Friday, 3 November 2017

How the Mind Works - Sleep Paralysis

The subject of Sleep Paralysis came up at our Sangha meeting on Tuesday and coincidentally it was also the main subject in the first program of the new series of Radio 4's All In The Mind which was broadcast the same night!

As Buddhists it's always interesting to know more of how the mind works..............

Claudia Hammond talks to Professor Christopher French from Goldsmiths, University of London about the strange phenomenon of sleep paralysis. As many as 1 in 20 people will experience vivid hallucinations while falling asleep or waking up while also completely unable to move. People also describe a very powerful sense of fear and the feeling of being crushed or that an intruder or something supernatural is there with them. Despite being relatively common, this sleep anomaly is little understood. Even less well known or understood is the frightening experience of 'Exploding Head Syndrome' where someone perceives abrupt and very loud noises when going to sleep or waking up.

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Friday, 30 December 2016

A Buddhist Father Christmas

The Listening Project is a BBC Radio 4 initiative that offers a snapshot of contemporary Britain in which people across the UK volunteer to have a conversation with someone close to them about a subject they've never discussed intimately before.

Just before Christmas Fi Glover introduced a conversation between a Buddhist Father Christmas and a Baptist chaplain about how they spend Christmas morning in the hospice. Another in the series that proves it's surprising what you hear when you listen.


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Thursday, 31 March 2016

Not so Holy in Thailand - Maybe It'll be Down to the Girls

An unholy spat is stirring the Sangha, Thailand's top Buddhist authority - who will become the next Supreme Patriarch, Thailand's most senior monk? Meanwhile, allegations of 'cheque-book Buddhism', cronyism and corruption abound - including allegations about tax-evasion on an imported vintage Mercedes car. In Thailand, where the majority of the population profess Buddhism, seeking ordination isn't unusual. But salacious stories about monks who commit serious crimes - everything from sex offences to wildlife trafficking - continue to shock.

Watching quietly from the side-lines is the Venerable Dhammananda - female, and a Buddhist monk since 2003. Although the Sangha bars women from ordination, there are now around 100 bhikkhunis, as female monastics are known, in Thailand. And their growing acceptance by some Buddhist believers might partly be explained by a widespread disillusionment with the behaviour of some male monks. For Crossing Continents, Linda Pressly explores the rifts and sexual politics challenging Thai Buddhism and its devotees.


Sunday, 6 March 2016

Afghanistan: Rescued Treasures of Buddhism

An exhibition called Afghanistan: Rescued Treasures of Buddhism organized by the Czech National Museum in Prague aims to present the war-torn country in a different light, to draw attention to its rich cultural history and point out the many influences that left their mark on Afghan culture and traditions. The exhibition focuses on the country’s pre-Islamic Buddhist period. Its chief organizer Lubomír Novák showed Daniela Lazarová from Radio Prague around and began by explaining what makes the exhibition so special.


You may also like to see our post "Afghanistan Opens Exhibition of Country's Rich Buddhist Past".

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Ashoka; Power and Persuasion

This is another episode taken from the new Radio 4 series, Incarnations: Portraits of India, the story of India in 50 lives. Professor Sunil Khilnani looks at the history and culture of India through a personal selection of the lives of 50 of its most significant and influential figures.

This time he looks at the life and legacy of the Buddhist emperor Ashoka, who ruled over a large part of the Indian sub-continent.


The Buddha; Waking India Up

This is taken from the new Radio 4 series, Incarnations: Portraits of India.

The story of India in 50 lives. Sunil Khilnani looks at the history and culture of India through a personal
selection of the lives of 50 of its most significant and influential figures.

In this episode Professor Sunil Khilnani looks at the life of the Buddha and at how he has become an inspiration to modern Indians fighting against the caste system.


Friday, 6 February 2015

Ashoka the Great - Buddhist Emperor of India

This is taken from the BBC radio 4 program "In Our Time" with Melvyn Bragg.

Melvyn and his guests discuss the Indian Emperor Ashoka. Active in the 3rd century BC, Ashoka conquered almost all of the landmass covered by modern-day India, creating the largest empire South Asia had ever known. After his campaign of conquest he converted to Buddhism, and spread the religion throughout his domain. His edicts were inscribed on the sides of an extraordinary collection of stone pillars spread far and wide across his empire, many of which survive today. Our knowledge of ancient India and its chronology, and how this aligns with the history of Europe, is largely dependent on this important set of inscriptions, which were deciphered only in the nineteenth century.

Jessica Frazier Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Kent and a Research Fellow at the

Centre for Hindu Studies.

Naomi Appleton Chancellor's Fellow in Religious Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

Richard Gombrich Founder and Academic Director of the Oxford
Centre for Buddhist Studies and Emeritus Professor of Sanskrit at the University of Oxford.