Perennial Topics

These are the topics that come up and will come up again and again for discussion.
It's not a case of coming to any decision.
Unless we know by personal experience otherwise, then it is best not to come to any fixed conclusion.

These days many of us are mesmerised by science and boggled by technology.
It undermines the possibility that there is another way of experiencing the world which opens up possibilities unknowable to the physical sciences.

 

Body and Mind

Embracing Mind by Alan Wallace, subtitle : The Common Ground of Science and Spirituality, helps to get away from an entirely materialistic view of life.
But importantly shows that many scientists belong wittingly or unwittingly to a secular religion, Scientific Realism, which also has metaphysicial beliefs.
Unfortunately this is not recognised generally so that what scientists say, which is often pure speculation, is taken as fact.

There's also: The Marriage of Sense and Soul by Ken Wilber, which shows the distinction between two ways of knowing.

What happens to the Buddha upon Parinibbana - Total Nibbana i.e. after he has died?

The Buddha after Parinibbana

 

Rebirth

Exploring Karma and Rebirth by Nagapriya is a very good all round approach to the subject.

Rebirth - This is a talk I gave at Gaia partly based on Nagapriya's book.

These are videos of a young boy's past life recall

Airplane Boy as three year old

Airplane Boy

Airplane Boy as eleven year old with more consequences

Airplane Boy - few years on

You may be interested in : Google -
Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation - Ian Stevenson

Dr Stevenson talks about one particular case!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbWMEWubrk0&feature=related

plus lots on youtube

These two talks on Kamma are much the same but have a different ending or emphasis.
May be worth listening to both after an interval of time between.

The Kamma of Liberation

The Karma Concerning Liberation

 

Near Death Experiences

Website devoted to Near Death Experinces

Euthanasia

I found this a most excellent documentary. Puts you right into the situation of people who want to bring an end to their lives.

Wonderful Documentary by the late Terry Pratchett:

Choosing to Die

This is an essay I wrote on the topic. You'll find other material on the websites through Google.

Assisted Suicide

A small film that gets across the  urgency to practice: Life is Short

 

 

Vegetarianism

This is video (2014) made by Dharma Voices for Animals hoping to reinforce the case for not eating 'our friends'.

Animals and the Buddha

This video tells of the suffering animals go through.

If Abatoirs had Glass Walls : Paul McCartney

And I always think if fish could scream, it would be difficult to make it a hoby, never mind catch them for food.

Vegetarianism A Buddhist View by Bodhipaksa is worth the cost.

 

Animal Welfare and the need for a vegetarian/vegan diet

This is a new video encouraging us to be vegetarian or vegan
Animals and the Buddha 

YOu'll find more informaiton from this website Dharma Voices for Animals. "an organization of those committed both to practicing the teachings of the Buddha (the Dharma)
and to speaking out when animal suffering is supported by the actions of those in Dharma communities and by the policies of Dharma centers.
We want to be the voice of the animals who cannot speak our language and are unable to ask, “Why are you paying people to do this to me?”
or “Why are you supporting my suffering?”

We want to support those who are willing to speak out about the harm we cause other sentient beings when we eat them, use their body parts as clothing and in other ways, or use household and personal hygiene products that are tested on animals.

While DVA recognizes the challenges of living in a complex, modern society, we wish to promote the choices that provide the greatest reduction of animal suffering.
It is our intention to be inclusive in honoring the different views of those who sincerely intend to minimize the suffering of animals."

• Dharma Voices for Animals – become a member
Become a Member

Steve Wise, animal rights lawyer, describes the difference between a legal thing and a legal person : Animal Rights

As you may know, the Trust has made this declaration when it comes to buying food.

Note from Trustees:

"We feel there are compelling reasons to reduce the use of animal products.

Even though the Buddha himself made no ruling as to the consumption of animal products, he made it clear that animals suffer.
These days added to the suffering of animals in factory farming, is the hunger of human-beings, an estimated one billion, which could be alleviated, should arable land no longer be used for meat, milk and cheese.
Furthermore, the production of co2 from production, methane from digestion and nitrous oxide from manure is the second biggest source of global warming gases - 18% compared to 13.5% caused by transport.

Therefore, the centre will reduce its dependence on animal products.

Satipanya will not be providing milk, cheese, eggs or any products containing these.
We will, of course, be providing a full, nutritionally rich diet as normal.

Retreatants are, however, free to bring such items themselves to be shared with the group.

Please note : We are willing to try to accommodate meditators with simple food allergies.
Please tell us of any allergy in advance so we can make the necessary preparations."

 

Economics

The Distaster of Neo-Liberal Economics laid bare.

Four Horsemen.

 

Current Affairs

Adam Curtis’ documentary around the war in Afghanistan

The docu. gives a very clear example of what happens when two opposing ideologies meet.
It also manifests the ignorance, perhaps the clear stupidity of our leaders! It is made especially for iPlayer and only available for a few months.

Bitter Lake

Another Adam Curtis helping us understand 'post truth' and the delusive times we are in. I wondered if it were not always like this. After all this is samsara - the world propelled by greed, aversion, fear and delusion.
HyperNormalisation