Thought for the Day

The following talks are taken from BBC Radio 4's "Thought for the Day" series. Most are by Vishvapani, a Triratna member and are given from a Buddhist perspective. Occasionally relevant talks by speakers from various other faith traditions are included.

"This brief, uninterrupted interlude has the capacity to plant a seed of thought that stays with listeners during the day. Thought for the Day is broadcast during the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 every morning at around 7.45am."

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Responding Skilfully to Whatever Happens

To be ethically skilful in the Buddhist sense is to act with an awareness of one's motivations and sensitivity to their likely consequences. Techniques and rules only get you so far, so Buddhist ethical training means applying principles thoughtfully and fostering the emotional intelligence and sensitivity. From this perspective, what it means to be ethical is no more a matter of subjective opinion than judging mastery of a practical skill.

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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Myanmar and the Rohingyas

"When I hear about the horrific repression that's being inflicted on the Muslim Rohingyas, I share many of the outraged feelings that others are expressing. But I feel something extra as well: shame that these things are being done by my fellow Buddhists for the sake of a Buddhist state and with the support of many Buddhist monks.

How did we get here? I don't want to over-simplify the situation in Rohingya, or generalise the responses of all Burmese Buddhists; but the question remains. The Buddha said that 'hatred is never overcome by hatred, but only by love'; so how has the faith he founded become associated with such brutality?"

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Tuesday, 5 September 2017

The Value of Public Service

Vishvapani talks about the commitment of those in the caring professions.

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Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Accepting Impermanence in the Digital Age

"Bigger cars don't make us happier................."

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Thursday, 29 June 2017

Lord Sachs, Darwin and Change

Lord Sachs the ex-Chief Rabbi considers change and how we need to know where we come from, where we are going and why.

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Friday, 26 May 2017

Our Relationships with Eating

For Buddhism, compulsive behaviour never satisfies our craving. In fact, it encourages yet more craving to develop, and that in turn makes us suffer. That's how food becomes connected with so much else: a desire for a better body, reassurance or stimulation. It becomes a focus of guilt and anxiety and a substitute for more dependable sources of satisfaction.

The Buddha's advice was: "Have a sense of moderation in eating and eat simply for the continuance of your body." Buddhist monks still follow a rule of not eating after midday and some only take one meal. That removes the temptation to wander towards the fridge or the mango grove in an idle moment and frees up time and energy for their Buddhist practice.

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Friday, 12 May 2017

Wesak - Buddhism's Relevance in the Modern World

This week Buddhists celebrate the Buddha's Awakening or Enlightenment. According to the traditional dating that took place in 538 BC, and the spiritual tradition he founded eventually inspired a vast civilisation. So we can agree that Buddhism deserves a place in a museum. But in a world that's hurtling towards post-modernity and faces unprecedented challenges, we can justifiably ask if an ancient tradition like Buddhism has any continuing relevance?

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