How to get rid of resentment

November 9, 2011

Ann Lamott, in her novel Crooked Little Heart, says that holding onto resentment is like eating rat poison and waiting for the rat to die.

Resentment is seductive. We assume on some level that it’s going to help us, but it doesn’t. It just causes us pain.

This is something that just about all of us need help with.

1600 years ago, a compiler and commenter of Buddhist texts called Buddhaghosa put together an extraordinary “tool kit” of ways to deal with resentment. I was recently looking at this guidance, which is part of Buddhaghosa’s encyclopedic work on meditation, The Visuddhi Magga, or Path of Purity, and thought it was so fresh, well … Read more »

“Thought is gazing onto the face of life, and reading what can be read.”

December 29, 2010

buddha faceAt the climax of the 2001 movie Vanilla Sky, Tom Cruise’s character, playboy David Aames, comes to realize that he’s been in suspended animation for 150 years and is trapped in a dream. He makes this discovery on top of an improbably tall building, apparently miles high, with the guidance of Edmund Ventura, a “Support Technician” who is trying to guide him back to waking reality.

Before he entered suspended animation, David had made the decision to awaken from this dream by facing his fear of heights. In order to wake up, he must now leap from the top of the building. Also on the rooftop is someone who has been a father figure … Read more »

Try a little tenderness

September 16, 2010

grass at sunsetAbout three weeks ago I embarked on a 40 day spiritual programme. It’s a simple thing really –- daily reading, reflecting and writing on the themes –- but the effects have been profound. I’m no stranger to this sort of thing, having spent my twenties engaged in full time study and practice on the lead up to becoming an ordained Buddhist, but it’s been a while since I’ve taken up a such a purposeful, purely spiritual, exercise.

Recently, things have been very settled for me in my new abode –- a couple of caravans tucked away in the fields of rural Devon, in southwest England. I call it the ‘wild field’. My family and I … Read more »

Using thought to still thought

April 28, 2009

CloudMany people think of thought as the enemy of meditation, and yet properly handled thought can be a helper and a tool. master meditation-teacher Vajradaka explains how.

One of the most common Buddhist meditation practices is the Mindfulness of Breathing. In one common form, as practiced in my own tradition (the Triratna Buddhist Community) and as taught on Wildmind, awareness of the breath is the main focus over four stages. The first two stages use counting as an aid to concentration, while in the third awareness is brought to the whole breathing process without counting. In the final stage the focus is the sensation caused by the incoming and outgoing breath around the … Read more »

Eleven steps to inner clarity

April 26, 2009

diamondHow well can our views and convictions withstand the spotlight of awareness? Dhammavijaya show us how we can scrutinize our beliefs, and outlines the benefits of increased clarity.

What is a belief? Where do our beliefs come from? Are beliefs important and if so, why? Are all beliefs of equal value? If not, why not? How can we tell if our beliefs reflect the way things really are?

When I have put these questions to people in Buddhist centers recently the discussion they have provoked has been remarkably lively. Perhaps it is refreshing to be asked about our beliefs because so often we are simply told what to believe. This started early in life when, … Read more »

Meditation zeitgeist, Mar 4, 2008

March 4, 2009

ZeitgeistA not-entirely-random selection of blog posts on meditation.

Meditation zeitgeist, Dec 22, 2008

December 22, 2008

ZeitgeistA not-entirely-random selection of blog posts on meditation.

Guided meditations versus “flying solo”

June 5, 2008

Woman meditating with headphonesGuided meditation CDs are undoubtedly useful, but can they become a reliance that actually interferes with our practice? On the other hand, what happens when you find that your meditations are so much better with a CD than without: should you give up meditating on your own? Bodhipaksa shares some advice that he’s offered to students over the years.

I often get asked by students how they much reliance they should place on guided meditations compared to meditating on their own. For example one person asked:

I used to meditate without any guided CD and the difference when I used your guided CD is quite amazing. The metta is so much more powerful. The thing

Read more »