Quieting the Mind

It’s so hard to become quiet and still in a busy world. Some people come to meditation to find that stillness. People have a hard time sometimes. It’s a busy world and sometimes people don’t want to think about adding another thing to their to do list. But that’s because they aren’t thinking about the benefits. Meditation isn’t an effort. It isn’t a chore, it’s a simple form of self care. It’s not a mental exercise. It’s an effort at… Read more

Awakening With Breathing

Following the Breath This technique has been around for a long time. It is almost certainly the oldest and most widespread form of meditation practice. It has been used to bring people to see their true natures. And it still works. Our true nature is very simple, but it’s easy for us to miss. It’s always with us, but we get so distracted all the time. Our true nature is the foundation of everything that we are. Basic goodness, oneness… Read more

Touch of Grey

I’m not sure whether to say “I have a touch of autism” or “I’m at the very edge of the autism spectrum”. But there it is, plain and out in the open for everyone to see. Totally exposed and vulnerable. I was tested for it last year. I’m in the range of just barely detectable. When they had me my parents were over 40. I also had childhood epilepsy, which stopped presenting symptoms as I grew up. Both of those… Read more

The Bodhisattva

The Bodhisattva is willing to be authentic, willing to get hurt and be sensitive and have a fully exposed heart. A Bodhisattva cooperates with the world instead of making enemies with everything all the time. Bodhisattvas are sometimes called spiritual warriors, described as daring and fearless. On the Bodhisattva path you have to let go of the lies that you tell yourself all the time. You have to put all of your egocentric bullshit aside and face things as they… Read more

Maitri and Karuna

Bodhicitta, the mind of awakening, arises by paying attention to the interconnectedness of things. Bodhicitta comes from dwelling in tranquility and being compassionate toward ourselves and others. This is developed through cultivating awareness. Maitri and Karuna are the two aspects of Bodhicitta. Maitri (loving kindness) is rooted in being kind and gentle to yourself. When we really look into ourselves we can experience wakefulness and compassion. When we free ourselves from our attachment to self we can experience a kind… Read more

Bodhicitta and the Spiritual Warrior

The way of the Bodhisattva is the way of compassion and wisdom, of realizing your own boundless potential. It comes from realizing that Enlightenment is our true nature, that we have a basic goodness and wakefulness that is fundamental to our being. Bodhicitta is what the diligence of the Bodhisattva is based on. Bodhicitta means mind of awakening. It’s what helps us overcome the delusions that keep us from seeing our true nature. These delusions are things that we can… Read more

Mind Development

This is meditation, the cultivation of unified awareness focused on the present moment, the eternal now. In meditation there is no difference between the knower, the knowing, and the known. We are trying to cut through delusion. Our goal is full enlightenment, inner peace, and the dissolving of self-made barriers. Liberation from the self is what we aim at, transcending the illusion of separation. Delusion is in the mind, so the mind must be purified through training. The process of… Read more

Zen: The Mystic Flower

Zen is a culture of awakening. It doesn’t really match any of the categories we tend to want to put things into in western thought. It defies labels like religion and philosophy. It’s not something to believe. It’s not even something to be. It’s a practice. It’s a way of life. Zen is like the flower of Buddhism. Beneath it lies the roots of developed doctrine and practice, which has been cultivated for over two thousand years. Beneath these roots… Read more

The Marks of Existence

Understanding of the three marks of existence comes about as a result of our dedicated meditation practice. Through our dharma practice we have begun to develop clarity and insight. In this way, we can come to understand the three marks of existence intuitively, rather than from a book or even from listening to a teacher. There’s nothing really special about the three marks of existence, it’s simple to notice them if we pay attention. They are: Impermanence, Non Self, and… Read more

Patterns That Lead to Suffering

Understanding how our suffering works is one way to deal with it. We can understand ourselves a lot better when we slow down to see what’s going on. There are five patterns that are traditionally said to lead to suffering. 1.Seeing the self as separate: Part of Buddhist teaching explains that we aren’t separate from the world around us, that we are really just a collection of things (called skandhas) and not this independent entity that we perceive ourselves to… Read more

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