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Showing posts from August, 2013

Living with Pain by Venerable Visuddacara

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by Venerable Visuddhacara

"Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it." - Tagore
Pain is a fact of life and the sooner we learn to live with the better. It has often been said that Buddhism is a pessimistic religion because it harps on the fact of suffering. It has also been pointed out that Buddhism is not pessimistic but realistic.

Refusing to acknowledge pain in our lives does not make the pain go away. Like it or not, all of us have to succumb to old age, disease and death, that is if our life is not suddenly cut off at an early age.

It has also been said that Buddhism is in fact optimistic in that Buddha precribes a way out of the vicious cycle of birth and death and suffering. So there is hope for all of us. We need not despair. We can work towards liberation. Buddhism is actually a teaching of liberation. It harps on suffering only because it has to wake us up from out pathetic ignorance of the unsatisfactory situat…

Meditation and Bipolar

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As I see it, meditation creates an equilibrium in our mind. Our mind is on a rapid flux. It fluctuates from moods such as anger, depression to bright happiness that prevents us from seeing what's happening around us. Due to these moods we take wrong decisions, make mis-judgements.


In Anapanasati (breathing) meditation, we focus our mind on the breath gradually. First we start by experiences the sensory inputs (what we see, feel, hear, thoughts, perceptions, feelings) as they are. We are aware of what's happening around us. Then we focus on our breath, gradually creating an equilibrium.

The more we are exposed to this equilibrium, we develop a mind that leans towards the equilibrium. It stays there even after we get up from the cushion. Thats the difference with meditation. It creates a permanent effect, unlike meth, although makes you "happy", leaves you with cruel side-effects.

Whatever the biological factors that cause bipolar disorder, our mind also plays a big r…

Thumbs Down - Kandy Railway Station

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Fort-Kandy railway journey is a must to have. I have had the exotic opportunity to experience the joyous journey yesterday. Unfortunately, I won't be talking about that today. The bad impression made by the Sri Lankan railway rose upon the joy of the train ride.


The station itself was so messy. It looked as if they have done nothing to improve it after the departure of the British rulers who established the Sri Lankan railway.

Station was dilapidated and messy. It was not clean. The newly imported coaches shone brightly in the unmended platform.

It took such a long time for me to figure out the train schedule. Station had several boards displaying the train schedule. I did not know which one was updated and which one was accurate. Someone was seen dialing down the clocks in the blackboard by hand. How modern that it? Even that was messy. It was quite hard to figure out the times, whether the train or express or fast? etc.

I was in queue waiting to get a 4 PM train ticket to Fort…