Image showing the consequences of the explosion of a bomb at the main entrance of the Temple of the Tooth, in 1998. Photo: KapilaKTK, Wikimedia.

7 Buddhist films that will teach you all about the seasons of life

“What we are now rests in than we thought yesterday” Buddha.

porta budismo

Now it is more than a religion. Buddhism is a way of life, a method to achieve a spiritual enlightenment based on the work of the mind and the study of ourselves. In fact, it was as well as Sidharta Gautama became Buddha, the enlightened being that in theory all we could become using meditation as a means to see the world without judging. The vision of Buddhism goes beyond worship an omnipotent being and it is worth trying to understand the complexity of this philosophical doctrine (rather than religious) through some film productions that make visible the idea behind this, you will easily find these movies on projectfreetv.

1 Zen; The life of Dogen, (2009) Tanmei Takahashi

Inspired by the life of Dogen Zenji, an important teacher who brought the Zen teachings to Japan and founded the Soto school in the 13th century. A film to know the basic principles of Buddhism.

2. a Buddha (2005), Diego Rafecas

It shows the life of a young man from the West seeking to flee from the world in order to find himself and know who is. The tragedy and the loss lead him to delve into the ascetic Buddhism practicesthat it will abandon its past life.

3. Milarepa (2007), Neten Chokling

It tells the story of a monk who really existed and that became famous for a few verses known as thehundred thousand songs of Milarepa. The film shows the teachings of this man who attained enlightenment by his own way.

4 Samsara (2011), Pan Nalin

It deals with the crisis affecting a Buddhist monk after spending years in prison under the strict teachings within a monastery. It teaches us that the lessons of Buddhism are not in the monastery or in the seclusion of the meditation, isolated from the world; the challenge of Buddhism is to precisely apply his teachings in daily life conflicts.

5. Buddha broke out of shame (2007), Hana Makhamalbaf

This story shows a world in which the beliefs and rights as education, are corrupted. It also shows the history of a strong girl who nevertheless makes it nearly impossible to carry out his dreams.

6. the seasons of life (2003), Kim Ki Duk

The history account tells the story of an apprentice monk whose master makes you live very severe teachings. They are evident in the teachings presented as metaphors for life. Iterates through the life of the monk in four seasons: his childhood (spring), summer (adolescence), maturity (autumn) and winter (old age).

7. seven years in Tibet (1997), Jean-Jacques Annaud

About the life of Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountaineer who then try to climb Everest and live a series of negative events in the second world war, strike up a deep friendship with the current Dalai Lama (a child at the time), who spread spirituality.