Author: pesala

FontCreator — A Highly Logical Choice

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Software

FontCreator 4.0 I first started editing fonts in the late 1980’s using CorelDraw 4.0, which had an export filter for TrueType fonts. This was back in the days of Windows 3.1 and ANSI character sets. Standard fonts did not include the characters with diacritics (accents) that I needed, so I had to edit my own fonts. It was a slow process, because the export filter crashed very often. In 2002 I got a copy of […]

Serif PagePlus X9 — Publishing on a Budget

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Software

A Legacy Product The last version of Serif’s flagship product for Desktop Publishing (DTP) can no longer be bought from Serif. If you go to Serif’s website, they will be keen to tell you about their new Affinity Products. Affinity Publisher, may eventually be a better choice, but currently it lacks many of the features found in PagePlus X9. Only you can decide if the trade-off is worthwhile. Files created in PagePlus cannot be imported […]

Vivaldi Browser

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Software

A Great Tool for Research I spend most of the day online, and I use Vivaldi all day even when I am working on my books or website in Serif PagePlus or WebPlus. I use it constantly to look up words, and have the entire Buddhist Canon on my local drive in HTML format for reference to the texts, and a Pali English dictionary that I use to help with translation. By tiling as a […]

Six Kinds of Speech Used by the Buddha

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Buddhism

Prologue Prince Abhaya was a disciple of the Naked Ascetics (Nigaṇṭhā), who were vehement opponents of the Buddha. The Abhayarājakumāra Sutta relates how their leader sent Prince Abhaya to the Buddha with a formulated question to ask him, that he hoped would confound him. Prince Abhaya invited the Buddha with three other monks to his house for alms Prince Abhaya, served and satisfied the Blessed One with superior hard and soft foods by his own […]

The Right to Cause Offence

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Current Affairs

There has been much debate in the media recently about free speech and the offence it may cause to others. In an article by Boris Johnson MP in the column that he writes for the Daily Telegraph he said that he felt “fully entitled” to expect women to remove face coverings when talking to him at his MP surgery, and expressed his opinion that the burka is oppressive and that it is absolutely ridiculous that […]

The Simile of the Good Car

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Buddhism / Insight Meditation

If one wishes to reach a distant destination such as the Cairngorms National Park, from London, one will need several things: A car with five good wheels, some fuel, and some money to buy more fuel on the way. One will also need to know how to drive, and study the route. Similarly, to reach a distant destination such as nibbāna from one’s current location in saṃsāra, wherever that might be, one will need several […]

The Kāma Sutta

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Buddhism

A Discourse on Sensual Pleasures Introduction The Buddhist Kāma Sutta is poles apart from the infamous Kāma Sutra, an ancient Hindu text on sexuality. Buddhists are not generally puritanical about sexuality, but the Buddhist texts advise treating it with great caution, as one treats a fire in one’s own house. The third precept to abstain from sexual misconduct (kāmesu micchācārā verāmaṇi sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi).  In particular, kāma refers to sexual relations, but the word covers sensual pleasures of all types. […]

Apostasy in Buddhism

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Buddhism

Apostasy is defined as “The state of having rejected your affiliation, religious or political beliefs, or principles (often in favour of opposing beliefs or causes)” (WordWeb). Buddhism encourages a sceptical attitude, and does not demand blind faith. One becomes a Buddhist by the simple act of taking refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Saṅgha, which is an expression of one’s confidence in the teachings. One becomes a virtuous Buddhist by undertaking and observing the five […]

A Question of Balance

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Buddhism / Insight Meditation

Understanding the Middle Path On the full-moon night of Vesākha, the Bodhisatta become the Buddha after meditating the entire night at the culmination of a six year struggle to find the right path. Thereafter, he spent forty-five years propagating his “Middle Path” guiding others along the unique way that he had discovered. In fact, he had been searching much longer than six years to find this middle path. Since the time of his vow at […]

The Law of Kamma Explained

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Buddhism

The following passage occurs in several places: All beings are the owners of their actions (kamma), heirs of their actions, born from their actions, related to their actions, and have actions as their refuge. Whatever action they do, whether good or evil, they will inherit its results. Owners of their actions In this world, one is said to be the owner of property that one has paid for, but at death we have to leave […]