Category: Faith

Rituals? Really?

Shortly after I began writing the Buddhism section of About.com, a reader named “Ernie” contacted me to complain about rituals, among other things. He was interested in Buddhism, he said, but he was turned off by the rituals. When I

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Buddhas and Buddhas

In the last few posts I’ve been looking at Master Dogen’s Vow. Please note that a dharma master could probably write about this text for weeks. I’m just beginning to look at it myself. But I’m happy that several of

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Atonement

Still looking at Master Dogen’s Vow — the last post was on the third paragraph, and now I want to go back to the second — Past negative actions accumulate and cause the arising of many obstacles to the practice

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Master Dogen’s Vow

Master Dogen’s Vow is part of the common chanting liturgy of Japanese Soto Zen.  Dogen is the 13th century master who brought Soto Zen to Japan, and in Soto Zen he’s a  big deal.  But you might enjoy the vow

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Religion and Science: Four Perspectives

The 14th Dalai Lama is said to have said, “If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change.” I agree with the quote, but I also think it’s not that revolutionary. Buddhism has made a

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Submission or Surrender?

(Following up the last post) I want to say a little more about the new book by Zen teacher Barry Magid, Nothing Is Hidden: The Psychology of Zen Koans. This book is not primarily about teacher scandals, but there’s a

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Religion Doesn’t Need Miracles

I recently read an online discussion of the intersection of science and religion. The discussion very quickly turned to talk of miracles and proposed that religion and science would be reconciled when science either acknowledges miracles or somehow verifies the

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My Heresy on Spiritual but Not Religious

“Spiritual but not religious” has become a new orthodoxy. In some circles one cannot say anything positive about “religion,” even in a generic way, without being informed one is behind the times.  Religion = bad. Spiritual = good.  Religion is

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What Is Faith?

Here is something about faith from a Buddhist perspective. The first chapter in the book How to Raise an Ox by Francis Dojun Cook is titled “The Importance of Faith,” and it begins, “Practice is not possible without faith.” Dojun

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