March 16, 2017

In the Buddhist path we are trying to make sure we are examining and understanding ourselves in all the different areas of our being. We are training to become more mindful and aware so that we suffer less. We are also trying to cultivate virtue. We want to have basic gentleness. We want to tame our minds and learn how to manage our suffering and transcend our selfishness. There is a list of characteristics of a Bodhisattva that we want… Read more

March 13, 2017

There is a deep awareness that exists within us. We may not experience this awareness, which I call Buddha nature, but it’s always there. It’s a space within us that is empty and spacious. It is possible for us to tune in to this awareness. In Vipassana practice we can come to the point where we notice the world without coloring it with our perspective and our baggage, where we just see things as they are. The purpose of our… Read more

March 9, 2017

Prajna is usually translated as “wisdom,” but it’s much more than that. Prajna Paramita, the Perfection of Prajna, is considered fundamental to the Mahayana path. Like “Dharma” and “Buddha” it’s a word that really serves us best when we don’t translate it. Prajna involves development of the mind. It involves expanding our vision and awareness as far as possible. With prajna we can enter a higher level of awareness. We can be fully present to understand the reality of the… Read more

March 6, 2017

We cause all sorts of problems in our lives because of basic sense of dissatisfaction and anxiety that we carry with us. Often we do all sorts of things that bring more pain and suffering into our lives. Sometimes we can just tend to make ourselves more and more unhappy. The Buddha saw that this was a problem. He became aware of this problem of fundamental dissatisfaction and emotional baggage. He discovered a way we can work with it and… Read more

March 2, 2017

In Buddhism we are following a path of exploration. This is not an exploration of the external world. We are plumbing the depths of our innermost selves. When we start on the path we soon realize that it’s not easy. There are plenty of obstacles in our way that we have to overcome. Success on the path is up to us. Our teachers and texts give us the tools and guidelines that we can follow. But in the end it… Read more

February 28, 2017

There are traditionally 9 stages of shamatha meditation. Thinking about these 9 stages is like looking at a roadmap for our practice. These stages give us a framework to help us understand the changes that are happening as we are transforming ourselves on the path. Here they are. 1.Resting the Mind: we sit down and draw into ourselves. We attempt to place our minds on our breathing and thought patterns. At this stage we have learned about sitting and might… Read more

February 23, 2017

What we are trying to do on the Buddhist path is overcome the things that hinder us. The dharma is our path, but we are carrying everything along on the path with us. This includes our difficulties. Everything is part of the path and nothing is separate. We are, in a very real way, part of the dharma already. This is a joyous and wonderful thing to realize. We try to soften our attachment to the self through the discipline… Read more

February 19, 2017

To take refuge is to strive for freedom. We take refuge in the Buddha as our example. We take refuge in the Dharma as our journey. We take refuge in the Sangha as our companionship. Our goal is to develop as people on the Buddhist path, dharmic people. We want to realize the illness of our suffering and to try to attain the health of the other shore, enlightenment. We can develop wisdom and discipline in order to overcome our… Read more

February 13, 2017

Mahayana Buddhism is sometimes called the Great Vehicle. It’s also called the Bodhisattva Path. Bodhisattva means Enlightenment Being or Awakened Being. The path that I advocate, the path that I teach about, is the Bodhisattva Path. It’s a powerful and difficult journey. The ideal of the Bodhisattva is what we are trying to live up to. The Bodhisattva Path is founded on the idea of Buddha Nature. The idea of Buddha Nature is that it’s not “out there” as something… Read more

February 9, 2017

Part of what we’re trying to do on the Buddhist path is to tame our minds. I suppose one doesn’t have to be Buddhist to want to train their mind. When we pay attention we learn that much of what our minds are doing is a damn dumpster fire. We want to tame our minds so we can manage our discursive thinking, our internal gossip, and our constant scheming about the future. With meditation we can learn to make our… Read more

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