MaggaSekha.com Update

Hello Friends,

There have been some changes and updates for this blog. The first being that it has become a website. Thanks to a generous donation I was able to upgrade to the most basic paid account for WordPress, which came with a bunch of features including no more advertisements on the page(which always felt weird for a page on dhamma), and the ability to use a website URL.

While the old link of bhikkhujayasara.wordpress.com still works, it is now much easier if you only remember two words: Magga & Sekha(http://maggasekha.com).

Magga means path, Sekha means learner, trainee, or student, so you may get where this is going. Maggasekha (pronounced Mug-guh Say-khuh) is the pali for the title of this blog and the youtube channel that I’ve had for a decade now: “Student of the Path”. a Maggasekha is one who travels the Noble Eightfold Path to awakening.

I have also revamped various sections of the website and added lots of content to them. Since there is no easy way to find old articles or old audio/video, I’ve decided to make some pages that have them organized and easily linked.

Below are the various pages and their links. You can find them at the top of the page on http://maggasekha.com  .


SOTP Podcast Episodes

https://maggasekha.com/podcast/

Here I will post in order (with newest on top) both the youtube and audio only (on clyp) links for each episode.

 

Ask A Bhante

https://maggasekha.com/askabhante

Here I will post each youtube video in the new series where I respond to questions posted for me on youtube, social media, and email.

 

Featured Articles

https://maggasekha.com/articles/

All significant writing I will be posting on the website will go here for easy access. You can find all parts to my Metta and Death series here.

 

Audio/MP3 Content

 https://maggasekha.com/audio/

Here I will post audio series and links that do not fit in any of the other categories.




 

I can only do what I can online thanks to your generous donations, as pretty much everything involved in making decent quality content costs in one way or another. Thank you for helping me bring more Dhamma content online.

It’s all because of Kamma… or is it?

It’s a common misconception in Buddhism that EVERYTHING that happens is because of Kamma/Karma. The Buddha never said this.
 
Now it’s quite clear that kamma has an exclusive role in how you are born( you can see mn 135/136 for that), but once you are born there is a whole web of things that affect what happens to you in life, kamma being one of them to a greater or lesser extent.
 
You can read the short sutta here to help with this – https://suttacentral.net/sn36.21/en/sujato :
 
“Master Gotama, there are some ascetics and brahmins who have this doctrine and view: ‘Everything this individual experiences—pleasurable, painful, or neutral—is because of past deeds.’ What does Master Gotama say about this?”
 
“Sīvaka, some feelings stem from bile disorders. You can know this from your own personal experience, and it is generally agreed to be true. Since this is so, the ascetics and brahmins whose view is that everything an individual experiences is because of past deeds go beyond personal experience and beyond what is generally agreed to be true. So those ascetics and brahmins are wrong, I say.
 
Some feelings stem from phlegm disorders … wind disorders … their conjunction … change in weather … not taking care of yourself … overexertion … Some feelings are the result of past deeds. You can know this from your own personal experience, and it is generally agreed to be true. Since this is so, the ascetics and brahmins whose view is that everything an individual experiences is because of past deeds go beyond personal experience and beyond what is generally agreed to be true. So those ascetics and brahmins are wrong, I say.”
 
“Bile, phlegm, and wind,
their conjunction, and the weather,
not taking care of yourself, overexertion,
and the result of deeds is the eighth.”
 
The long and short of it is, what is happening to you now is a mix of your own actions, plus environmental, social, genetics, evolution etc etc. but what is the most important is how you respond and act in response to that situation, as you create your future right now in the present moment.

A Day and a Night at the Abbey

A month ago I was able to spend a night and a day with fellow monastic brothers of the Catholic faith in Washington DC, at St. Anselm’s Abbey, for a symposium on meditation in the various major religious traditions. This included representatives from Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and myself as the Buddhist representative in place of Bhante G who did this in years past.
The Symposium was a wonderful experience for members from the various religious faiths to come together in friendship and share what meditation is and how it is practiced in their traditions. I think more gatherings like this need to take place in this country, with the religious and non-religious alike, to bridge gaps and bring unity over division.
I have to admit though, what I liked most of all was spending time with the Benedictine brothers and getting to know them and how they live. It was a laid back, joyful atmosphere with an undercurrent of dignified seriousness in their mission.
The brothers instantly welcomed me into their groups and conversations. Many remembered Bhante G and asked about his welfare, and others had visited Bhavana in years past. They were kind and sociable and wanting to make sure I felt at home and had everything I needed. I attended mass and the various monastic activities with them and got to experience the day in a life of a catholic monk.
The Abbot, Abbot James Wiseman, in my opinion lived up to his name. A quiet, elderly, unassuming monk(who I couldn’t pick out from the other monks and didn’t realize I was talking to the Abbot until about 5 minutes in) who actually took one of my bags and lead me to my room himself.
His humility and kindness reminded me of watching Ajahn Brahm at work on the streets of New York City, pretending to be bell hop at Google and opening the doors for people with a smile and a “welcome to google!”.
Abbot James impressed me greatly as someone who provides a good example in humility, dignity, and service, to his fellow monastics. He had an impact as an example on myself as well, as I grow as a monastic and mold myself into something better.

All in all an insightful and joyful experience that I will gladly attend again in the future if/when invited.