Volunteers Needed

Dear friends,

I had lunch with Ven. Dhammika yesterday at BDMS, and he asked if I know of any web wizards who can help him come up with some web page for him. It’s basically a web page/site comprising a map of the sacred Buddhist sites in India. All content and pictures are ready, waiting to be pieced together by the volunteer-to-be.

The candidate(s) should be:

  1. A Buddhist or at least Buddhist-friendly. (Call me biased, but who are we kidding? 😉 )
  2. Able to advise and follow-up with an implementation suitable for the above.
  3. Either Web or Design savvy or both.

and be expected to:

  1. Work with a witty Venerable (no, not me, Ven. Dhammika! … ok, I’m witty as well, but that’s besides the point! 🙂 )
  2. Converse in English.
  3. Not tremble in the presence of an Angmo.

So if you’ve got what it takes and are in Singapore, contact me via the comments today!

PS: Screening of suitable volunteers last till 7th July, 2007.

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May you be Well and Happy!

Well in the Body, Happy in the Mind.

How Much Would You Give?

The Buddha said “The Highest Gift of all is the the Gift of Dhamma”.

For most lay people, Dana, the practice of giving, means giving material support. This includes giving Robes, Food, Lodging and Medicine, the four requisites. Some communities provide avenues for lay people to offer food on a daily basis before noon. Others also put up their phone and utilities bill for voluntary offerings. All these requisites support existing sangha members in their monastic life, so that they can focus on their learning and practice of the Buddha’s teachings.

Read More …

So Does It Mean That One Have To Be a Vegetarian To Be a Buddhist?

Simply put, no. One does not have to be a vegetarian or vegan for that matter, to be a Buddhist.

Vegetarianism as a pre-requisite to being a Buddhist is a misconception that had been advocated directly or indirectly in the Chinese Mahayana tradition.

I’ve received many queries and responses from lay people about vegetarianism. Some wonder if it is a pre-requisite to be a vegetarian to be a Buddhist. Others wonder if it is a precept or by-clause under the No-Killing precept. All these questions plus some exchanges with a fellow Buddhist who is a vegan spur me on to write this post.

Here is a summary:

  1. To be a Buddhist, it is optional to be a vegetarian.
  2. To observe the First of the Five Precepts of “abstaining from Killing”, one does not have to be a vegetarian. It is still optional to be a vegetarian even if one observes the Five Precepts.
  3. To observe the Bodhisattva vows under the Chinese Mahayana tradition, it is *compulsory* to be a vegetarian.

Foot note to #3, it is not compulsory to be a Bodhisattva even if you follow the Chinese Mahayana tradition. It is only at a later stage that the Bodhisattva vow became a somewhat compulsory package for monastics. For lay people, the Bodhisattva vow is still *not* compulsory.

More after the jump.

Read More …

News: Upcoming Talks and Events

In-Brief

  1. A Day to Remember: Significance of Vesak (By Venerable Bodhi) @ 2 June 2007 (Public talk, Taipei Buddhist Centre)
  2. What makes a Buddhist, Buddhist? @ 3 June 2007 (Public talk, Taipei Buddhist Centre)
  3. SBF English Dharma Class Year 2 Module 2 @ Every Monday & Thursday (5 weeks, SBF, race course road)
  4. Heart Sutra Workshop @ 10, 17, 24 June, 1 July (Awareness Place, Bras Basah 3rd floor)

Details after the jump Read More …