Like many Westerners, Mary Bennett turned to Buddhism when the faith of her childhood stopped working for her.
She still wanted a spiritual practice, but one that valued questioning.
“Buddhism encourages you to investigate every piece of information you’re given, and that really appealed to me,” said Bennett, who works in Madison in the field of health care advocacy. “All of us want to be good people, but how? Buddhism provides a path and instruction on how to gain wisdom and compassion.”
It’s a big week for Buddhism in Madison — one of many in the last four decades because of the…
Poppy Damon, Varsity, Cambridge, UK: ‘Whether one believes in a religion or not and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.’ Dalai Lama
When I was 14 I skipped school. It wasn’t to go drink VKS in the park like other ‘kids my age’. I went see the Dalai Lama speak at the ‘Burswood Dome’ in Western Australia, a venue graced by the likes of Elton John and boasting a humungous casino complex. In light of his recent visit to Cambridge and the very valid and interesting discussion that it has caused (for once)…
In one of the Buddha’s teachings on purifying the mind, he said that the basic attitude we should be cultivating can be summed up in the thought:
‘May these beings be free from animosity, free from oppression, free from trouble, and may they look after themselves with ease.’
Traditionally this kindly and loving attitude starts with how we relate to ourselves. If we carry around a harsh attitude inside ourselves, in the way we talk to ourselves internally, then it’s harder for us to have kindness for others.
If your life feels like a struggle with the world, it may be that your real struggle is with yourself. But if we turn towards our experience with kindly awareness we can find the deepest kind of peace and happiness that comes from within
Mindfulness means paying attention. Simply paying more attention to our surroundings brings many benefits, but something interesting also happens when we also pay attention to the thoughts in our heads and the feelings that go with them.
Many people notice how hard we on ourselves we can be. There’s a constant commentary on everything we do, often including self-criticism, harsh judgments, chivvying and berating. That has an effect and those thoughts … Read more »
The four reminders are:
These reminders can make a difference in how we live our lives, if we keep them in mind and reflect on them each day.
1. The preciousness of life – our lives are precious and our physical and mental health, energy, freedom, food, and money give us opportunities to make the most of each and every day. So each day, we might ask ourselves, “Am I making the most … Read more »
Sharon Salzberg has an excellent reputation for creating wonderful dharma books, but when I first saw the title, The Force of Kindness, I thought the subject matter was a little… soft. How much can be said about kindness?
Then, too, the book itself is diminutive in size — a standard Sounds True publication of less than a hundred pages, with a guided meditation CD included.
But that was exactly what Sharon addressed — the incorrect impression that kindness itself … Read more »