We have a copy of Ponlop Rinpoche’s Rebel Buddha to give away! All you have to do is to comment below, telling us which article in Wildmind you most appreciate, and why. (Please do supply a link to, or at least the title of, the article you’re nominating).
The competition is open to anyone, world-wide, and the winner will be chosen at random on December 12.
Rebel Buddha is an exploration of what it means to be free and how it is that we can become free.
Although we may vote for the head of our government, marry for love, and worship the divine or mundane powers of our choice, most of us don’t really feel free in our day-to-day lives. When we talk about freedom, we’re also talking about its opposite — bondage, lack of independence, being subject to the control of something or someone outside ourselves. No one likes it, and when we find ourselves in that situation, we quickly start trying to figure out a way around it.
Any restriction on our “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” arouses fierce resistance. When our happiness and freedom are at stake, we become capable of transforming ourselves into rebels.
To get an idea of what the book’s like, check out these extracts, published here on Wildmind:
Meditation: Catch and release
Born to be free
Relationships: your emotional signature
I loved the article about mindfulness & acceptance/non-judging. I found the link, here it is: https://www.wildmind.org/applied/daily-life/mindfulness-and-acceptance
I think this article ranks as my favorite because it describes so well what I have learned on my own spiritual journey and why Buddhism has recently become such an important part of that journey.
I can recall so many instances in my life where I’ve felt totally and completely stuck and unable to see a way out and then tried something on the advice of a friend or professional – something that may even have felt counterintuitive – and lo and behold – I began to feel unstuck.
Such was the beginning of this latest and probably most exciting leg of my journey. “You’ve GOT to be kidding me” I thought to myself when someone suggested just over a year ago that I might benefit from reading Tara Brach’s book “Radical Acceptance – Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha”. Why would I want to “accept” all of those things that triggered my anger and reactivity?!
Fast forward 12 months, a dozen or so more books along similar lines, an established daily sitting practise, and I’m slowly learning that my fear-based reactivity ALWAYS exacerbates whatever has triggered it, while taking a few moments to to just feel and breathe with the fear will just as predictably allow a much better outcome.
The article serves as a wonderful reminder of how differently my life is beginning to unfold and how grateful I feel to have found this path.
# Thich Nhat Hanh, “Buddha Mind, Buddha Body: Walking Toward Enlightenment” Thich Nhah Hanh’s spiritual genius shines through this new book,…
I keep Thich Nhat Hanh books by my bed, my chair, and my table. His common sense approach to enlightenment, his recognition of the human condition and how difficult it is to keep on the path gives me hope, restores my equilibrium and moves me forward toward the Buddha nature of my being. I am experiencing a most emotional job loss and without the encouragement of the teacher’s words just not sure I would handle this life moment as well as I am. I am daily thankful for his teachings.
There have been many articles in Wildmind that I’ve enjoyed over the past year, but the one I appreciated the most was the one that introduced me to something I never knew existed before, a Buddhist HUMOR writer! Thank you so much for introducing me to Susan Moon and her wonderful book This Is Getting Old: Zen Thoughts on Aging with Humor and Dignity. Here’s the link: https://www.wildmind.org/blogs/book-reviews/this-is-getting-old-by-susan-moon
Have you read “The Life and Letters of Tofu Roshi,” Jan? It’s absolutely hilarious.
The most meaningful – yet with questions – article that’s ‘stuck’ with me containst the comment; It’s the way that we relate to happiness that’s the problem. This comment embraces the whole of the Barbara Sher piece; “We are like violins. We can be used for doorstops, or we can make music.”
The heart of the presentation is; If the self, in the analogy, is the sound of the lute, then the self can only exist in relation to something else. In this case the self only exists in interaction with the world and with other selves. Yet, much is made in Buddhism to meditate in isolation (think of the monks who are in little squares seated upon straw for days, (months?), and even yours truly who must be alone to contemplate whatever/nothing/the now/the raisin.
This healing (whatever) I comprehend. I live in a senior community where I’ve tried (somewhat succfully) to be helpful, generous (not because of Buddhism, because it is ‘my’ – herein I suspect is a learning curve, but for sake of identy – nature to ‘be helpful’, while there is a prevailing shallowness, resentment even jealousy that comes my way so I must revert to my’self’ to refuel. It’s the connection referenced by Ms. Shey that I find I need guidance with, yet the article resonates.
love this !
Thank you for the opportunity to win the book. Choosing one article is very difficult as I get something out of every article, but I choose: Relationships: Your Emotional Signature, because that was so enlightening as to how I relate and how others see how I relate.
I don’t know if this qualifies as an article, but this hyperlink on your site provided me with the information I have been seeking regarding prison meditation.
It works, Elizabeth!
A very timely article for me personally. I am just starting to recognize and accept my emotional signature and that is such an accurate encapsulation of it. But building the skill to catch myself in those reactive moments and choose a different response is not so easy! And then comes along Living like a River (which I have only just started) and I don’t have a self at all? What is there to defend anymore? I am grateful for all the insights like this that I am receiving from the generosity of others.
I agree with previous comments that it’s hard to pick out just one article, but let me point at a recent one – https://www.wildmind.org/blogs/news/roundtable-meeting-of-the-minds
Why? It’s effectively a news item and doesn’t overtly offer any insights or help. But it shows the work that’s going on at the interface between an ancient philosophy and practice, now considered religious, and that most modern and transformative activity we call science.
My mind was long ago seduced by the simple beauty of the scientific method, and I employ a sceptical approach to the myriad of crank science and bogus spirituality that blossoms in an unhappy society. The mutual curiosity and respect between minds like those of Kabat-Zinn and the Dalai Lama gives me permission to look further. To suspend judgement long enough to understand what it is that I must eventually judge.
I chose this one because its thought-provoking and interesting. It reflects the reservations I’ve had about starting a metta bhavana practise and opens up an approach that I’m striving toward: One that doesn’t attempt to “fix” or reinforce some future ideal of how one should be (positive, kind, accepting, “nice”) but allows you to approach yourself how you are with honesty and gentleness. That in itself, as Sunada has written, is being kind towards yourself. She states that the seeds of compassion and kindness are already there regardless of how we are feeling, and that we don’t necessarily have to “try”. By turning our attention patiently to the “seeds” we naturally grow. I’ve found this to be useful in the sense that its encouraging to think that metta bhavana isn’t about just making myself feel happier and make things much better and “more” positive – maybe I need to change my tack and be able to have faith in the seeds and let them grow as they are, no matter how small they may seem.
And Janet Pal (comment #2) is our winner, as determined by the random number generator at random.org! We’ll get your book in the mail ASAP, Janet. We just need to get your address.
Janet: I like your response about reactivity, and how it exacerbates whatever triggered it. I’ve just been looking into this notion of accepting yourself as you are and making friends with even the things that are “bad” – uncomfortable feelings, anger, etc, and I hope I’ll be able to learn from this . It seems such a different, counter-intuitive approach yet its so opposite to all the solution-finding tactics that have never seemed to work. I’d love to know more about it even though I’m not sure how things will turn out or if its true that staying really does predictably allow a better outcome… Somehow (for the moment) it sounds more like “stewing with it” to me!
Eat pray love article on meditation. Finding a place of calmness doesn’t have to be religious! Love this article.