Tag Archives: nirvana

The Mind like Fire Unbound-the Fire Metaphor for Nirvana

In an earlier post, The Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta-the Buddha on the Nature of Existence and Nirvana, the Buddha explains how nirvana is like the extinction of a flame. The ascetic wanderer Vacchagotta can’t understand what happens after death to one who attains nirvana, or complete Unbinding. Does he still exist? Does he not exist? Does he […]

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The Buddha on Not Getting Caught in Metaphysical Speculation

The Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta is one of the Buddha’s teachings that I have come back to again and again when I have found myself entangled in metaphysical speculation and argument with myself—and with others! In this sutta, the Buddha answers the questions of the wandering ascetic Vacchagotta on the nature of existence and uses the simile […]

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Nirvana is a Verb, Not a Place

A Verb for Nirvana by Thanissaro Bhikkhu “Back in the days of the Buddha, nirvana (nibbana) had a verb of its own: nibbuti. It meant to “go out,” like a flame. Because fire was thought to be in a state of entrapment as it burned — both clinging to and trapped by the fuel on […]

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If You Dislike Christianity, You’ll Hate Buddhism!

Although I didn’t plan it, an emerging theme of posts this week seems to be the skillfulness of challenging of orthodoxy and mere conceptual thinking. Whether we agree or disagree with them, iconoclast teachers make us think—or maybe in the case of these two teachers, not so much think, as pay attention and wake up! […]

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The Ten Ox-herding Images of Zen

I thought I’d do something different and fun in this post, and take a look at probably the most beloved images in Zen Buddhism. Known as The Ten Ox-herding Pictures, they have been the source of endless commentary and inspiration in Zen since at least the 12th century. From the first time I saw them, […]

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Digging Deeper-All About Change

Digging Deeper-All About Change What did the Buddha really have to say about anicca—inconstancy and change? Does the fact of impermanence tell us (as some popular teachings claim) that we should just accept change and learn to embrace fully our good and bad experiences without clinging?  If “change makes all things possible”, do we then […]

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