Short to medium length pieces of writing originally published in a periodical (journal, newspaper, magazine, etc). For papers published in non-periodic collections, see papers.

Young Brahmins would already begin memorizing the sacred texts by rote when they were about eight years old, and some began the training still earlier. Only after having completed this task successfully, following years of memorization, would they study the meaning of what they had memorized.

By the ariya, the cessation of sakkaya is seen as happiness. This is the reverse of the outlook of the entire world!

Only a man could dream of Heaven as a place where he can lie about all day, surrounded by beautiful women

it appears contradictory that Chinese who follow the teachings of Mahāyāna Buddhism have worshipped arhats. […] who was the arhat for Chinese Buddhists?

The Buddha’s bad karma refers to ten problematic incidents that happened in the life of the historical Buddha. […] The texts related to the bad karma of the Buddha can be divided into two groups: those texts accepting the bad karma and those rejecting the whole matter.

The world went from a situation where most of humanity had no need of money at all to one where today most of humanity struggles to survive on extremely small amounts of money. The graph casts this as a decline in poverty, but in reality what was going on was a process of dispossession

the redefinition of arahantship cannot be looked upon as successful. The relaxed criteria would have enabled many monks of lesser attainment, as well as status-seeking monks, to proclaim themselves arahants. […] In its devalued form it simply could not satisfy the spiritual aspiration of those who sought the ultimate goal.

‘I smiled at the guards standing at my cell,’ he writes. ‘Being thrown in the Hole was worth the pleasure of seeing them still alive.’

The letter sent to the royal court at Kandy on behalf of the king of Siam, and published [here], includes some information of considerable interest for the study of the history of Pali texts. For a shipment, which comprised no less than 97 books no longer extant on the island and therefore asked for in a second document accompanying this letter, is said to have been dispatched together with the letter.

The way the denizens of the ancient Indian pantheon appear in early Buddhist texts exemplifies a mode of thought that scholars have called “inclusivism”.

Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that the MNS has provided the historical starting-point as well as the chief scriptural basis for enquiry into the problem of the Buddha-nature in China, and it would be difficult if not impossible to grasp the significance of the concept and its subsequent evolution in Chinese Buddhism without a proper understanding of the teaching of the MNS on the subject.

Given the fact that the praiseworthy qualities of the Buddha are the main theme of the Mahāsakuludāyi-sutta and its parallel, it is not surprising if the tendency to elevate the Buddha’s status would to some degree also have influenced the reciters responsible for transmitting the discourse. A comparison of the two versions in fact reveals several instances where this tendency is at work

independence was perceived as an opportunity for a particular ethnic group

the vinaya is nearly as central to the Buddhist religion as the shari’a is to Islam. If we were to rank religions in order of legalism, Theravada would come at the legalistic end of the scale, near to Islam and far from, for example, Taoism.

how to interpret Buddhist Sanskrit texts in such a way as to avoid unnecessary bastardization of the English language, while still performing the scholarly task of making available the meaning of such texts to the scholarly community

what does it say about our society that it seems to generate an extremely limited demand for talented poet-musicians, but an apparently infinite demand for specialists in corporate law?

We found that participants typically did not enjoy spending 6 to 15 minutes in a room by themselves with nothing to do […] and that many preferred to administer electric shocks to themselves instead of being left alone with their thoughts.

If you can intentionally kill out of compassion, then fine, go ahead. But are you sure? Are you sure that what you think are friendliness and compassion are really friendliness and compassion? Are you sure that some subtle aversion and delusion have not surfaced in the mind?

To approach what, for the want of a better term, we call the mythic portions of the Nikayas with the attitude that such categories as “mythic symbol” and “literally true” are absolutely opposed is to adopt an attitude that is out of time and place. It seems to me that in some measure we must allow both a literal and a psychological interpretation. Both are there in the texts.

Buddhist literature offers us the only narratives from this period that feature to any great extent the nautical or maritime traveller as hero.

A guided reading of a small section of the Abhidhamma related to how different Indian schools explained time and a hypothesis about how they may have debated the topic amongst themselves.

