Nov 05, 2014
Some weeks ago I read this book with my kids (a six-year-old boy and an almost-eight-year-old girl) several times now, and they enjoyed both the story and the images. But the book became especially relevant recently when my son developed the habit of kicking and punching his sister. That’s a phase a lot of kids go through, but it’s especially worrisome because he’s taking karate classes, and at some point he’s going to be able to do some serious harm.
So last night, when my son was getting mad, we picked up the book again, and read through it. he wanted to read the book out loud himself, and he was able …
Nov 05, 2014
TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
from the BUDDHIST TEACHERS NETWORK
URGING YOU TO ADDRESS ANTI-MUSLIM VIOLENCE AT THE UPCOMING ASEAN MEETING IN BURMA/MYANMAR
Dear President Obama,
We as 381 Buddhist Teachers in America represent a large community that is deeply concerned about the growing anti Muslim violence in Myanmar and across Asia, and the plight of the 1.3 million Rohingyas, many forced to live against their will in inhumane internment camps and permanent ghettoized communities. We know you have been supportive of all Burmese people and have encouraged peace and reconciliation …
Nov 02, 2014
Stoic Week 2014 is an online international event taking place from Monday 24th to Sunday 30th November. The week is part of a multi-disciplinary project called Stoicism Today, which is helping to revive the ancient philosophy of Stoicism in modern life.
This morning I shared some resources I’d put together on the subject of self-compassion, but I just realized that there’s another great resource of mine that I can point you to. It’ll be especially ideal if you can’t make it to my November 22 workshop at the NY Insight Meditation Center, or a good primer if you can.
This resource is a video presentation on “How to Stop Beating Yourself Up,” on En*Theos Academy, which is a kind of Netflix for spirituality and personal development.
This class presents my latest teaching shared in a fun, high energy, 30-minute video format (you can also download MP3s and a PDF for …
“How to stop beating yourself up” is a workshop I’m teaching at the New York Insight Meditation Center on November 22. In this workshop I’ll be introducing, step-by-step, the skills of self-compassion. If you live in the area I hope you’ll be able to join me. Click here for more information on the workshop.
But we have a world-wide community here, and most of you won’t be able to attend.
I hear from a lot of people around the world who create suffering for themselves through self-criticism and self-hatred, and so I want to share some articles on self-compassion that I hope will be helpful. (And if you do live near NYC, …
By day I’m a peace-loving Buddhist; by night a fearless zombie slayer.
That second part isn’t entirely true. Last night I didn’t actually slay any zombies, and I certainly wasn’t fearless. In fact I was terrified as I cowered inside my car as a ravening undead creature tried to force its head through the half-open window, growling and gnashing with its fearful, gaping maw. I tried to stab at it with a pointed stick, but never quite made contact. (Pointed sticks are for vampires, I know, but you have to use the tools available to you, and that’s what I had at hand.)
As it happens, this was just one of the …
Oct 29, 2014
The reactions I get when I tell people that I did an interdisciplinary Master’s degree in Buddhism and business studies are very telling. Once people have stopped laughing or spluttering incoherently, they usually say that they’d assumed that Buddhism and business were mutually exclusive. But in fact the concept of “right livelihood” is part of the Buddha’s core teaching, the Eightfold Path.
In Buddhist practice we’re encouraged to make every aspect of our lives an opportunity to practice mindfulness, compassion, balance, and insight. Since we all have to earn a living, our work needs to become part of our practice.
Our mission at Wildmind is to benefit the world by promoting mindfulness …
Oct 27, 2014
Karma is one of the most misunderstood Buddhist teachings. Often people think of karma as some kind of external, impersonal force that “rewards” us for our good deeds and punishes us for our bad. Consequently, even some people with an otherwise good understanding of Buddhism reject karma (usually along with rebirth) as being non-rational.
But karma is not external, nor is it about rewards and punishments. Karma simply means “action.” As an ethical term, it refers to the intentions underlying our actions, understood very broadly as anything we might think, say, or do. As the Buddha said, “I declare, intention is karma” (Cetanāhaṃ kammaṃ vadāmi).
What this means is three-fold:
First, ethically speaking our …
Oct 24, 2014
I recently wrote a post about how we can use listening as a way to quiet the mind, and how the arising of thoughts can become a “mindfulness bell,” calling us back to mindful attentiveness of the sounds around us. (The post was specifically about persistent thoughts that take the form of music, but the same approach works for all thoughts.)
A commenter on that post directed me to a video featuring the Canadian composer, writer, music educator and environmentalist R. Murray Schafer. In the video, Schafer very cleverly leads us into a form of listening meditation, in which he guides us from being mindful of recorded sounds to …
Oct 22, 2014
Recently I offered a mantra that can accompany the out-breathing: Relax, Rest, Reveal. These words encourage us, respectively, to let go of unnecessary tensions in the body, to let go of unnecessary mental effort, and to be open and receptive to whatever is arising in our experience.
I’d like now to offer a corresponding mantra for the in-breathing: Energize, Inspire, Enjoy. As with the previous mantra, each of the words has a specific function.
“Energize” connects us with the natural energy of the in-breath. Inhalation is dominated by the sympathetic nervous system, which isn’t always about “fight or flight” but is involved in any physical or emotional …