Spiritual Life takes Courage, and part of that is asking for help

My blogging life has been a bit quiet of late. This is despite the fact that I have some developing ambitions to write more and curate more wonderful writing from friends and strangers around the topics of Buddhism, meditation, and mindfulness. More on that in a moment.If you missed it, my neighbor here in the Patheos Buddhist world and long-time facebook friend - I'm still hoping to get him up to Montana for a sermon at our local Unitarian Universalist fellowship - James Ford recently … [Read more...]

Thich Nhat Hanh travels to Thailand “to be near his homeland”

Thich Nhat Hanh's adoptive home of France is in early winter now and his monastery, Plum Village, is entering its fourth week of a three-month winter retreat. These days the retreats, once led by the 90 year-old Zen master himself, are taught by his senior disciples.It has been nearly a year since Thay (as he's known to disciples) returned to France after treatment in the U.S. for a stroke.According to the monastics at Plum Village, Thich Nhat Hanh has requested to visit Thailand, where … [Read more...]

Finding Forgiveness During Challenging Times

A guest post by Emily J. Hooks Understanding and practicing forgiveness has never been more important than it is today. As tensions around the world rise, we are called to stay ever more vigilant to the energy we put out into the world. The outcome of all action is determined by the source energy behind that action. Ironically, many of us who claim to understand this universal principle are reacting passionately out of fear and expecting to make a positive difference. We know that when we take … [Read more...]

Dalai Lama tops Feedspot’s 50 Best Buddhist Blogs on the Planet

Feedspot, a web organizing tool described by lifehacker.com as "a Google Reader Replacement with Tons of Sharing Features," has posted its 50 (51, actually) best Buddhist Blogs on the Planet.According to their site, the data is based on:Google reputation and Google search ranking Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites Quality and consistency of posts. Feedspot’s editorial team and expert reviewClick through the link above if you're on f … [Read more...]

The Buddhist Parable of the Mustard Seed: Grief, Loss, and Heartbreak

Most Christians will know the Parable of the Mustard Seed, wherein Jesus describes the Kingdom of God as like a mustard seed in that it is tiny but grows into a great tree.Buddhism, too, has its Parable of the Mustard Seed, but here the story is quite different. Kisa Gotami In the Buddhist story a young woman -Kisa Gotami- follows a rather fairy-tale like path from birth in a poor family to a marriage to the only son of a wealthy family. She was not treated well by the wealthy family of … [Read more...]

Thich Nhat Hanh disciple offers Buddhist Wisdom for a World Gripped by Fear

The Vietnamese Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh has been a source of deep wisdom in times of global political stress for over 50 years. In 1967 he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr. In his nomination Dr. King said, "I do not personally know of anyone more worthy of [this prize] than this gentle monk from Vietnam. His ideas for peace, if applied, would build a monument to ecumenism, to world brotherhood, to humanity."Last month, Thich Nhat Hanh celebrated his 90th bi … [Read more...]

Facing Election Results with Buddhist Practices of Love, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy and Equanimity

Well, we certainly do live in interesting times, don't we? One truth that has been exposed by the recent election is the chasm that has opened up in the American electorate. Some hoped that after Nov 8 that divide would be closed and we could go back to life as usual. That hasn't happened. I wrote just before the election on this topic, but was reminded of it today so I'll send it out again, minus the pre-election thoughts. Now the vote is behind us. Political leadership is in transition. We … [Read more...]

Day 1 after the election, solidarity and kindness

A LOT of feelings came up for me Tuesday night. After teaching meditation, I turned on my phone to see a text from my girlfriend reading, "I'm pretty freaked out right now." I noted it as I walked to my car, unsure then (around 9pm MST) of what was going on exactly in the election.When I got home it was a clear, crisp night. I took a deep breath outside of my car. I looked at all of the stars I could see. So many brilliant bits of light sent to us from the distant past.A shooting star … [Read more...]