Andrew Furst

A Birthday for the Dharma – Chokhor Duchen

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Chokhor Duchen…. Though it may sound like it, Chokhor Duchen is not a Klingon expletive or a Rastafarian ritual. It is, in fact, a major Buddhist holiday that commemorates the Buddha’s first sermon and the teaching of the Four Noble Truths. It’s a celebration of a new beginning. With traditional western holidays so laden with cultural and commercial baggage, there’s something refreshing about learning about an foreign and unfamiliar holiday.  It’s especially poignant that we can celebrate the birthday of the Dharma free from the clutter of pomp, guilt, and…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?

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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

The Four Noble Truths

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These are the foundation of the Buddha’s teachings. Understanding these truths are an important first step towards liberation. The truth of suffering or dissatisfaction (dukkha) The nature of all compound things is temporary. Things are created, age, wither and pass. We are born, we age, get sick and die.  The nature of the individual is  temporary.  It is our natural state as an individual to suffer from birth, aging, sickness and death. However, we compound this suffering by imposing expectations, preferences and aversions on the world.  The dissatisfaction that arises from…read more

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