To formulate a viable, systematic Buddhist environmental ethic, they must clarify on Buddhist grounds what an optimal world might be

the most important sources of suffering are not something that activism can fix

On separating out early from later Buddhism and why it matters.

the subject indicated extremely high magnitude of reward, [yet] the objective activation of the reward system was not extreme.

both works typify a style of writing in Buddhist Studies that seems to blur the line between religious writing and academic analysis

the discontinuity [with premodern forms of Buddhism] that the modernists emphasize is just that, an emphasis—it is less an observation than it is an ideologically motivated construction

Epithets of the Buddha (1991)

Featured in the course, " The Buddha"

That nuns did participate in the transmission and explication of the sacred texts is, however, proven by both literary and epigraphic records.

simultaneously donning a tolerant posture while claiming the overriding-ness of one’s religion was in fact a distinct phenomenon from what could be called “synthesis,” and has in actuality characterized many syncretistic endeavors in Chinese history.

One thing we can be certain of is that capitalism will end.

the vast majority of Americans (97 percent) are forfeiting the chance to enhance their well-being by practicing real generosity with their money.

A period of disorientation or depression is a small price to pay for more accurate knowledge.

But the Bodhisattva, unwilling to ask anyone for help, plucks up his courage, and goes out with his basket and cutting tool and cuts grass. He sells the grass and ekes out a meager living, giving what he can to those in need.

We must reject the facile equation Pali Canon = Theravada = Early Buddhism

the most truthful way of regarding illness — and the healthiest way of being ill — is one most purified of, most resistant to, metaphoric thinking

While many assume Treasure to be innovative, those developed Treasure tradition texts we inspected can, at least in their final published versions, better be described as conservative, and often extremely so.

The law of sacred centers imagines space from the inside out.

In Theravāda monasteries, nuns, even those who have been ordained for decades, typically sit on a mat on the floor, while monks, even those who have just been ordained, sit on a raised platform above them. The seating arrangement of nuns below or behind the monks is symbolic of [their] subordinate position

the common interpretation of the jhānas as absorption-concentration attainments [is] incompatible with the teachings of the Pāli Nikāyas. […] one attains the jhānas, not by one-pointed concentration and absorption into a meditation object, but by releasing and letting go of the foothold of the unwholesome mind […] the entrance into the first jhāna is the actualization and embodiment of insight practice.

This paper introduces a new distinction between the ‘formal’ and the ‘practical’ canon[…] in medieval Sri Lanka. I show that few monks encountered the [Vinaya] in anything close to its full form.
[Rather,] Monastic leaders considered the Anumāna, Dasadhamma and (Karaniya)metta Suttas to be [the important sources] for monastic education.

based on what can be culled from the Madhyama-āgama discourse in comparison with the other versions, it seems possible to arrive at a coherent narrative of [the founding] of the order of nuns.

The tale is best understood in the light of the need of the early Buddhist tradition to demarcate its position in the ancient Indian context vis-à-vis ascetic practices and ideology.

although objects manufactured in factories for profit are not made or handled according to Buddhist tradition, the “aura” can be produced in different ways and at different points of an object’s life

A very brief summary of the Śrāvakabhūmi: an ancient meditation manual preserved by the Yogācāra school.

so many warriors perished on the battlefield. The response of the arahants is truly astounding.

Handicapped and at-risk Vietnamese youths share their appreciation of and enthusiasm for a mindfulness meditation course.

The brahmins would indeed take umbrage at being closely associated with the officiant, because the very fact of his being there as an officiant means that he is doing a paid job and so lowers his status below theirs. [The brahmins, in contrast,] have no duties; they are gracing the occasion.

In which the hacker tourist ventures forth across the wide and wondrous meatspace of three continents, acquainting himself with the customs and dialects of previously unknown and unchronicled folk … and other material pertaining to the business and technology of Undersea Fiber-Optic Cables, as well as an account of the laying of the longest wire on Earth

In general, we humans are a self-interpreting species for whom the practice of recollecting and redescribing ourselves is a crucial necessity. For us the reconstruction of identity is a continuous process wherein the past is selectively crafted into a history. It is a creative and self-constitutive exercise. We come to know each other and ourselves not by exchanging resumes (mere inventories of events), but by telling our stories. And our stories change as we do; they reflect what actually happened and what we think is worth remembering, they reflect who we were, who we are, and who we would like to become.

a fair number of occurrences in the Buddha’s life would be difficult to explain if he had been omniscient

Doing any one Buddhist practice in isolation can cause an unbalanced effect, but doing the path together shows more balance. This interesting paper shows that mindfulness meditation decrease amygdala responses even when not meditating, while compassion meditation has the opposite effect. Far from canceling each other out, of course, these practices combine to not alter our neurochemistry, but rather to radically rewire the brain.

the eightfold path is but one of several differently worded statements of Gotama’s course of practice

this similarity is neither accidental, nor caused by the Buddha’s inability to free himself from the mental paradigms of his culture. I would rather argue that he formulated Pratityasamutpada as a polemic against Vedic thought.

