Christopher Titmuss Dharma Blog

A Buddhist Perspective

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Our beloved Prajna Vihar School, Bodh Gaya, India. A photo collection from 2018 – 2022

In 1985, the Abbot of the Royal Thai Monastery in Bodh Gaya kindly gave me permission to offer a meditation class for the poorest children in Bodh Gaya, Bihar India – the poorest state in India. Many of the children were beggars appealing to pilgrims worldwide for some rupees to feed themselves and their families. Continue reading 

A Nose and a Hand-kerchief. Cultural Differences. Different Strokes for Different Folks

While teaching a residential course last week in the Pauenhof Buddhist Zentrum, in Germany, I heard a graphic example of differences in culture. I have expanded on it to make a point.
A person went to India and witnessed Indians blowing their nose with head pointing down to the ground – one finger on one nostril and then the other nostril.
The Westerner said to her travelling companion: “That’s disgusting.”
A little while later, a Westerner in India blew his nose into their handkerchief and then put their handkerchief back into their pocket.
An Indian turned to his companion and said: ” She put her handkerchief back into her pocket. That’s disgusting.”
To summarise: We easily jump to conclusions about the behaviour of another with no idea how our behaviour may appear to others.
From The Ballad of East and West by poet Rudyard Kiplin (1865-1936)
Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth! |
Do you have an example of cultural differences?

This weekend Queen Elizabeth has been sitting on the Throne for 70 years – an Equanimity Portrait. Buddhist meditators often struggle sitting through a seven-day retreat. But…

This weekend, the Queen of England has been sitting on the throne for 70 years. I remember my mother buying a 12 inch (30 centimetres) black and white television with a very grain screen in early June 1953 to watch the Queen’s coronation in Westminster Abbey. Continue reading 

What is the Ultimate Truth? What is the relative truth? Guided Meditation. Talk. Q and A. with Christopher. On Line. Sangha Live. Sunday 5 June 2022. 20.00 – 21.30 CET

In the spiritual, mindfulness, religious, Buddhist circles, we use the word ‘practice’ with frequency. Practice provides a genuine sense of development, of moving forward, while a fading of practice can give the sense of being stuck or slipping back into old patterns. Continue reading 

What is a Buddhist Perspective? Title of the Blog is ‘Christopher Titmuss. A Buddhist Perspective.’ Some readers dismiss certain blogs…..

A handful of readers tell me, often bluntly, what I write is NOT a Buddhist perspective. I have regularly replied to such a reader. Since the reader implies he or she knows a Buddhist perspective, I politely request the person to write a Buddhist perspective adding I will post their Buddhist perspective on my blog.

So far, no correspondent has e-mailed me a true Buddhist perspective. Not one single reader in 15 years of blogging, more than 1000 blogs and over 800,000 views.

My blog addresses a wide range of topics including significant issues in the public mind, such as environmental destruction, the global pandemic and war. A reader can go to the top right-hand corner of the home page and type a key word in the Search bar. You may find a Buddhist perspective in your area of interest.

Topics include books, photos, films, business, science critiques, Dharma reflections, daily life, mindfulness, poems, music, politics, retreat environments, social, the Buddha and the spiritual.

I would prefer to use A Dharma Perspective. Unlike the word ‘Yoga,’ Dharma lacks street recognition, except among Buddhists. Hindus and those with interest in the teachings of the East.

What do I mean by a Buddhist perspective?

In Alphabetical order.

In my view, the text of a Buddhist Perspective stays true to areas referred to below.

  1. Addresses the truth of suffering, conditions for suffering, resolution of suffering and way to the resolution.
  2. Challenges corporate behaviour, such as addiction to profit, power and exploitation of customers, workers worldwide and the environment.
  3. Develops community over individualism and endeavours to write what is true and useful.
  4. Establishes calm-insight meditation, the power of mindfulness and all features of the noble path.
  5. Ethics of non-violence, non-harm and non-abuse.
  6. Expands the heart of empathy, love, appreciative joy, compassion and equanimity
  7. Explores dependent arising of all experiences and situations instead of fixations of ego of self-made.
  8. Teaches ethics, concentration/unification of mind (samadhi) and wisdom to give support to the diversity of people, creatures and habitats.
  9. Offers critiques of narrow, dogmatic claims in science, medicine, religion and other institutions
  10. Offers critiques of features of democracy, politics and secularism while recognising spirituality accessible in the arts.
  11. Offers training to end stress, not just reduce it, end problematic states of mind, not just reduce them.
  12. See and know an unconditioned freedom, unbound to any events between birth and death, and including both.

I look at a blog to ensure I keep to the spirit and letter of a Buddhist Perspective. Sometimes. readers send me a valid point about a blog, so I regularly adapt the point to the text to offer a more balanced view.

If we write with conviction, we enter a world of praise and blame. Via the blog and other forms of social media linked to the blog, responses or reactions land in front of me. I can understand why people resist writing anything, as it can be hard to handle the wrath and anger thrown at the writer. You do not need to be thick skinned. You do not need to use your sensitivity as an excuse to stop writing. We cannot write well unless we know a depth of sensitivity.

Fear of views of others, and old patterns of contraction form a writer’s block. Sensitivity cannot do that.

We can regard people’s reaction as grist for the mill, whether we agree or not with their comments.

I suspect Facebook automatically adjusts its algorithms to reduce readers of my Facebook page when I criticise Facebook. Instagram and the Covid vaccination industry. I don’t believe in so-called ‘free speech,’ and I don’t believe in censorship by powerful corporations, or the government. That is another blog to write – with a Buddhist perspective.

Let us not go quietly into the night.

Christopher Titmuss is the author of:
The Political Buddha
The Explicit Buddha
The Buddha of Love
The Mindfulness Manual, based on the Buddha’s teachings.

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