Archive for Learning English Through Buddhism

Learning English Through Buddhism: Lesson 13

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Learning English Through Buddhism: Lesson 12

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Learning English Through Buddhism: Lesson 11

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English English Through Buddhism: Lesson 10

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Learning English Through Buddhism: Lesson 3

1. Match the below words with their definitions.

a. stingy

b. glory

c. charity

d. consult

e. convince

f. attract

g. cemetery

h. devotion

i. ornament

j. possession


  1. an area of ground in which dead bodies are buried.
  2. to get information or advice from a person, book.
  3. decoration which is added to increase the beauty of something.
  4. to pull or draw someone or something towards them, by the qualities they have.
  5. the quality of being kind to people and not judging them in a severe way.
  6. an important achievement which earns someone great admiration, honour and praise.
  7. loyalty and love or care for someone or something.
  8. when you have or own something.
  9. unwilling to spend money.
  10. to persuade someone or make them certain.

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Learning English Through Buddhism: Lesson 2

1. Match the following words with their definitions.

a. innocent

b. reference

c. insects

d. utter

e. patient

f. deliberately

g. intention

h. ointment

i. revenge

j. monastery

  1. A thick oily substance, usually containing medicine, which is put on the skin where it is sore to cure it
  2. To say something or to make a sound with your voice.
  3. A building in which monks live and worship.
  4. Harm done to someone as a punishment for harm that they have done to someone else.
  5. (Of a person) who has no guilty of a particular crime, or no knowledge evil thing in life.
  6. A person who is receiving medical care, or who is cared for by a particular doctor when it’s necessary.
  7. Something that you want and plan to do.
  8. A mention of something in a piece of writing where the person writing found their information.
  9. Done in a way that was planned, not by chance.
  10. A type of very small animal with six legs, two pairs of wings, or, any similar very small animal. Read the rest of this entry »

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Learning English Through Buddhism: Lesson 1


Bhikkhu Professor Dhammavihari


There are two basic premises in Buddhism based on which I propose to talk to you on this subject of animal rights this evening. At the very outset, it is good to remind ourselves that more than two and half millennia ago, the Buddha had a vision of the universe, not as one created by any one at any specific point of time, but as one which has evolved itself through both time and space. In this vision, one sees on the one hand a very close parallel to what is referred today as the Big Bang theory. On the other, in its graphic details about life therein, Buddhism reflects a keen awareness and a serious reckoning of concepts like ecosystems and the biodiversity in which the more serious-minded philosopher- scientists of the world are deeply concerned.

For this very reason, Buddhism looks upon life in the universe as a totality which has by itself a right to exist unhindered, with no threats of destruction from outside to serve the needs of any single person or group, whether they be under the direction of any human or divine authority. It is reckoned that the harmonious continuance of the universe does not permit or allow of such crude and clumsy handling of Mother Nature. In Buddhism, in a book called the Manual of Good Living or Dhammpada, this idea is expressed as follows.

All living things fear being beaten with clubs.
All living things fear being put to death.
Putting oneself in the place of the other,
Let no one kill nor cause another to kill. (Dh. 129)

Buddhism also offers definite and positive instructions with regard to the manner in which humans should develop universal loving kindness towards all living things that exist in the universe, whether in close proximity or at a distance, seen or unseen, large or small, fierce or timid. Even those seeking to come into existence [ sambhavesã ] like foetal bodies of unborn babies or those in the stage of eggs are encompassed within this range of universal loving kindness or mettà in Buddhism. It specifies this attitude thus declaring ‘ May all beings be well and happy’ [Sabbe sattà bhavantu sukhitattà ].

These are the two major premises which we should bear in mind. Our precise awareness of the real relationship in which the rest of the universe stands towards the humans as well as the healthy and sound attitude of mind with which humans should handle whatever is beside themselves. Buddhism highlights this relationship very much. The word mettà which is used to designate this attitude of mind simply means ‘respectful friendliness’ or absence of hostility in humans [avyàpàda] towards all those who are beside themselves. It is categorically stated that with such thoughts of hostility one should not wish to bring about unhappiness upon another [Byàrosanà pañighasa¤¤à nतama¤¤assa dukkham iccheyya].

In some prefatory remarks to Rupert Sheldrake’s The Rebirth of Nature – Rider [1994 Reprint] we discover the following observations which appear extraordinarily interesting in the light of early Buddhist teachings.

Rupert Sheldrake goes on to present a compelling case for the revival of animism, and for a new code of ethics that acknowledges our involvement as individuals and communities in the living world of nature. He shows how we are on the threshold of a new synthesis in which traditional wisdom, personal experience and scientific insight can be mutually enriching.’

It is in this same spirit that Biophelia Hypothesis emphasizes the need to retrieve human respect for and recognition of the biodiversity in the universe and its ecosystems.



  1. What do ‘Animal Rights’ mean?
  2. What are the differences between human beings and animals?
  3. According to the article, what are two basic premises in Buddhism?
  4. Do we need to develop ‘respectful friendliness’ towards animals? Why? How?
  5. How does Rupert Sheldrake talk about ‘Nature’?

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