Buddha

The story of the Buddha’s life, like all of Buddhism, is a story about confronting suffering. He was born between the sixth and fourth century B.C., the son of a wealthy…

Lao Tzu

Little is truly known about the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu (sometimes also known as Laozi or Lao Tze), who is a guiding figure in Daoism (also translated as Taoism), a still…

Confucius

We know very little for certain about the life of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (a westernised version of his name, which means ‘Master Kong’). He is said to have been born…

Sen no Rikyū

In the West, philosophers write long non-fiction books, often using incomprehensible words and limit their involvement with the world to lectures and committee meetings. In the East, and especially in the…

Matsuo Basho

In the West, we have a vague sense that poetry is good for our ‘souls’, making us sensitive and wiser. Yet we don’t always know how this should work. Poetry has…

Mono No Aware

Mono no aware is a key term in Japanese culture. ‘Mono’ means ‘thing’ or ‘things’; ‘aware’ means ‘feeling’ or sentiment, and the particle ‘no’ indicates something an object possesses. So mono…