Click here to check out our online meditation store Mark Oppenheimer, The Atlantic: Nearly 50 years ago, a penniless monk arrived in Manhattan, where he began to build an unrivaled community of followers—and a reputation for sexual abuse. The ongoing accusations against him expose a dark corner of the Buddhist tradition.
I. “That was the beginning of the sangha”
Eido Shimano, a Zen Buddhist monk from Japan, arrived at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on December 31, 1964, New Year’s Eve. He was 32 years old, and although he had just spent four years in Hawaii, part …
I’m just getting over a bad habit relating to meditation that’s plagued me for over thirty years.
It was reading a blog post on developing good writing habits that helped me. The idea came from Brett Cooper who, like me, found that he tended to write in fits and starts, with long periods of non-writing, followed by spurts of intense production.
Two ideas came to his rescue. The first was that he realized he needed to establish “a small, non-threatening daily writing habit,” and that a goal of 100 words a day was innocuous enough to be doable.
The second idea was the realization that he needed accountability. Left to our own devices, it can … Read more »
As a teacher I’m often asked: What does it mean in Buddhist practice when you agree to “take refuge” in the Buddha? Does this mean I need to worship the Buddha? Or pray to the Buddha? Isn’t this setting up the Buddha as “other” or some kind of god?
Traditionally, there are three fundamental refuges are where we can find genuine safety and peace, a sanctuary for our awakening heart and mind, a place to rest our human vulnerability. In their shelter, we can face and awaken from the trance of fear.
The first of these is the Buddha, or our own awakened nature. The second is the dharma (the path or the way), and … Read more »
There’s a frightfully corny saying that you’ll find on postcards and posters for sale all over Ireland: There are no strangers, just friends you haven’t met yet. I say corny, but only because I’ve seen it so often in the context of overpriced woolen jumpers, stuffed leprechauns and tee-shirts with alcohol-related humour. The fact is, for all its corn, I think the saying contains solid gold truth.
I was walking to the supermarket the other day, in a city far away from woolen jumpers and leprechauns, and I started to pay attention to the few other pedestrians I encountered along the way. Many of the faces I saw expressed emotions that ranged from neutral … Read more »
In the 12-step tradition of Alcoholics Anonymous it clearly states in the third step that we need to make a decision ‘ to turn our will and our lives over to the care of a God as we understood him’, if we are to maintain sobriety and abstinence.
Buddhists whether in recovery or not, or have an addiction or not, turn their lives over to the Buddha, Dharma the Sangha. When we surrender to this action, we are placing positive refuges at the center of our lives. We are placing the ideal of liberation and freedom, the teachings of the Buddha and the spiritual community at the center of our lives.
What this means is … Read more »
We all need encouragement with our practice, and many of us need help in meditating regularly. So to provide some support that will hopefully continue long after other new year’s resolutions have worn off, we’re running a 100 Day Meditation Challenge, starting January 1, 2013.
The aim is to support people to meditate daily for 100 straight days. There aren’t any “rules” as such, but we suggest that a “sit” should consist of a minimum of five minutes of practice, which could be sitting or walking practice. Ideally, though, you’d do at least 20 minutes of meditation a day. A “day” counts as the period between waking and sleeping, so if you sit after midnight … Read more »
I’ve created a new online space for people who have a connection with me based on practice.
A lot of people have practiced meditation with me over the years, at face-to-face classes, online classes, Skype classes, through CDs and MP3s, through Wildmind’s online meditation guides, or via books I’ve written. I’m in touch with some of those people directly, but there are many people who follow what I post on Facebook, Wildmind’s blog, my personal blog, Google+, and Twitter, that I have no contact with at all. And perhaps some of those people would like to have contact with each other. And I’d like to have that — to create more of a sense of … Read more »
An extraordinary power struggle is tearing apart a Buddhist community in England.
While scouring the headlines for stories that might fit on Wildmind’s blog under the “news” category, I came across the intriguing headline “Dispute closes Buddhist centre,” discussing problems at the Maitreya Buddhist Center of the New Kadampa Tradition, or NKT, in Bexhill in East Sussex.
Unfortunately both newspapers that carried the story had removed the article. But a friend came to the rescue by pointing me toward Google’s cache of the story, and someone on Facebook sent me a link to a blog which presents one side of the dispute (read the blog from the bottom up).
First, a bit of background. … Read more »
When Sunada’s sangha in Boston had a big decision to make, they tried something different. Rather than taking a majority vote, they went for the challenge of finding a group consensus. In other words, they talked through a process where everyone contributed to envisioning a solution that all could support. And what a ride that was.
The decision to be made was this. Our basement level rented room got flooded with last spring’s heavy rains, and became unusable. Do we attempt to fix it back up, or do we move on? Although it was cold, damp, and dark, that basement had one big redeeming feature — it was affordable. Or should we rally our forces … Read more »