There’s a verse in an ancient Buddhist text that says something to the effect that we all want to be happy, and yet we destroy happiness as if it was an enemy, and we all want to avoid suffering, yet run towards it as if it were a dear friend.
This really resonates with my experience, and recently I’ve been incorporating a reflection based on this into my lovingkindness practice.
I start with myself. I recollect that I do in fact want to be happy and acknowledge how difficult it can be at times to experience joy and wellbeing. And then I ask whether some part of me is prepared to root for my own … Read more »
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 »
At 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 »
About 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 »
Many 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 »
How 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 »
Guided 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:
… Read more »
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