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About camerata

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  1. Why Buddhism is True

    Try Bhikkhu Bodhi's In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon (The Teachings of the Buddha). He orders the teachings by topic, each followed by an explanation in plain English.
  2. Judgement Day

    Pretty standard stuff in Thailand. The ruler of the underworld is Lord Yama, originally a Hindu god, but also mentioned in the Pali Canon. The people stuck on poles looks more like a European torture to me. At least, I don't recall seeing it in Thailand.
  3. Why Buddhism is True

    I think it is just a literary device. Richard Preston uses it in his books about viruses to make non-sentient globs of protein sound extremely sinister. The book is available on Kindle, so I will definitely be buying it.
  4. Why Buddhism is True

    Interesting idea: that natural selection is our Creator. The book is a New York Times best-seller, which I guess means that non-Buddhists find it interesting. There's an interview with the author on the Secular Buddhism website.
  5. Why Buddhism is True

    Off-topic posts have been deleted.
  6. Why Buddhism is True

    Why Buddhism is True (And Why You Can Blame Natural Selection for Your Suffering) In this adaptation from his new book, Why Buddhism is True, Robert Wright explains how evolutionary psychology supports the Buddhist diagnosis of the human predicament. By Robert Wright The Matrix is sometimes said to be a “dharma movie” because it allegorically captures the human predicament as Buddhism depicts it: Life as ordinarily lived is a kind of illusion, and you can’t be truly free until you pierce the illusion and look into the heart of things. Until you “see it for yourself,” as one character explains to Neo, you will remain in “bondage.” That robot overlords are behind the illusion afflicting Neo is in one sense a blessing. They give him something to rebel against—and rebellions are energizing! An oppressive enemy focuses the mind and steels you for the struggle ahead. That would come in handy with the Buddhist struggle against illusion, because meditation, a big part of that struggle, can be hard to sustain—getting on the cushion every day, even when you don’t feel like it, and then carrying the insights from meditation into everyday life. Too bad that in Buddhism there’s no evil perpetrator of delusion to fight! In traditional Buddhism, actually, there is: the Satan-like supernatural being named Mara, who unsuccessfully tempted the Buddha during the epic meditation session that led to his great awakening. Mara, though, has no place in the more secular Buddhism that has been spreading through the west in recent years. Kind of disappointing. But there’s good news on this front. If you would like to think of meditation practice as being a rebellion against an oppressive overlord, there’s a way to do that: just think of yourself as fighting your creator, natural selection. Full article: https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/why-buddhism-is-true/
  7. A son becomes a Thai forest monk

    When my son became a monk There’s a saying I’ve heard among some Western Buddhists: to lose yourself, either meditate or travel. What about doing both at once, while keeping pace with your 28-year-old son, whom you named Nathan Dale at birth but who is now Tan Nisabho, a Thai Forest monk? Long gone is the wavy cap of nut-brown hair and thick eyebrows; his gleaming skull appears and disappears like stages of the moon between his fortnightly shavings. On those just-shaved full moon days, Tan Nisabho (Tan Po for short) looks a lot like the infant whose newborn eyes gazed unflinchingly into mine, prompting me to say aloud something utterly unexpected after he was cleaned and swaddled: “Oh! This one’s not going the normal route! A monastic!” Full article: https://tricycle.org/magazine/son-became-monk/
  8. Why are you drawn to Buddhism?

    You’re just not getting it, Trd. You are the one pushing Vedanta and making claims about what the Buddha really taught, yet declining to support those claims. If non-Buddhists turn up in a Buddhist forum pushing their personal beliefs or dubious claims they can expect to be challenged, and it’s ridiculous to then play the victim and cite censorship, sectism, orthodoxy, or narrow-mindedness. This is a forum for the discussion of Buddhism, so we aren’t obliged to dilute the content by accommodating non-Buddhists who feel the need to have their own personal belief system validated. We do have a responsibility to newcomers to give them factual information and a solid foundation to work with rather than confusing and contradictory arguments. If you - or anyone else - has a problem with this, PM myself or Sabaijai or feel free to request a Spirituality-Religion forum that is broader in scope than this one. Don’t bring it up in forum topics
  9. Why are you drawn to Buddhism?

    It's been said before, as long as a decade ago by my co-mod, but if all we do is offer unsupported opinions on what the Buddha taught, there won't be much meaningful discussion. There has to be a reference point and the obvious (though not perfect) one is the early suttas and vinaya of the Pali Canon. The Mahayana scriptures are not a good reference point because of their diverse teachings and because scholars tell us they were created hundreds of years after the Buddha died. I suggest the non-dualism issue be opened as a new topic instead of letting it hijack this one. Sent on the move with my mobile phone. Please excuse the brevity.
  10. My social security number also begins with a 6. I guess it never occurred to me that it could/should be the Citizen's ID number. I suppose I ought to ask about changing it.
  11. No one has ever suggested I change my old tax number to my Citizen's ID number, but I noticed this year (when I submitted my tax return) that they added a prefix to the old number to make it 13 digits. I asked if I need to change my Tax ID card but they said "no need" so I haven't bothered. This is Thailand, after all.
  12. Why You’re Addicted to Your Phone

    Relating to Buddhism, the other problem with mobile phones is that selfies promote narcissism, which is antithetical to Buddhism. It isn't so much of a problem in the West, where radical individualism is the norm and not particularly in conflict with Christianity or Atheism, but in groupist Buddhist cultures the new focus on self is against the existing culture and traditions.
  13. Why You’re Addicted to Your Phone

    The same thing happened to me as a teenager. It was late evening, raining, and I had a car full of friends on the way to a club. A kind stranger stopped and sorted it out for me. As for cell phones, the problem - as with everything else - is one of self-discipline. There's nothing wrong with phones as tools - to be used when needed - the problem starts when they are used to feed the monkey-mind. Anyway, the phones just mobilise the problem, which is in reality the addictive apps.
  14. As it turned out, they asked for nothing, but I took it just in case. I'm sure it varies from area to area.
  15. Could someone remind me if I need to show my tabien baan when I renew my Alien's Book at the local police station? I don't have any recollection of documents requested last time.