Thursday, August 30, 2007

Standing Meditation

According to Buddhist scripture, meditation can be practiced in 4 postures: sitting, walking, standing and lying.

Sitting posture is most common. Traditionally yogis sat cross-legged. Today many sit on chairs. Walking meditation is popular among some traditions. Standing posture is less common because it is tough. Lying posture is also seldom used because one can fall asleep easily. The Japanese, of course, added the kneeling posture.

One year ago, I started to practice standing meditation regularly. I had not been very healthy. I hope that, by meditating in standing posture, I would be fitter.

Today, I don’t fall sick as often as I did a year ago. But I am still not sure if it is a result of standing meditation, or the healthy supplements I take.

Anyway, I will continue to do standing meditation.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Shaolin Monks

To the Buddhists, Shaolin Monastery in China is known as the birth place of Chan (Zen) Buddhism. To non-Buddhists, it is famous for its Kungfu monks.

A Shaolin monk can break pieces of bricks with a single chop of his palm. He can withstand the attack of a spear without getting injured. The question is: monks are supposed to be peace-loving people. Should they practice martial art?

To be sure, martial art of Shaolin Monastery isn’t of the ‘soft’ type, like Taiji or Aikido. Rather, it belongs to the ‘hard’ type. A kick by a Shaolin monk can be fatal.

And I am never so sure if they are genuine monks in the first place. China has been ruled by the Communists since 1949 and majority of Chinese are atheists. Perhaps these ‘monks’ are just Kungfu-loving youths who, in order to learn the art, don the robes reluctantly. Outside the monastery or affiliated martial art academies, they may live a life that bring disgrace to the Buddhist community.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Dharma, not italicized

I came across an article on BusinessWeek with the title ‘In China, Dharma Confronts the Dollar’.

While this article describes commercialization of Buddhism in China, I found the title interesting. It seems to suggest that ‘Dharma’ is no longer an alien word in English.

Heck, I still remember a sitcom called ‘Dharma and Greg’. And, as I am typing, Microsoft Word hasn’t drawn a red curvy line below the word which means ‘teaching of the Buddha’ or ‘the Law’.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Death Penalty

I have published a post regarding the effectiveness of death penalty in my main blog.

Please click here to read.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

False Speech?

A few days ago I bumped into my lecturer. He asked me, "How are you doing?" I wasn't in good mood, but out of formality, I replied, "Good."

Was I lying? If I didn't want to lie, how should I reply?