Saturday, October 13, 2012

What I Read - Buddhism and Meditation


This week, I wanted to share information about sources of information related to Buddhism and meditation that are available on the internet. This is not intended to be a comprehensive ranking or listing. It only reflects my opinion and experience about learning some aspects of Buddhism from internet sources.

Web Sites
Here are some of the web sites that I have found useful along with a brief description of each.

The mission of MABA is to practice, preserve, and promote the teachings of the Buddha. This site has a few online articles and an extensive collection of podcasts of dharma talks given at MABA. It also has a link to past issues of Rightview Quarterly, a magazine dedicated to helping us on our path. This is the web page for the home monastery of my teacher, Carl Jerome. This has a Chan Buddhism tradition, the tradition I have been studying. Chan is the Chinese ancestor of Zen Buddhism.

This is a web site that provides an online eMagazine and many free articles and ebooks about various aspects of Buddhism. It has so much information that it can be somewhat overwhelming. It helps to have a specific topic in mind.

This web site is all about meditation. It includes several free meditation guides. A big emphasis is mindfulness of breath. They have a monthly newsletter with links to their blog. I recommend that you start with that.

This is the online presence of the magazine of the same name. There are links to articles about popular topics in Buddhist studies, including How to Meditate, and articles by and about several well-known teachers. The site also a link to the publication, BuddhaDharma, The Practitioners Quarterly. I recommend that you sign up for the newsletter.

The web site includes an extensive collection of online articles about various aspects of Buddhism. It also includes links to an online magazine, Chan Magazine. I recommend that you start with reading their Selected Articles.

The web site includes an online meditation course, a collection of texts from the Pali Canon, and a large online library of articles about meditation. It also includes a copy of the excellent book, Mindfulness in Plain English by Ven. Henepola Gunaratana.

Blogs
Here are some blogs I regularly read, a brief description, and what I get from them.

This is by my teacher, Carl Jerome. He writes about one article a month for his students on topics related to his Buddhism classes. A main emphasis is using meditation and Buddhism to reduce stress. Here is what he says about his teaching: " I assume that it is my responsibility as a teacher to shine a light on the Path in ways that allow students to see clearly how to reduce their everyday stress and anxiety (dukkha)."

This is by Stephanie Noble, a meditation teacher and author. She is a good writer and focuses on how to apply Buddhism to everyday life. Here are a few quotes to give you a flavor of her writing: " We didn’t come into this life to sit on the sidelines and watch!" and " Once you have begun a meditation practice and find you are noticing your thought patterns, you can begin to hear the words you are using to talk to yourself, especially when you do something you didn’t intend to do."

This is by Ven. Kongmu, a Chan Buddhist monk. He has been pretty busy lately with other things and hasn't had much time for writing. I am hopeful that he can get back to it more in the future.

This is by Marcus Santer. It's a source of daily inspiration for qigong practitioners. He has written a short article for every day of the year. I actually follow on twitter instead of checking in on the blog every day. He also has a website at www.qigong15.com where he links to his free qigong lessons. He uses this to promote his paid online lessons.

© 2012 Eric Borreson