Posts Tagged "faith"

Faith and discipline

August 28, 2009

tree growing in rockLong-time meditation practitioner and teacher Vajradaka gives practical suggestions about how we can rekindle faith in our meditation practice.

Many people struggle to keep up a regular meditation practice, even when they really want to. Here are a few practical guidelines.

Most of those who have difficulties are not disciplined enough in the way they work in meditation, and a measured amount of discipline each day can make the process easier and more enjoyable. For example, you can set yourself the task of shortening the time it takes you to notice when your mind wanders off. At the start of each practice form an intention to catch yourself as soon as possible each time your … Read more »

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White magic

August 27, 2009

White TaraIn his devotion to White Tara, Jnanagarbha yearns to be filled with her beauty so that he can make the world a better place.

It is a summer evening in the mountains of southern Spain. Above the occasional whir of an insect’s wings, voices drift on the warm breeze from a shrine room 100 meters away. They are raised in unison, chanting a puja: a ritual of Buddhist worship. As I sit quietly on a sun-chair in the dark I conduct a solitary, silent puja. My eyes rest on the point where the steely rocks marking the southern side of the valley meet the deep, deep blue of the Mediterranean night sky. Little … Read more »

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A leap of faith

August 21, 2009

jettyLearning and growing as an individual is a do-it-yourself project… up to a point. Sooner or later, there comes a time when we need to take a risk and leap into something new and unknown, beyond our control. Sunada shares a recent experience and how it reinforced her understanding of faith.

One of the things that Westerners tend to find appealing about Buddhism is its emphasis on rationality and self-reliance. A lot of the Buddha’s teachings are very much about taking ownership of our lives. Meditation, study, and living by the ethical principles are all about objective, self-directed efforts that help us grow as individuals.

This is all accurate… up to a point.

 To me

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Adorning your sacred space

Lama Willa MillerIn this extract from her forthcoming book, Everyday Dharma: Seven Weeks to Finding the Buddha in You , Lama Willa Miller shows how the symbolism of a shrine can help connect you with your own deepest values and spiritual potential.

A shrine is a repository for objects of inspiration. It is a material expression of your spiritual quest. It is a physical space housing symbols that remind you of your commitment to humanity, your community, or the earth, in whatever form that takes for you. These symbols can range from very personal to universal. Symbols are powerful. They speak to us in a language beyond words, and they evoke with imagery. Shrine symbols are selected … Read more »

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Meditation, prayer alter brain, says researcher

Ventura County Star: Labeled one of the world’s leading experts on spirituality and the brain by Time and Newsweek magazines, neuroscientist Mark Waldman has found that a few simple modified meditations can change the brain in ways that promote physical, emotional and cognitive health and may even slow down the brain’s aging process. “The neurological benefits of meditation are undeniable. Our research has documented how meditation, prayer and spiritual practices alter both the structure and function of the brain,” he said. “Meditation can be modified to improve academic performance, and our newest research shows that it may even slow down the aging process of the brain. Thus our research touches on some of the … Read more »

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Faith: credible mystery

April 7, 2008

jetty at dawnExamining the place of faith in Buddhism, Nagapriya outlines why it is a crucial tool for understanding.

“For I do not seek to understand so that I may believe, but believe so that I may understand. For this too I believe: that unless I shall have believed, I may not understand.”

For St. Anselm, belief or faith was the starting point from which his spiritual inquiry began, the foundation upon which it rested, not its result. He saw his belief as something to understand, confirm and unfold, not something he needed to justify to himself or the world. In an age where reason is king and supreme judge, St. Anselm’s reliance upon faith may seem … Read more »

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