Wildmind Meditation News
May 26, 2012
Emi Kolawole, Washington Post: The hospital admissions sheet simply read: “Name: Buddha; DOB: 1662.”
The 350-year-old patient’s visit started with a routine x-ray in the summer of 2008. But doctors discovered there were signs of an unknown mass inside his head and yet another inside his stomach – objects that his new caretakers were intent on identifying and extracting if at all possible. The x-ray wasn’t detailed enough to make a proper diagnosis, so doctors at Shands at the University of Florida in Gainesville cleared the schedule and ordered a CAT scan.
After a trip through the scanner, receiving a radiation dose higher than …
May 17, 2012
A photograph of a Buddha statue at Nagaloka Buddhist Center in Portland, Maine, taken when I was leading a workshop there a few weeks ago.
Apr 02, 2012
The First Truth: There is suffering
Everything is impermanent. What arises will cease. When Shakyamuni gained enlightenment (insight), he became a Buddha, which means he attained an awakened mind. He awoke to what enlightened beings had seen before him. He rediscovered the path onto which we can return. The Four Noble Truths are part of the teachings that connect all Buddhist traditions.
The First Truth, that there is suffering, may seem pessimistic at first, as if life is hopeless. That is how it once appeared for me. Although I had suffered, I would have told you once upon a time that I had a great childhood, but once I stopped going for …
Mar 03, 2012
I have a vertebra that tends to slip out of alignment. Regular visits to my chiropractor keep it in place and prevent too much discomfort, but when I’m on retreat my back sometimes gets so painful that I have to lie down to meditate.
When I first had to do this on retreat, the posture that was suggested was the Alexander semi-supine position, where you lie on the back, with the knees bent and the feet flat on the floor, and the head raised on a cushion.
This is comfortable, but it’s very hard to stay alert in this position, and I’d tend to fall asleep. Even if I …
Sep 19, 2011
From time to time I get emails from people who wonder how to become a Buddhist. Often they’ve been practicing meditation for a while, and want to call themselves Buddhists, but they’re not sure if it’s — and please pardon the miscegenation of religious terminology — “kosher” to call themselves a Buddhist.
Traditionally, the starting point of regarding yourself as a Buddhist is known as Going for Refuge to the Three Jewels. The Three Jewels (Triratna, or Tiratana in Pali) are the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. The Buddha isn’t just the historical individual we call the Buddha, but the ideal of enlightenment itself, which I’d characterize as the attainment of a state …
Sep 06, 2011
Decisions shape our lives, but psychologists say we are remarkably bad at making them. That’s true of strategic decisions, tactical decisions and decisions made in the heat of the moment. Typically, we are poor at assessing risk, understanding probabilities and anticipating consequences. We overestimate our capacity to make good decisions and underestimate the true influence of emotion, bias and assumptions in what we do.
We need to learn for ourselves how to make good decisions and that’s where the Buddha comes in. His teachings won’t help with the specifics, but they offer insights into the process of how to make a wise decision. And the starting point is clearing our minds of …
Mar 28, 2011
There’s a lot of confusion about whether goals have a place in Buddhist practice. Buddhism’s about “being in the moment.” right? And if you’re in the moment you shouldn’t be thinking about the future. And goals are a form of clinging, and we’re not supposed to cling, and so therefore goals have no place in spiritual practice. Right? Well, not so fast.
Sure, there can be problems with goals.
Goals can be something we cling to inappropriately, and so we end up giving ourselves a hard time when we don’t meet them.
Here’s something I’ve experienced, and that I’ve seen happen with many other people:
Early on, when …
Wildmind Meditation News
Jul 27, 2010
War, oil spills, earthquakes, tornadoes, disease and nuclear proliferation are the realities of our world today.
Peace and tranquillity are what we long for, but those qualities are elusive and rare in our lives. So when the opportunity presents itself to get closer to that state, many take it, which is why more than 4,000 people from across Western Canada and the United States gathered Sunday in the country, 45 kilometres north of Edmonton.
They had come to see the Jade Buddha of Universal Peace, which is supposed to bring inner peace and happiness to those who see it. How could it not, under…
Apr 07, 2010
I have sympathy for the Christian woman who is protesting the decorative Buddha statues that are being used in her father’s nursing home.
If I was staying in a non-religious nursing home, I would not be comfortable being surrounded by crucifixes, or statues of Christ or the Virgin Mary. If it was a religious nursing home, then fine, but it seems inappropriate to have religious displays used in non-religious settings.
The general manager, Mr. Adey, said “She’s confusing decorative Asian items with a religious message.” For Buddhists, Buddha statues are not “decorative Asian items” but are symbols of spiritual awakening, and reminders of the historical Buddha, just as for Christians, statues …
Aug 22, 2008
Although the Buddha encouraged his householder disciples to create wealth, he also repeatedly pointed out the relative worth of outer and inner riches. This short teaching outlines seven sources of inner abundance.
Then Ugga, the king’s chief minister, approached the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One: “It’s amazing, lord, & awesome, how prosperous Migara Rohaneyya is, how great his treasures, how great his resources!”
[The Buddha:] “But what is his property, Ugga? What are his great treasures & great resources?”
“One hundred thousand pieces of gold, lord, to say nothing of his silver.”