Ten Qualities Leading to Awakening

Monijiao photo copyright Mark Baker, used with permission.

The term used for the ten qualities leading to awakening, or “Buddhahood”, is “Parami” (Paramita), which means “perfection.” These include:

  • Perfection in giving
  • Perfection in morality
  • Perfection in renunciation
  • Perfection in wisdom
  • Perfection in energy
  • Perfection in patience (forbearance)
  • Perfection in truthfulness
  • Perfection in resolution
  • Perfection in loving-kindness
  • Perfection in equanimity

These qualities were developed and brought to maturity by the Bodhisatta in his past existences, and his way of practicing them is illustrated in many of the Birth Stories (Jataka), of which only the verses that are regarded as canonical.

It is said that through developing the Four Sublime States (Loving-Kindness, Compassion, Altruistic Joy, Equanimity), one may reach these Ten Perfections, namely:
Continue reading »

Ten Ways to Cultivate Kindness

There are many ways to help others whenever the opportunity presents itself. These can be simplified into the following ten important categories.

1) Supporting the practice of kindness
2) Harboring love and respect
3) Helping others succeed in practicing goodness
4) Persuading others to practice kindness
5) Helping those in desperate need
6) Developing public projects for the greater benefit of the people
7) Practice merits by giving through donation
8) Protecting and maintaining proper teaching
9) Respecting our elders
10) Love and cherishing all living beings
Continue reading »

The Deep Ocean of the World

Mara has caused so much corruption in the world among religious leaders, political leaders and others that would normally be trusted, that the world has lost faith and developed a great deal of disappointment, dissatisfaction and overall non-trust in just about everything. What people used to believe or hold dear now seems, at least in their eyes, no longer authentic and a waste of time, so they develop what we might refer to as the “mind monkey”, meaning an uncontrollable confusion and never being settled.

People have a basic need to believe something and hold on to something to at least be a little more comfortable with their existence in the world, so they will adopt all sorts of fanciful ideas and mental concoctions thereby taking comfort in their own delusional fantasies.
Continue reading »

The Eight Auspicious Symbols

Ask Bhikkhu

Dear Venerable Tenzin Bhikkhu, what is the significance of the Ashtamangala in the Monijiao and Zhangzhung Shenpo traditions?

In Buddhism, including the school of Monijiao and the Tibetan Zhangzhung Shenpo (Chinese and Tibetan Manichaeism), we have what we refer to as the Ashtamangala or the Eight Auspicious Symbols. Every culture, from India to China has its own symbols and signs that have religious and spiritual significance.

It is often very difficult to establish the origin or dates of such symbols, but here I will explain the significance of the Ashtamangala according to Monijiao, which is shared by Zhangzhung Shenpo.
Continue reading »

Our Ego and our Relinquishment of Desires

Is our ego stronger than our suppression of desires? The ego can cause personal suffering, including hurt feelings and problems for others around us. If we can not learn to remove our harmful desires and become liberated from our ego we can suffer from many emotional problems and may have trouble dealing with others in any social environment. It may also result in evidence that we have personal problems with authority, spiritual or civil.

What are some signs that our ego is higher than our wish to relinquish harmful desires?
Continue reading »

Are We Willing to Abandon Preconceptions?

When one approaches Buddhism with an unwillingness to abandon preconceptions, disappointment is sure to follow. Monijiao, or as it is translated “Religion of Light”, is ancient and adheres to divinely revealed teachings and practices. If one reads about Monijiao and what it teaches, believes or practices from a source other than authorized teachers of the religion, one will arrive at nothing more than false claims, conjecture and wrong ideas.
Continue reading »

Do Buddhists Believe in God?

Many people in the West have a mistaken idea that Buddhists do not believe in God. They often say that Buddhists are atheists. While some Buddhists are atheists, just like many Jews in Israel today are atheists, there are many Buddhists in Asia who do in fact profess faith in a Higher Source (God). Recent surveys have shown that the majority of American Buddhists believe in God, but what about Asian Buddhists? Surveys indicate that 83.9% in Taiwan believe in God; 56.7% in Japan; and 86.3% in Singapore. The same survey* indicated that many in Sri Lanka are not atheists as some have wrongfully claimed.
Continue reading »


The practice of vegetarianism is upheld as the ideal diet for monks, nuns, and Elders, but all are permitted to consume meat provided it adheres to the three following rules:

1. Monks/nuns may not witness the killing of the animal.
2. Monks/nuns may not hear the sound of the killing of the animal.
3. Monks/nuns may not consume the animal if it was killed for them.
Continue reading »

The Practice of Sila

Sila (virtue, moral conduct) is the cornerstone upon which the entire Noble Eightfold Path is built. The practice of sila is defined by the middle three factors of the Eightfold Path: Right Speech, Right Action, and Right Livelihood.

Practicing Buddhists voluntarily undertake a particular set of training rules appropriate to their life-situation:

  • Lay men and women observe the Five Precepts* (pañca-sila)
  • Lay men and women doing intensive meditation practice (as on Uposatha days) observe the Eight Precepts (attha-sila)
  • Novice monks (samanera) and nuns (samaneri) observe additional precepts (dasa-sila)
  • Fully-ordained monks (bhikkhus) and nuns (bhikkhunis) follow various monastic rules which number in the hundreds

Continue reading »