A Tibetan Buddhist Nun teaches JOY instead of Willpower, Ego, and Guilt

Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche is one of the few female Tibetan lamas (teachers) in the world today and a recognized reincarnation (tulku) of a past great female teacher. She has taught Buddhism across Europe, the US, and Asia. She will be conducting a long Vajrayana retreat in Virginia starting later this week and you can find her Mahamudra/Dzogchen teachings on DVD, and - better for beginners! - her complete guide to the Tibetan path to awakening in book form.Below she talks about Western … [Read more...]

Mindful education – teaching meditation to kids via Cartoon Network’s “Steven Universe”

"take a moment to think of just... flexibility, love and trust" Steven Universe is a coming-of-age cartoon featuring a boy (Steven) and his friends in a fantasy land of gems, aliens, and humanoids. All but two of the major characters are female, and the show premiered as Cartoon Network's first animated series created solely by a woman.The show's creator, Rebecca Sugar, has said that she intended to "tear down and play with the semiotics of gender in cartoons for children" because she c … [Read more...]

The Dalai Lama’s Doctor – Buddhist advice on Forgiveness

Barry Kerzin is an extraordinary person. A medical doctor, a philosopher, and a Tibetan Buddhist monk. He has been featured on PBS advocating for more compassion in medicine and has given two TED talks, one on happiness and the other on compassion and anger management. Today he writes on forgiveness: At one level, forgiveness means you shouldn’t develop feelings of revenge. Revenge harms the other person. It is a form of violence and usually leads to counter-violence – so the problem never goes … [Read more...]

For the love of running and mindfulness (my ON BEING interview)

When I was 15 or 16 I went to the hospital for a physical. The doctor looked me over - basically healthy, okay. Then he looked at my feet, grimaced a bit, and proclaimed, "you'll never be a runner with these."I took it as gospel truth at the time, but soon after began at least trying to run with my older sister who was a competitive cross-country runner in her high school days. And run I did. My very low arches (not quite flat feet) have caused me some difficulty here and there, but through a … [Read more...]

3 shirts, 4 pairs of pants, 150 total belongings: inspired by Zen philosophy

Years ago, a Buddhist teacher of mine told me that "you don't own stuff. The stuff owns you."Every thing you have costs you an attention tax, a worry tax, eventually a loss tax, as you waste precious energy on the objects around you that could be used in activities and in caring for people and the world.As I wrote about my recent time in the desert, there is a kind of simplicity developed there that makes clear the great cost of having so much stuff. That cost is … [Read more...]

Unplugging, or “practicing mindfulness in the desert”

I'm off tomorrow for a week off the grid. Or, more truthfully, about 3.5 days of driving and camping with 3.5 days trekking through some of the remoter gullies and gulches of southern Utah with three good friends and three soon-to-be good friends.Mindfulness will be on the menu, though it is a hard thing to avoid when your life is on your back, the sun is hot overhead, and one missed step could mean a sprained ankle (or worse) and hours, if not days, of pain. Once you get the basic … [Read more...]

Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche gives Morgan Freeman the Buddhist “shortcut” teachings for happiness

We need to care, love and respect each other, that's the source of happiness. ~Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche.Read my full review of the "Story of God" episode on miracles here. … [Read more...]

Buddhism: mindfulness vs the “meditation romance”

This month I am returning to a classic in Western Buddhism: Insight Meditation, with Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein. I'll promise to share more gems from the text as I pass by them, but this one stood out for its resonance with my recent Valentine's Day post, as well as an older one featuring Portlandia's episode "Meditation Crush" (see below).In a section subtitled DESIRE, Joseph Goldstein recounts: A very common phenomenon, especially on retreats, is the vipassana romance. We may h … [Read more...]