Study: Ethical people more satisfied with life

November 17, 2011

Tom Jacobs: “The just man is happy, and the unjust man is miserable,” Plato declares in The Republic. A noble thought, to be sure, but Socrates’ most famous student didn’t have data to back up his belief. Harvey James, on the other hand, does. The University of Missouri economist finds a relationship between life satisfaction and low tolerance for unethical conduct. He discussed his findings, first published in the journal Kyklos, with Miller-McCune staff writer Tom Jacobs.

The research
“I found a correlation between how people responded to ethics questions and their satisfaction with life. As part of the 2005-06 wave of the World …

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Know you’re a good person

October 29, 2011

For many of us, perhaps the hardest thing of all is to believe that “I am a good person.” We can climb mountains, work hard, acquire many skills, act ethically – but truly feel that one is good deep down? Nah!

We end up not feeling like a good person in a number of ways. For example, I once knew a little girl who’d been displaced by her baby brother and fended off and scolded by her mother who was worn down and busy caring for an infant. This girl was angry at her brother and parents, plus lost and disheartened and feeling cast out and unloved. She’d been watching cartoons in which the soldiers … Read more »

A pioneering American Buddhist’s life amid strife

September 2, 2011

Peggy Fletcher Stack (Salt Lake Tribune): Charles Prebish’s path through American Buddhism has taken him to cities and universities, libraries and seminars, academic tugs of war, Zen centers, meditation retreats and global online communities. It put him in the presence of the nation’s most influential Buddhist teachers and at the forefront of a burgeoning field.

Most unexpectedly, Prebish’s decades as a Buddhist scholar-practitioner even set him down at the end of his career in, as he put it, Mormonland.

Now in an eye-opening autobiography, An American Buddhist Life: Memoirs of a Modern Dharma Pioneer, Prebish spells out the spiritual and…

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Is Buddhism right?

August 28, 2011

Joshua Rothman (Boston Globe): Buddhism is in vogue in the West, partly because Buddhist practices, especially meditation, are popularly associated with contentment and well-being. As religions go, Buddhism strikes many people as a sensible and practical lifestyle choice.

Owen Flanagan, a distinguished philosopher at Duke, thinks this purely practical approach to Buddhism misses the point. In a new book, “The Bodhisattva’s Brain: Buddhism Naturalized,’’ Flanagan argues Buddhism matters not just for practical reasons, but for philosophical ones. Subtract the “hocus-pocus” about reincarnation and karma, he argues, and you’ll find a rigorous, clear-eyed account of the universe and our place in it – one that would satisfy even the most ardent modern-day materialist. Buddhism matters, in … Read more »

News of selfless acts has positive effect: study

April 3, 2011

Good news begets better people.

That was the conclusion of new research released Tuesday by the University of British Columbia, that found people with a strong sense of “moral identity” were inspired to do good when they read media stories about Good Samaritans’ selfless acts.

According to lead author Karl Aquino, who studies forgiveness and moral behaviour issues, four separate studies found a direct link between a person’s exposure to media accounts of extraordinary virtue and their yearning to change the world.

He said media reports could potentially play a crucial role in the mobilization of history makers if less attention was paid to negative coverage.

“Our study indicates that if more attention was devoted … Read more »

“Living Ethically: Advice from Nagarjuna’s Precious Garland,” by Sangharakshita

March 22, 2010

Living Ethically: Advice from Nagarjuna’s Precious Garland, by SangharakshitaBuddhism’s ethical code was formulated in Iron-Age India. How relevant is it for people living today? Pam Dodd, our guest reviewer, delves into Sangharakshita’s book on Living Ethically.

Title: Living Ethically: Advice from Nagarjuna’s Precious Garland
Author: Sangharakshita
Publisher: Windhorse Publications
ISBN: 9781899579860
Available from: Windhorse (UK)

Living Ethically is the first of two planned volumes by British Buddhist scholar and former monk Sangharakshita on Nagarjuna’s Precious Garland of Advice for a King (Ratnamala). This first book follows a beautifully laid out interpretive journey through the Precious Garland’s rich array of common and uncommon directives for leading an ethical life.

These lessons will be a welcome addition to … Read more »

Spiritual guru completes police questioning, denies allegation

March 18, 2010

Jakarta Post: Spiritual guru Anand Krishna, reported by his former students for allegedly sexually harassing them, completed Monday a nine-hour questioning session with the police, again insisting he was not guilty in the case.

”[During the questioning], I clarified the misleading information the police obtained from their witnesses,” Anand said. “The accusations against me are wrong.”

Investigators from the city police’s women and children protection division began questioning Anand from 9 a.m. until 6:20 p.m.

Anand said the investigators had asked him to answer more than 70 questions, mostly directed to confirm testimonies from six witnesses the police had earlier questioned.

Anand is a well-known spiritualist who runs two schools in Jakarta and Bali … Read more »

In the belly of the beast

February 22, 2010

Boston Herald: Buddhist golfer has long journey to re-enlightenment

Tiger Woods’ outsized ego may be to blame for his numerous sexual transgressions, say Buddhists who nonetheless applaud the golfer’s avowed return to his religious roots.

Woods made his first public appearance Friday since news broke that he had cheated on his wife, Elin Nordegren. His roughly 14 mistresses include cocktail waitresses, nightclub hostesses and a porn star.

Woods said he strayed in recent years from the Buddhist principles he has practiced since childhood. In his mea culpa, he said he was returning to the Buddhist ways he learned from his mother.

“I need to regain my balance and be centered so I can save … Read more »

Learning to receive

June 15, 2008

GenerosityTo think of generosity only in terms of giving can limit us. Sunada tells of her realization that being truly generous is as much about being open to receiving as it is about giving.

As a follower of the Buddha’s teachings, one of the ethical principles I try to live by is generosity. Most commonly, generosity is understood to be about giving freely, and putting others’ needs before one’s own. While this definition isn’t wrong, I think it’s a bit too simplistic. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that generosity is a two-way street. It’s an openness of heart that’s just as much about graciously receiving as it is about giving.

 …generosity is a

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“Waking Up to What You Do,” by Diane Eshin Rizzetto

February 22, 2008

Waking up to what you doParami reviews a new book highlighting that ethical living does not consist of following rules, but rather involves taking awareness into the moment before action so that we can choose how to respond creatively.

Waking Up to What You Do: A Zen Practice for Meeting Every Situation With Intelligence and Compassion, by Diane Eshin Rizzetto

“A precept can be thought of as a beacon of light, much like a lighthouse beacon that warns sailors that they are entering dangerous waters and guides them on course. It can show us the way but also warns us to Pay Attention! Look! Listen! Sometimes we will change course, other times, if we must reach shore, we will … Read more »