June 25, 2022

Many people develop an interest in Buddhism, but it can be hard to know where to begin. When I first became interested I resisted going to a temple and meeting other Buddhists for many years. I resisted this because I was worried. I was worried I’d sit in the wrong position in meditation, or pronounce something wrong, or somehow accidentally reveal my lack of knowledge. I was worried about things I didn’t need to worry about. Buddhists are generally not... Read more

June 23, 2022

“Compassion has the power to bring harshness and cruelty to an end; compassion heals our hearts even when pain cannot be fixed; compassion is the root of forgiveness, patience, and tolerance. The seed of profound and immeasurable compassion lies in each of our hearts.” -Christina Feldman Compassion is fundamental to living an ethical and fulfilled life. The original term that we’re translating as ‘compassion’ is ‘karuna’. It’s an attitude we can cultivate in our lives. Compassion is the wish for... Read more

June 16, 2022

Whenever I teach a meditation class I always ask the people what they think meditation is. When I do that I get a range of different answers. I’m going to tell you what I think meditation is. In her book Buddhism for Beginners by Thubten Chodron, she says, “Meditation means habituating ourselves to constructive, realistic, and beneficial emotions and attitudes. It builds up good habits of the mind. Meditation is used to transform our thoughts and views so that they... Read more

June 10, 2022

Saga Dawa is considered a holy month in the Tibetan Buddhist calendar. It’s said to be in this period that the Buddha was born, attained enlightenment, and passed away. It’s a lunar calendar, so it doesn’t have the same dates every year. This year it’s the month of June. If our Christian friends could imagine what things would be like if Christmas and Easter were in the same month, that can give us a sort of general understanding. During Saga... Read more

June 9, 2022

Loving-kindness and Compassion are two attitudes that we can develop. Learning to embody these attitudes is a really meaningful way to live your life and they can bring us a lot of benefit, both internally and externally. The Buddha said that developing these attitudes is “the most noble way of living in this world.” I think that’s true. I think we get so caught up thinking about mindfulness and attention that we sometimes lose sight of the other things that... Read more

June 2, 2022

At the Rime Center we do a chant every Sunday called Supplication to the Buddha. I believe that within one part of this chant we really get at what the essence of Buddhism is. It is as follows: “Do not commit any non-virtuous actions. Perform only perfect virtuous actions. Subdue your mind thoroughly- This is the teaching of the Blessed One” In her book Buddhism for Beginners Thubten Chodron echoes the same idea with just a little different wording. She... Read more

May 30, 2022

Saga Dawa is a holy month in the Tibetan Buddhist calendar. It’s a lunar calendar, so in our western reckoning it’s not exactly the same time every year. This year, 2022, it lines up almost perfectly with the month of June. Saga Dawa starts on May 31st and ends on June 29th this year. There important events are said to have happened during this month. They are: the birth of the Buddha, the Buddha’s Enlightenment, and the Buddha’s death. This... Read more

May 24, 2022

The path of Metta is a radical path. Boundless kindness is outside of our normal way of doing things. We may even feel compelled to ask say things like, “If I’m nice to people, they’ll take advantage of me.” Sensitivity is seen as a weakness and we actually have terms in our language that exist to convey the message that we care too much about other people. Many years ago the term ‘bleeding heart’ was the one that got thrown... Read more

May 22, 2022

“Each moment of cultivating the psychological gesture of kindness rather than the impulse of abandonment is learning to inhabit our life in a fearless way.” -Christina Feldman Kindness is fundamental to living an ethical life, with positive thoughts, words, and actions. It’s hard to imagine living a life of virtue that isn’t predominately focused on kindness. I’m using the word ‘kindness’ because that’s easier to use and understand, but what we’re really talking about is ‘Metta’. Sometimes this word is... Read more

March 26, 2022

I see something in my work as a labor organizer again and again. This is probably something you can see in a lot of different situations where people interact with each other. People judge each other. People assume bad intent. People jump to the worst possible conclusions and this happens regularly. It’s usually top down, managers assuming negative intent from employees, but not always. Sometimes it’s the other way around. And also the workers seeing the worst in each other.... Read more

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