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American Buddhist Perspective

From the Dalai Lama’s cat to Deke, the Dharma Dog, animals offer the Buddha’s teachings

In the Theragatha, or Poems of the Elders, the Buddha’s close friend, cousin, and attendant Ananda tells us that he has received 82,000 teachings from the Buddha and 2,000 more from his disciples for a total of 84,000. This great vastness of the Buddha’s body of teaching later became a metaphor for the many ways [Read More...]

My Journey of Conscience

Daring to Speak about Our “Buddha Nature”

Today I am giving a short talk at a nearby Zen center as a visiting teacher. I asked ahead of time what they wanted me to talk about and one of the suggestions was “How to Realize Your Own Buddha Nature.” Oh heck. The Buddhist concept of buddha nature is a doozy. “Buddha” means awakened, and [Read More...]

Monkey Mind

How to Do Zazen

A lovely brief video from Sotoshu, the Japanese Soto Zen denomination, introducing zazen or “seated Zen,” the basic meditation practice of all schools of Zen. A small addendum: In addition to sitting in a chair, the full lotus, and the half lotus addressed in the video, two other postures are often used in Zen meditation, [Read More...]

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Faithfully Religionless: Timber Hawkeye at TEDxHonolulu 2012