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The Buddhist Jataka Stories and the DSM based Mental Disorders

by Ruwan M Jayatunge M.D., LankaWeb, September 28th, 2014

That millions of people share the same forms of mental pathology does not make these people sane.” - Erich Fromm

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- The Jataka stories or Jataka tales are a voluminous body of folklore concerned with previous births of the Buddha which is based as a collection of five hundred and fifty stories. Originally it comprise of 547 poems, arranged roughly by increasing number of verses. According to archaeological and literary evidence, the Jataka stories were compiled in the period, the 3rd Century B.C. to the 5th Century A.D. The Khuddaka Nikaya contains 550 stories the Buddha told of his previous lifetimes as an aspiring Bodhisattva or a person who is compassionately refrains from entering nirvana in order to save others and is worshipped as a deity in Mahayana Buddhism.

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'Death and Dying from a Buddhist Perspective'

By Clay McGlaughlin, Times Standard, Sept 2, 2014

Upcoming workshop examines practical and philosophical approaches to death

Eureka, California (USA) -- Despite the fact that death is a transition we all must go through (and some would argue that we have to go through it many, many times), it's still one of the most painful and difficult topics to talk about. When given a choice, most people seem to prefer to avoid it entirely, but sooner or later the subject inevitably comes to the forefront of consciousness. And when it does, the effects can be devastating if we are not prepared to face it.

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Meditation is fine, but what about the Buddhism behind it?

by Jessica Brown, The Independent, 29 August 2014

Closing your eyes and being mindful isn't the only way to achieve inner wellbeing

London, UK -- Just when you thought it was safe to close your eyes, there has been recent warnings from psychiatrists on the adverse effects of mindfulness meditation. As well as evidence of underqualified teachers, there have been rare cases of depersonalisation, where people feel an out-of-body experience.

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Has Vipassana reached the end of the road?

by Christopher Titmuss, Dharma Inquiry, Sept 2, 2014

A Personal Reflection after 30 years

San Francisco, CA (USA) -- I have had the privilege of teaching Vipassana (Insight) Meditation for 30 years in the West, as well as for 32 years in Bodh Gaya and eight years in Sarnath, India. My first retreat in the West was in northern New South Wales, Australia, organised in the summer of 1976 by a 21 year-old woman named Sue from Northern Rivers who is now Subhana, a fellow Dharma teacher, much loved and respected in the Dharma world.

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Buddhist dining in unexpected places

by Ananda Jacobs, Japan Times, Aug 26, 2014

Tokyo, Japan -- I’ve been aware of shojin ryori (traditional vegetarian Buddhist cuisine) for some time. I’ve had in my mind the image of a Buddhist practitioner painstakingly preparing the seasonal vegetarian dishes, mindful of each ingredient. And from time to time I have vaguely recalled that if I wanted to try it I could do so at a handful of temples around Japan.

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