Jay N. Forrest

Suttavadin Buddhism

Author: Jay N. Forrest Page 2 of 14

Jay N. Forrest (DMin) is a certified meditation teacher, a scholar of early Buddhism, and the author of several books on Buddhism.

Buddhist Ethics

Homosexuality and Early Buddhism

All lay Buddhists are supposed to follow the Five Precepts. The third precept is to abstain from sexual misconduct. When the details of what counts as sexual misconduct we read passages such as this:

They give up sexual misconduct. They don’t have sexual relations with women who have their mother, father, both mother and father, brother, sister, relatives, or clan as guardian. They don’t have sexual relations with a woman who is protected on principle, or who has a husband, or whose violation is punishable by law, or even one who has been garlanded as a token of betrothal (AN 10.176 PMT)

It is important to notice what is considered sexual misconduct by early Buddhism.… Read the rest

Sutta Translations

Be Your Own Island (SN 22.43 PMT)

At Sāvatthī.

“Practitioners, be your own island, your own refuge, with no other refuge. Let the Dharma be your island and your refuge, with no other refuge.

When you live like this, you should examine the cause: ‘From what are sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress born and produced?’

And, practitioners, from what are sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress born and produced? It’s when an uneducated ordinary person has not seen the noble ones, and is neither skilled nor trained in the Dharma of the noble ones.… Read the rest

Pali Word Studies

Word Study: Dukkha (Part 4)

The closest we get to a description of dukkha, which is usually translated as “suffering,” is this:

Now this is the noble truth of dukkha. Rebirth is dukkha; old age is dukkha; illness is dukkha; death is dukkha; association with the disliked is dukkha; separation from the liked is dukkha; not getting what you wish for is dukkha. In brief, the five grasping aggregates are dukkha (SN 56.11 PMT).

As I have mentioned in a previous article, there “is no word in English covering the same ground as Dukkha does in Pali.”… Read the rest

General Buddhism

The Location of True Religion

The Buddha said:

Practitioners, be your own island, your own refuge, with no other refuge. Let the Dharma be your island and your refuge, with no other refuge (SN 22.43 PMT).

According to the Buddha, we are to take refuge in the Dharma, which is referring to the teaching he taught. As Buddhists, we can rightly say that the Buddha told us to trust in the truth of his teachings.

So us Buddhists believe that the Buddha taught the truth, that the truth is conveyed by his Dharma, and that his Dharma is contained in the suttas.… Read the rest

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