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Katinka Hesselink

Quiz: Dalai Lama facts and trivia

Tenzin Gyatso, born Lhama Dhondup, and named Kundun after having been named the future 14th Dalai Lama (which he now is) is the leader of the Tibetan people in exile. He and his people have suffered greatly under Chinese rule. The troubles there are, unfortunately, not nearly over.The Dalai Lama is known for his peaceful [...]

Vaibhasika – Buddhist Philosophy Quiz

The Vaibhasika are the first of the four Buddhist schools recognized by the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. They are seen as a Hinayana school, i.e. they don’t aim at becoming a Buddha but ‘merely’ an arhat. The result is that one does attain liberation, but can’t help all sentient beings do the same.In some ways the [...]

How do Buddhists live? Buddhist lifestyle!

How to live like a Buddhist? Buddhists live all over the world. They live in all kinds of ways, so there is no simple all encompassing answer to the question how Buddhists live. Still, there are a few things to take into account:Real Buddhists have taken refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the SanghaMany Buddhists [...]

Pema Chodron – famous Buddhist teacher

A mother of two turned Buddhist nun. It’s not a common happening, and it was even more rare when Deirdre Blomfield-Brown did it, because the Tibetan Buddhist nun’s tradition no longer existed. So despite being a student of Mahayana Buddhism, she had to go around the world to Hong Kong where she was ordained in [...]

Is Buddhism a Religion or a Philosophy?

To me Buddhism is a religion – do you agree? There is a long tradition in the West to regard Buddhism as a philosophy. This tradition was started by Enlightenment philosophers (those who like rational thinking so much) who saw in Buddhism an ancient religion which fit their ideal of a rational way of life.I [...]

Books on emptiness

Best Books on Emptiness / No-Self doctrine in Buddhism

I have studied Sunyata (emptiness) for over a decade. I have received teachings, read transcripts and meditated on the topic. Emptiness is a topic that I find deepens with time. Each time I look at the topic, I find new levels, new nuances and more application to my daily life. The books that follow are the [...]

Is suffering something to be avoided? Do we have to want to leave cyclic existence as Buddhists? Most people aren’t really driven to leave cyclic existence. Traditionally most Buddhists were only invested in getting a good next rebirth – you know, by ethics and generosity. So if you can live with that option, you’re still [...]

As I write this, this blog has a whopping 4 visitors a day, on average. As a seasoned web professional of over 10 years, I knew that it was never going to get a lot of traffic overnight. Why not? Because I started this blog with the intent of simply writing about what I care [...]

Embodied Buddhism – in an on-screen world

As I sit here, I have a body. That’s perhaps self evident, but when most of our communication happens on screens, it might be easy to forget. I’m on both sides of that equation: I make a living online, which means I meet my colleagues on the online water coolers of Facebook and forums. On [...]

There are basically two approaches to the ‘guru’ question. The first is that people simply need help on the spiritual path, which is why there are gurus. The second is that people create gurus by their need to follow someone. This second view leads to the conclusion that all gurus should just stop being gurus [...]