On the Irish isle of Skellig Michael, Celtic Monks once pursued a tough life of meditation. Kulananda (Michael Chaskalson) feels a connection across the centuries with these vanished contemplatives, and senses a continuity between his own efforts and theirs.
I am traveling about the Kerry coast with the team that runs the Dublin Meditation Center. As the Center’s president, I visit from time to time, helping out where I can. We are getting to know one another better, getting to know Ireland together, adventuring around its glorious coastline on a kind of pilgrimage.
One evening we set out in search of a place to hold an impromptu meeting: three members of the Western Buddhist Order … Read more »
Everything that we call “ourselves” is simply a changing pattern of interrelationships — patterns that are inextricably part of a great flux of conditions.
But we all cling, however unconsciously, to the idea that we have a “self,” something that is “us in our essential nature,” something fixed and enduring, separate in its essentials from the rest of the universe.
This picture we have of ourselves is both false and limiting. Its principle limitation lies in its restriction of the possibility of change for the better. If we have … Read more »
The Compassionate Brain by Gerald Huther, Ph.D. (Trumpeter, 2006. Paperback, $14.00).
Gerald Huther is head of neurobiological research at a psychiatric clinic in Germany, working to discover more about the effects of fear, stress, addiction and nutrition on the brain. This book is a by-product of that research.
For Huther the human brain is a densely networked structure that is open-ended in terms of its programmability. Unlike those found in many other forms of life – such as stickleback fish whose complicated mating rituals are genetically predetermined – the human brain at birth is pretty much open-ended in terms of how it can be programmed. You come into the world … Read more »