Dear dhamma friends,

After 20 years of service to the people of Cape Town, the Hout Bay Theravada Buddhist Centre is shutting its doors. Lionel Theron who has generously supported the sanctuary as a space of meditation and dhamma teaching is moving to Constantia and the property is to be sold. It is likely that a new meditation space will be available in Constantia to follow the practice.

This website will be transformed into a Buddhist blog space to discuss environmental and climate change issues. We are part of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists initiative to build a multi-faith approach to a sustainable world. Through recent history, the human population of the planet has managed to release so much pollution and greenhouse gases that we have placed the planet, our species, and most other species at such grave risk that we have to seriously consider this as the 6th Mass Extinction.

Though the tendency when faced with such awful facts is to turn away and not engage with what is upsetting, stressful and seemingly beyond our control, we believe that this is the time when our dhamma is of the greatest importance and inspiration. The Noble Truths are built on the premise that we must face the truth of suffering, but through an honest appraisal of suffering and the causes of suffering, we also discover the antidote, an antidote directly associated with our mindfulness, our conduct, our way of living, and our willingness to challenge ourselves and work to liberation of ourselves and all sentient beings.

Within the dhamma is the answer to the modern conundrum of the risk of extinction, inequality, poverty, war and human rights violations. It is for us to speak honestly, to be mindful, to be courageous and to live the dhamma so that transformation happens both within us as individuals and systemically in the society and polities within which we are located.

We invite you to freedom.

 

 


It starts with mindfulness ...

Buddhism is a philosophy, faith system and guide to living explained by Siddhârtha Gautama from Lumbini, North India in the early 5th century before the current era.

Born into a noble family, Siddhârta Gautama was not satisfied with his privileged life and went out into the world to understand it better. He eventually studied under many types of spiritual teachers and practiced some extreme forms of purification, worship and self-examination in an attempt to understand the true nature of the universe.

Finally, through the process of meditation and the watching of his own mind, he was able to awaken to a full and complete understanding of the nature of existence and the cycles of rebirth and suffering, and to the way to end suffering and experience eternal liberation - nibbana. He became the Buddha, meaning ‘the Awakened one’.

The Buddha taught that suffering is inherent in life. The primary cause of suffering is clinging and desire. If we develop our concentration, our ethics and our wisdom, following an eight fold path of mindfulness, we can overcome suffering and eventually reach a permanent state of enlightenment.

For a further introduction to the basics of Buddhism visit Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism.

Serene Buddha

   
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