Since July 20, 1985, a new higher ordination (upasampadā) movement has emerged at the Dambulla Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka. The architect of this movement, a Sinhala Buddhist monk named Inamaluwe Sumangala, challenges the contemporary Buddhist monastic practice of ordaining monks on the basis of their castes

Just as a river is geographically conditioned to flow in a certain direction, [compassionate] efforts are predetermined to move toward success (as sentient beings are endowed with Buddha nature). But just as a river will never dry up, their project will never end.

In this essay, Judith Shklar (not a Buddhist) ponders the implications of placing cruelty first (as the Buddha did). She shows how this position stands at odds with both Christian piety and neoliberal apathy and carves out a more realistic humanism than either extreme.

Deep contemplative experiences and the philosophical conclusions which they yield are beyond history. Or are they?…

the evidence found in early printed liturgical booklets that promote Buddha-vandanā points to a different kind of modernization. This article reveals how Buddhist activists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries made use of the capabilities presented in the colonial context, including print technology, to promote this devotional ritual practice as a principal marker of a newly constructed Buddhist identity.

Three sūtras in the SA which deal with emptiness especially attracted the attention of the author of the Mahāprajñāpāramitopadeśa

does the garuda alight from the sky on the treetop with his wings grown instantaneously to maturity, or once he has been born in a crag or elsewhere, must his wings mature gradually?

…recognize that this view is not scientific discovery: it is ideology.

there will be resistance to giving the thing rights until it can be seen and valued for itself; yet, it is hard to see it and value it for itself until we can bring ourselves to give it rights — which is almost inevitably going to sound inconceivable

Placing the Pali discourses and their counterparts in the Chinese Āgamas side by side often brings to light an impressive degree of agreement, even down to rather minor details. This close agreement testifies to the emphasis on verbatim recall in the oral transmission of the early discourses. In this respect the early Buddhist oral tradition forms a class of its own in the ambit of oral literature

what was the religious environment that encouraged the spread of the new technology of printing in late seventh century China?

Vinaya narration like the Sudinna tale does not function in a way comparable to a record of case law precedents in modern judicial proceedings. Instead, the stories need to be understood in terms of their teaching function

The four toraṇas, or gateways, [put] the stūpa, symbolically, at the place where four roads meet, as is specified in the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta.

Buddhist tantric traditions were strongly influenced at their inception by preexisting Śaiva Hindu traditions, but they also drew on a growing body of ritual and magical practices that had been developing for several centuries in Mahāyāna Buddhist circles. The spread of tantric traditions quickly followed their development in India.

In recognition of its pre-eminence among the Master’s epithets, the early Buddhist teachers and their successors have applied their wisdom and erudition to fathoming the multiple implications of this suggestive word.

An oral history of the antiquities smuggling which brought ancient Cambodian art to the Western world.

In the interests of conservatism it has had to compromise with modernity in such features as the veneer of bureaucratically efficient procedures and also the multiplication of interstitial roles. But the groups of devout men firmly penned into their quarters and lectured daily on the Jatakas pose no threat to traditional Buddhist order

“A monastery is a place where equality is preached but not practiced; a gar is a place where equality is practiced but not preached.”

someone is a sequence of choices, and the question is: Will my next choice be conscious, and will my ability to make it be unfettered?

revolutionaries suffer subjective vertigo when they meet the state’s disciplinary violence with the revolutionary violence of the subaltern; but they are spared objective vertigo. This is because the most disorienting aspects of their lives are induced

this self-effacing, almost anonymous commentator’s proneness to being loved or hated, exalted or reviled, is certainly one of the least expected outcomes of Buddhist history.

The spell overflows with concrete nouns and dynamic verbs, with-out ever committing fully to semantic or syntactic cohesion. What does such language do? How does it act in the world of the speaker or reader? The Saddharmapuṇḍarīka itself offers guarantees of efficacy, but does not explain the precise mechanism of the dhāraṇī.

the case of “youth Buddhism” in Ladakh highlights how youth play a vital role in the revitalization and reformation of [modern] Buddhism.

With Ch’an but no Pure Land, nine out of ten people will go astray.

Sōtō Zen temples in Japan kept necrologies in which the ancestors of outcaste members of their congregations were clearly identified, sometimes by derogatory titles such as “beast” or “less than human.” Indeed, Sōtō priests routinely allowed access to these memorial registers by private investigators, who perform background checks to insure that prospective marriage partners or company executives do not come from outcaste families.