A Reliable Source for Happiness

| August 23, 2014

We humans often seek and expect to find happiness through our sensory systems:  pleasing sites to the eyes, sounds to the ears, smells to the nose, tastes to the tongue, touch to the skin, and fantasy thoughts in the mind about how an ideal someone will provide an enduring source of happiness for us. In [...]

Let it settle

| May 8, 2014

I remember at holiday time as a kid, I loved the little snow globe.  When it came out of the box of decorations, I was thrilled.  I would shake it up and then patiently watch all the little “snowflakes” settle back down to the bottom.  It had a kind of magical quality to it.  Perhaps [...]

Eight Worldly Concerns

| February 10, 2014

As our meditation practice deepens we notice more of the subtle ways our minds get hooked into the extremes of  ”liking/not liking,” “approaching/avoiding,” “happy/sad.”  I find that the teaching on the Eight Worldly Concerns–sometimes called the Eight Worldly Winds–addresses very clearly some of ways my mind reacts to natural human events. These are the concerns [...]

Being in your Discomfort Zone

| January 28, 2014

When I decided to write something about this topic, I was surprised to see that others have been in this place and created images to give expression to it.  Here is one: Of course there are many ways that we get pushed out of our comfort zone.  Some come in the form of physical challenges [...]

Protect the Mind – Be Kind

| October 27, 2013

Once after a dharma talk at a meditation group, the teacher invited questions from the audience.  One person asked:  does Buddhism protect us? The teacher wisely answered: well, it depends.  The best protection the practices provide is from ourselves. Student: what do you mean? Teacher:  if we know ourselves and how the mind works, we [...]

The Kindness Factor

| May 19, 2013

Does the suggestion or prospect of engaging with kindness make your knees wobble or your stomach fall into a bottomless pit?  If so, I say “good”.  It means you are on the cusp of taking this quality to an experiential level – moving it from the head into the heart, into a full felt body [...]

An investment tip

| March 10, 2013

We are all keenly aware of the economic situation facing us individually and collectively these days.  High unemployment rates, educational, health and social service programs at risk, retirement accounts drained are but a few of the ways the impact of an economic downturn knocks at our doors causing anxiety and distress.  Sooner or later we [...]

The Honorable Life of a Householder

| May 8, 2012

I still remember with deep feelings, my oldest son describing his experience of 19 years ago driving his wife and their eight-hour old newborn son home from the hospital.  My son said he had never been so nervous or driven so carefully as that 45 minute drive on the freeway from the hospital to their [...]

PATIENCE FOR BEING

| April 19, 2012

Do you have the patience to be with yourself right now – just as you are in this moment? Habits – ways of being – form so easily. For example, before we have finished one task we are already thinking about the next thing on our mental “to do” list. What is this driving force [...]

Change

| January 29, 2012

In Buddhism “change” is referred to as IMPERMANENCE. It’s one of the basic tenets of Buddhism.  The Pali word for it is anicca—one of the Three Characteristics of Existence.  The other two are unsatisfactoriness (dukkha) and not-self (anatta).  Like Latin, Pali is a dead language, but it supposedly is the language the Buddha spoke, hence [...]

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