Sep 29, 2010
In this excerpt from the chapter on the Water Element, I discuss how water is the archetype of all change. All things flow, and we ourselves are not static and separate entities, but eddies in the stream of life.
The most striking thing about the Water Element is its quality of flowing. It’s because of this characteristic that I too think of water as being the archetype of all the other elements. The Earth Element does flow, to be sure. It flows in a literal sense, as with landslides or the movement of tectonic plates—but these movements are either rare enough that they spring to mind …
Jul 07, 2010
Few people realise that there is a profound spiritual teaching hidden in the movie Wayne’s World. Paying attention to this teaching can help us to make sure that we make progress in our spiritual practice, because without it we may find ourselves wandering in aimless circles.
On the way we meet OSKAR and a Hindu Swami, and explore some of the possible responses to the buffet table at a party, as well as the benefits of learning to be optimistic. But remember, “No Stairway!”
Jun 15, 2010
How do we get unstuck from our emotional patterns so we can respond to our experiences spontaneously? Ponlop Rinpoche explains how awareness and acceptance can help us out of our emotional ruts.
You would certainly recognize your signature on a piece of paper, but do you know your own emotional signature? We all have one. It’s our predictable way of reacting to situations. Your friends probably recognize your emotional signature better than you do. When you get into a fight with your partner, for example, they can predict just how it will go. They know if you’re likely to slam a door, storm out of the house, or call your mother. They …
Sep 21, 2009
John Dewey: “The self is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action.”
Dewey’s saying echoes Buddhist notions of impermanence and not-self. Bodhipaksa points out that the Buddhist position is not merely descriptive of how things are. Rather it amounts to a technology of happiness — a set of perspectives and tools that allows us to create more deeply fulfilling lives.
One of the most crippling — and often unacknowledged — beliefs we can have in that the self is something fixed and unchanging. When we have the idea that our personalities are set like words carved in stone the possibility of change is closed off to us.
A mountaineering friend of mine once commented that when coming down a hill you were faced with innumerable choices about …
Feb 22, 2008
Antoine de Saint Exupéry: “No single event can awaken within us a stranger whose existence we had never suspected.”
A common misquotation of a saying by a famous French writer gives Bodhipaksa pause for thought: are both the misquotation and the original saying true, even if they’re saying opposite things?
“No single event can awaken within us a stranger whose existence we had never suspected. To live is to be slowly born.”
– Antoine de Saint Exupéry (1900-1944).
Antoine de Saint Exupéry was a famous French aviator and writer who most notably wrote the children’s fable, The Little Prince and who died when his plane crashed in the Mediterranean while on an Allied surveillance mission over France. His writings are deeply philosophical, poetic, and charming.