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Dove & Peace 2

Jesus and the Buddha on Good Friday

On this Good Friday March 29, 2013, I offer these excerpts from a dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh on December 24, 1997 in Plum Village, France. Jesus and Buddha as Brothers “There was a film maker who lives in Sweden who wanted to come and ask me this question: “If Jesus and Buddha met today what […]

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Does a Buddha say to himself “I have obtained Perfect Enlightenment?”

Buddha then asked, “What do you think, Subhuti, does one who has entered the stream which flows to Enlightenment, say ‘I have entered the stream’?” “No, Buddha,”  Subhuti replied. “A true disciple entering the stream would not think of themselves as a separate person that could be entering anything. Only that disciple who does not […]

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Abandoned Ship

A. H. Almass on Sinking Your Boats and becoming the Universal Heretic

As readers of this blog know, from time to time I like to share insights from spiritual paths other than Buddhism—inspiring poetry of Rumi, Kabir, and Mary Oliver: Rumi Poem-“Quietness” and “No Longer Mourn for Me” (music) Kabir-“I Said to the Wanting-creature Inside Me” (music) “The Journey”-A Poem for the New Year by Mary Oliver […]

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Stone Wall 2

Whose Silence Are You? Thomas Merton Poem and Music

Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk who was well-known as a social activist, writer, and poet.  An deep student of comparative religion, Merton was a keen proponent of interfaith dialog.  He became close friends with prominent Eastern spiritual teachers, such as the Dalai Lama, D.T. Suzuki, and my own heart teacher, Vietnamese Zen Master Thich […]

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You Can Be Your Own Light

Sacred Scriptures and Gurus Are Not the Final Authority

Anyone who grew up in a fundamentalist or doctrinaire religious environment can tell you how hard it is to to think for oneself and choose one’s own spiritual path. In a child’s mind, the authority of one’s parents becomes totally merged with the authority of her religious teachings and teachers. Because a child is totally […]

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The Buddha Teaches Dhamma

Did you know that the Buddha almost didn’t teach the Dharma?

According to the Pali canon, not long after the Buddha attained enlightenment, he mused to himself: “This Dhamma that I have realized is profound, hard to see and hard to understand, peaceful and sublime, unattainable by mere reasoning, subtle, to be experienced only by the wise.” The Buddha then apparently seriously questioned whether he could […]

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Prison Bars

The Dhamma Brothers-A Film to Inspire Your Meditation Practice

Last night my wife and I watched on of the most moving documentaries we have seen in a long time. It’s called The Dhamma Brothers, and I can’t recommend it enough. Brief Synopsis (from website) An overcrowded, violent maximum-security prison, the end of the line in Alabama’s prison system, is dramatically changed by the influence […]

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Lit Christmas Tree in Forest Cover Image

A Buddhist Meditation on the “Emptiness” of Christmas

Although my wife and I don’t formally celebrate Christmas in terms of traditional Christian beliefs, we both love this season and the many good associations we have with this time of the year. Some of this is carry-over, no doubt, from our Christian upbringing, but looking past the outward forms of celebration, I think there’s […]

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Birds of Pray Sunset

A Buddhist Mantra based on the Prayer of St. Francis

Here is a mantra I often work with during the day. It’s an adaptation I made of the much-loved Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. (St. Francis is my favorite Christian saint, among other things, because of his love of animals, and especially birds!  See: The Compassion of the Swans) In Buddhism, working with a […]

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Engaged Buddhism-How to Help with the Gulf Oil Disaster

One of the things that attracted me to Thich Nhat Hanh was his embodiment of what he called “engaged Buddhism.” While Buddhist monastic life and retreats have their crucial place, our day-to-day actions and their kamma are what show whether we are developing sila—the moral and ethical awakening this is every bit as important as […]

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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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Spiritual Practice and Learning to Surrender (w/music)

Here are some insights on surrender from various spiritual teachers, paths, and poets that I have found comforting and inspiring.  At the end, I share a moving instrumental piece by pianist Solomon Keal from his beautiful album Peace of Heaven. Some of us have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, before we let go, and […]

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Thich Nhat Hanh-No Death, No Fear (audio)

“Our greatest fear is that when we die we will become nothing. We believe we are born from nothing and that when we die we become nothing. And so we are filled with fear of annihilation. The Buddha has a very different understanding, that birth and death are notions. They are not real.” ~ Thich […]

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Beat Zen? Square Zen? or just Zen?

In the history of the introduction of Buddhism, and especially of Zen, to the West, one name that stands out is Alan Watts.  Few people did more to popularize and explain Eastern philosophy than Watts.  Long before I had a serious interest in Buddhism, I remember reading and being intrigued by his popular The Way […]

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Tricycle Magazine – The Hour of the Wolf – Clark Strand

I subscribe to the Tricyle Magazine’s daily mailing, and today’s mailing and video were so good, I wanted to refer folks to it: The Hour of the Wolf The hours of Green Meditation are sometimes referred to as “the hour of the wolf,” because this is the time when anxieties, health or financial worries, and […]

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