Buddhist perspectives on society and culture


Buddhist perspectives on
society and culture

Celebrating three years of Apramada

Over three years ago, a group of friends and I came together with the aspiration of launching an online periodical — the very one you are reading now. What was on our minds? What inspired the project?

A Buddhist Utopia

The second in a series exploring what the Buddha said about society. In this one we look in detail about how, according to the Buddha, an empire should be ruled.

Ethical Beauty

Beautiful stone sculpture of quanyin in Japan.

Urgyen Sangharakshita explores the idea that ethical actions are not only good, but also beautiful, and so consequently, an ethical life is a beautiful life.

The Cancellation of Reason

An exploration of the principles of an authentic social justice movement, beginning with the need for the exercise of reason and an agreement between narrative and fact.

A Circle that Cannot be Squared

When a tyrannous regime invades a peaceful country, what is the most ethical course of action for the rulers of that country? Ratnaguna reflects on the moral dilemma such a situation would present to Buddhists.

Apramāda’s Second Anniversary

A message from the editorial board on the occasion of Apramada’s second anniversary, explaining something of what motivated us to start a new online publication, and what we hope to achieve.

On Taking, and Not Taking, Offence

Ratnaguna discusses the rise of offence-taking in our culture and argues that, just because someone gives offence, doesn’t mean you have to take it.

On Gratitude

An extract from Nagapriya’s book The Promise of a Sacred World, in which he argues that cultivating a sense of gratitude for all we’ve received is transformative.

The Middle Path and its Three Modalities

middle way

The Middle Path is one of the most fundamental doctrines of Buddhism. In a particularly brilliant passage from A Survey of Buddhism, Sangharakshita identifies three ‘modalities’ through which it operates. Here, Vidyaruchi explores these deep ideas.

Spiritual Friendship and Solitude

Another in our series Thus Have I Heard: Brief Essays on Buddhism, this one explores an apparent contradiction in the Buddha’s teaching

Gotama, Mole, and the Wild Wood

Another in the series Thus Have I heard, about facing danger, and how we should resist attempts from our risk averse culture to shield us from it.

A Binocular Vision of Reality

A Binocular Vision

An examination of Sangharakshita’s teaching on the progressive trend within reality, especially as regards its implications for the doctrinal unity of the Buddhist tradition.

The Buddha’s Reasons for Being Ethical

pink lotus

This is the second in our series Thus Have I Heard: Brief Essays on Buddhism. We aim to keep them short enough to be read in five minutes or less. This one is 4 minutes of unadulterated Dharma.

One Year of Apramāda


Apramāda is now one year old. In this editorial, Ratnaguna marks the occasion by discussing why loyalty to the notion of objective truth is crucial for the health of society

The Ascent of Beauty

ascent of beauty

In this first of two articles based on his celebrated ‘Eros and Beauty’ talks given in 2014, Subhuti explores the pursuit of beauty as a spiritual path.

Contemplations on Dukkha


The Buddha brought his spiritual genius to two questions: what is the root of our suffering and how can it be quenched? This short article points us to the Buddha’s discoveries and his prescribed training scheme.

Practising the Dharma in Adversity


Ratnaguna finds much to admire in Devamitra’s account of his diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. Inspiring, challenging, humorous, and thought-provoking, it’s well worth reading, regardless of your health condition or religion.

The Heart’s Release by Love

The Buddha

This is the first in a new series we’re calling Thus Have I Heard: Brief Essays on Buddhism. They should be short enough to be read in five minutes or less!

Arguing with the Buddha Part Two

Arguing with the Buddha

In this, the second part of the article, Ratnaguna continues to look at instances from the ancient texts of the Buddha debating, and draws out lessons we can learn from him.

Arguing with the Buddha Part One


The Buddha was well aware of the dangers and pitfalls of engaging in debates, and he had some interesting observations about how to conduct oneself in a discussion.

Music, Meaning and Mantra

Ratnaguna interviews Advayacitta about the importance and meaning of music in general, and in particular of the chanting of mantras.

In Praise of Uncertainty


Ratnaguna discusses the vitally important questions of how can we really know anything, and how often are our opinions based on a lack of real knowledge?

What is Buddhism?

The Buddha

This article is intended for you if you have come to this website as someone who is curious about Buddhism but as yet knows little about it.

Consciousness and Rebirth

Ratnaguna interviews Advayacitta about the nature of consciousness, and how this relates to the question of rebirth.


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