Andrew Furst

Relics – Salvation Is What We Receive, Not What We Achieve

Posted by in Buddha, Relics

Salvation Is What We Receive, Not What We Achieve I recently drove by a church on the way to work and saw a sign that said “Salvation is What We Receive, Not What We Achieve“. What a great message, even from a Buddhist point of view.  Grace is a concept that I think is universal.  It is the message of Pure Land Buddhism in a nutshell. The Christian concept of grace is a source of division across various denominations, but is persistent throughout the entire faith.  Catholics and Protestants have very…read more

Relics – It Ain’t Easy

Posted by in Buddha, Relics, Technology

It Ain’t Easy The winter season is rich in metaphors.  One that comes to mind today is how we try to suspend the self in time like freezing water to ice. Water as a liquid is fluid, adaptable, and powerful.  As ice it is unyielding, brittle, and poses challenging barriers to life.  When we adopt hardened habits, we become brittle and separated from the joys of living.   The Buddha described the self as a gradually solidifying pattern of being that is at odds with the flowing change of real life. He identified…read more

Relics – Dirty Dozen

Posted by in Buddha, Relics

Dirty Dozen In the drive thru at Starbucks waiting for my daily fix of double dirty chai, I was greeted with a pleasant surprise. Rose, the perennial queen of the drive thru, explained to me that the last 12 customers had been paying for the next car’s drinks. Its the little things, isn’t it? One person, paying an extra $10, made an investment that would put a smile on a dozen people’s faces. When Rose explained what was happening, my day changed instantly for the better. Without hesitation I blurted,…read more

Got Satisfaction?

Posted by in Buddha

By day, I’m a software program manager.  I’m a process guy.  Flow charts are a valuable way to communicate process effectively. Especially to people who have a visual learning style. I’ve been pondering how to encapsulate Buddhist ideas in a flow chart format.  This one came to me recently. You’ve either got self or you’ve got satisfaction. The crux of this flow chart is a challenge to our assumptions about seeking satisfaction.  It’s what the Buddha described as the problem in his sermon on the Four Noble Truths. The First Noble…read more

Update on Thich Nhat Hanh’s Health

Posted by in Buddha

The Monks and Nuns of Plum Village have released a new update on Thich Nhat Hanh’s health. In the last three weeks Thay has gradually emerged into wakefulness, and has his eyes open for much of the day, to the point where the doctors can now say that he is no longer in a coma. you can read the full letter here

Dialectic Two-Step – Buddhist Creation Theory?

Posted by in Buddha, Dialectic Two-Step, Writings

Question: According to Buddhists, how was the earth, the system of reincarnation, and Nirvana formed? As an agnostic I don’t believe in God or creation. There is evidence for the big bang theory and for evolution, so that’s what I believe. Theists use God, to explain everything. But what explanation do atheist Hindu’s and atheist Buddhists have for the afterlife. What do they use? Isn’t there some maintenance required to keep the system of reincarnation and Nirvana operating? Answer:  I think you called out the key question right at the end – Isn’t there…read more

Pure Land Zen Daily Affirmation

Posted by in Amitofo, Buddha

 Pure Land Zen Daily Affirmation I am endless light. Buddha everywhere is the womb from which I have emerged. Ta-Shih Chih Bodhisattva is my father. Kwan Yin Bodhisattva is my mother. I am here and now, dwelling in the consummation of enlightenment. In the six directions, within and without, the Pure Land, my true home, surrounds me. Pain shall assault me, but never defeat me. Circumstances my distress me, but never conquer me. These are wind, clouds, simply passing in the sky of mind. Endless forms shall be my raiment,…read more