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Moon & Brilliant Sunset

The Unconscious Motivations for Meditation Practice

These remarks are excerpted from a day-long program given by Jack Engler at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies (BCBS) on November 1, l997. Jack has had a long association with Dharma study and practice. He studied Pali language and Abhidhamma at the Post-Graduate Institute of Buddhist Studies in Nalanda, Bihar, and practiced meditation for […]

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Moon over River

The Bodhisattva Vow-the whole thing is hopeless, but we’ll do it

A hazy autumn moon, solitary and full, falls as it may on the winding river ahead.
 There are those who seek perfect clarity,
 yet sweep as you may, you cannot empty the mind. (The Capping Verse to Dongshan and Shenshan Cross the River) “You can’t teach someone to walk a tightrope wire by telling them […]

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How long will it take to bring our Narcissus off the cross?

As I promised in my previous post, I am going to share passages from Stephen Levine’s spiritual autobiography, Turning Toward the Mystery. See: Everyone is Just Trying to Get Born Before They Die I found these passages very helpful in understanding how we identify with our pain and suffering and how letting go liberates our hearts. […]

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Pema Chodron – Renunciation as saying “yes!” to life

Trungpa Rinpoche once said, “Renunciation is realizing that nostalgia for samsara is full of shit.” Renunciation is realizing that our nostalgia for wanting to stay in a protected, limited petty world is insane. One you begin to get the feeling of how big the world is and how vast our potential for realizing life is, […]

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Tibetan Prayer Flags

Sogyal Rinpoche on God and Emptiness

A recent discussion with a friend on Facebook about the nature of the Absolute, brought to mind something I had transcribed years ago from a CD, but had forgotten about. So, I thought I’d dig it up from my dharma archives and share it here on my blog. The passage is from a talk by […]

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Chinese Dragon

The Marriage of the Princess and the Dragon-A Dharma Story

I’ve been thinking about “dragons” recently and thought I’d share this wonderful retelling of a Swedish fairy tale by dharma teacher Jack Kornfield from his wonderful bookAfter the Ecstasy, the Laundry: How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path. We all have our own “dragons” in our hearts. May this simple tale help us […]

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Veterans Day-The Wounds of Combat Can Be Healed

As an ex-GI, I often find my heart and loving-kindness practice embracing our enlisted men and women throughout the world, and especially those in war zones. War is hell. That’s no cliché, and only those who have been in combat can truly testify to what that phrase means. That’s why around Veterans Day I highlighted the […]

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Thich Nhat Hanh Smiling

Yes, God is Gay-and Straight, and Black, White, and a Flower!

The spate of suicides and deaths of gay and lesbian young people reported in the news recently has broken my heart and the hearts of many.  But these tragic stories are but the tip of the iceberg: In in “Death of California youth puts focus on rise in antigay bullying,” the Christian Science Monitor wrote: […]

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Thich Nhat Hanh-Can We Understand the Suffering of our Enemy?

Few people in the world have worked as tirelessly for the cause of peace, individual and collective, as Thich Nhat Hanh. His effort to bring peace—to be peace—began during his days as a young Buddhist monk during the Vietnam War and led Martin Luther King Jr. to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize in […]

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The Dhammapada – Audio Dharma by Gil Fronsdal

The Dhammapada is a great treasure of the Buddhadharma and beloved by Buddhists of all traditions as well as many non-Buddhists. There are many wonderful translations of the Dhammapada from its original Pali, but one of my favorites is the fairly recent translation by Gil Fronsdal: The Dhammapada: A New Translation of the Buddhist Classic […]

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Colorful Dawn

The Dhammapada-Verses That Bring Peace and Wisdom

The Dhammapada comes from the earliest period of Buddhism in India and is loved by Buddhists of all traditions. These teachings, originally put in verse form for easy memorization for those who could not read, expound many of the philosophical and practical foundations of the Buddha’s teaching. Every day I open up one of my […]

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Dealing with Suffering *is* Spiritual Practice

This is the second in a three-part series of articles sharing the insights of some spiritual thinkers on the subject of suffering and the First Noble Truth. In the first article, I shared insights from Ken Wilber’s No Boundary. You can read the post here: Dissatisfaction with Life-the Start of Discovery This excerpt in this […]

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The Lamp Within

The Buddha’s Last Instruction-Poetry and Music

“Be ye lamps unto yourselves, be a refuge to yourselves. Hold fast to truth as a lamp; hold fast to the truth as a refuge. Look not for a refuge in anyone beside yourselves. And those, who shall be a lamp unto themselves, shall betake themselves to no external refuge, but holding fast to the […]

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Thich Nhat Hanh on Buddhism, Mindfulness, and the Holy Spirit

“We can touch the living Buddha. We can also touch the living Christ. When we see someone overflowing with love and understanding, someone who is keenly aware of what is going on, we know that we are very close to the Buddha and to Jesus Christ.” Thich Nhat Hanh One of the things I love […]

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Open to the Unknown

The Fear and Wonder of Being Open to the Unknown

“The unknown is frightening as long as there is the sense of self. When we face the unknown and abandon selfhood, then the unknown changes from being frightening to being mysterious, full of wonder. The mind is left in a state of wonderment, rather than terror. This is the transmutation that frees, it liberates, it […]

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