Feb 10, 2014
Buddhism talks a lot about suffering, but a lot of us think that we don’t suffer, or that we don’t really suffer. There’s a tendency for us to think of suffering in terms of physical pain or material deprivation: the person with terminal cancer or a broken leg, the refugee, the starving child. So we often think of suffering as being something that’s extreme or unusual. But actually, we all suffer, every day. You may be suffering right now.
- When you’re worrying what people think about you, you’re suffering.
- When you feel resentful, you’re suffering.
- When you’re impatient, you’re suffering.
- When you’re embarrassed, you’re suffering.
- When you’re irritated, you’re suffering.
- When you’re feeling
Feb 06, 2014
One of my favorite stories took place a number of decades ago when the English had colonized India and they wanted to set up a golf course in Calcutta. Besides the fact that the English shouldn’t have been there in the first place, the golf course was not a particularly good idea. The biggest challenge was that the area was populated with monkeys.
The monkeys apparently were interested in golf too, and their way of joining the game was to go onto the course and take the balls that the golfers were hitting and toss them around in all directions. Of course the golfers didn’t like this at all, so they …
Feb 06, 2014
One could rightly ask: How can intangible thoughts affect tangible matter (i.e., the brain)? This question is at the heart of the longstanding “mind-body problem,” and related questions include: How can mind arise from matter? Is mind reducible to matter? Does matter determine mind?
These are important, non-trivial questions, and they’ve occupied philosophers for millennia – and now, neuroscientists. Increasingly, their research is suggesting that the account of dependent origination (particularly, related to the moment of “contact”) given by the Buddha long ago is profoundly insightful: based on preceding conditions, mind and matter co-arise, co-causing each other, distinct but intertwined domains, empty of independent self-nature, …
Feb 02, 2014
Interview with the co author of Eight Step Recovery – Using The Buddha’s Teachings to Overcome Addiction
Most of us either know someone who has suffered from some form of addiction or have suffered from addiction ourselves. Why do you think it is so common?
Suffering is Universal. Human nature has an inbuilt tendency toward addiction. I would say that the main reason why we become addicts is that there is some dis-ease deep in our minds, and I think most of us can relate to that experience. Our addictions are usually misguided kindness towards ourselves – we’re trying to take care of something difficult that is arising in our minds. The problem is that in doing that we keep reaching …
Jan 27, 2014
The second event of our Year of Going Deeper series — 100 Days of Lovingkindness — begins on January 31, 2014.
This is not a meditation challenge requiring you do lovingkindness practice every day. It’s simply an opportunity, over the course of a 100 day period, to bring more lovingkindness into your life.
You’ll learn how to:
- Appreciate that kindness is something that’s inherent in your being, and that it just needs to be nurtured
- Be kinder to yourself
- Be less irritated and more patient with others
- Develop acceptance instead of making judgments
- Develop genuine compassion
- Avoid “idiot compassion” (where we deny our own needs in the service of others)
- Become more appreciative and see the
Jan 21, 2014
Lots of people struggle with self-hatred. They find they constantly judge themselves, talk to themselves harshly, and even do things to themselves that are harmful. It’s very painful to be this way.
But I want to tell you: you don’t really hate yourself.
In the deepest core of your being you love yourself. In the deepest core of your being you want everything for yourself that you want for those you hold most dear. In the deepest core of your being you want to be happy, to be well, and to be at peace.
And everything you do — everything — is a strategic attempt to find happiness, wellness, and peace. That’s the motivation behind every action you take, including your acts of …
Jan 18, 2014
I received a lovely message today from someone who’s participating in Wildmind’s 28 Day Meditation Challenge. (It’s too late to join the current one, but we have others running later in the year.)
It’s a great example of how a simple phrase can change your whole attitude to meditation, and radically alter your sense of self and your life. (I’ve removed a few identifying details.)
I have been meditating in a more focused way for nearly a year, after 30 years of playing with the idea. I thought I would let you know that my ‘full turning point’ has happened as a result of this 28 day
Jan 16, 2014
Choose to love.
Many years ago, I was in a significant relationship in which the other person started doing things that surprised and hurt me. I’ll preserve the privacy here so I won’t be concrete, but it was pretty intense. After going through the first wave of reactions – Wha?! How could you? Are you kidding me?! – I settled down a bit. I had a choice.
This relationship was important to me, and I could see that a lot of what was going through the mind over there was really about the other person and not about me. I began to realize …
Jan 11, 2014
Do Buddhists pray? It certainly looks like it sometimes.
Since Buddhism has no creator God you might assume that the Buddhist tradition has no room for prayer. The Buddha wasn’t a God. So would be the point of praying to him, or of praying at all?
Some forms of Buddhist practice that look like prayer don’t in fact involve the Buddha or any other enlightened figure. When Buddhists are cultivating lovingkindness and they’re repeating phrases like “May all beings be well; May all beings be happy,” they’re not invoking any kind of outside agency. What they’re doing is strengthening their own desire to see beings flourish and be free from …
Jan 10, 2014
Christmas is behind us and new year has unfolded for many in all, sorts of interesting ways. How many of us made new year resolutions? And how many of us have broken them already?
I remember as a child being told promises are made to be broken. And soon realized how hard promises were to keep. It was because while I was enthusiastic about a promise and had all intentions of keeping it, I forgot the most important thing: my plan. Promises are only made to be broken if we don’t make a plan.
How many of you have made a plan? A plan is essential for recovery. …