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How Metta Can Help You When Meditation is Hindered by Overwhelming Feelings

When I woke up this morning, I found my that my breath “anchor” came to mind within just a minute or two, with no conscious impulse to do so. This progress feels like a carryover of last night’s sitting meditation, right before I went to bed, which itself, seemed to be quite a lot of […]

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The Importance of Taking the “Should” out of Spiritual Practice

The more one does one’s spiritual practice with a sense that it should be done, the more one creates a sense of self. And the greater the sense of a self trying to become “spiritual” or “liberated,” the more suffering we experience. We suffer both when we “fail,” and we suffer when we “succeed,” either way reinforcing […]

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Can We “Choose” to Be Happy? No—and Yes!

Can we “choose” to be happy? Well, try it right now, and see. Make yourself truly happy. Can’t do it, right? At any given instant, if we are honest about it, we realize that we just feel what we feel.  Sheer willpower can’t make us truly happy.  We can’t flip on happiness like a lightswitch — […]

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Non-resistance and the Art of Resisting without Resisting!

In Buddhism, nature of non-resistance is truly non-dual, but I think this this non-dual nature is misapprehended sometimes. Paradoxically, non-resistance doesn’t necessarily mean no resistance! Non-resistance is more like the martial artist Bruce Lee’s “fighting without fighting.”  Or better yet—and maybe pet owners can relate to this—it’s more like the resistive nonresistance of a cat, […]

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The Importance of Compassion in Assessing Our Dharma Progress

Never condemn your past from the standpoint of some new spiritual understanding or breakthroughs. Never look down on who you once were. Never disparage “the old man” or the “old woman,” to use a biblical phrase, who you may now feel was so wrapped up in illusion, in grasping needfulness, in impossible yearnings and beliefs. […]

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Metta Phrases for Dealing with Self-Hatred and Self-judgment

I invite new and regular visitors to take a look at my updated and expanded Metta Instruction page.  There you will find many helpful articles you can read online or download—articles such as these: Ajahn Brahmavmso Teaches Loving-kindness Metta—The Healing Power of Visualizing and Radiating Love Toward Others Bringing Metta to Daily Life—A Talk by […]

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Meditation is About Our Whole Life, not Just the Inner Workings of the Mind

In this essay, I want to look into how we can broaden and deepen our understanding of meditation, so that it encompasses more of our life and isn’t just something we do “on the cushion.”  I’ve found the meditation instruction of J. Krishnamurti especially helpful in gaining this broader view, and so I share some […]

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We Are All on Fire-But There’s a Way to Put Out the Flames

The Buddha’s insight into the human condition is both immensely hopeful and immensely sobering.  Hopeful, because he sees the potential of every human being to be set free by skillful means that can liberate one from all suffering and bring true freedom and happiness.  And sobering, because as a good doctor, the compassionate Buddha understood […]

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Groundhog Day and the serious problem of impermanence

One of the most basic teachings of the Buddha, so far as I understand it, is that all conditioned things, all contingent things, all fabricated things, all things that arise, and thus all things that pass away, are inherently impermanent, and thus are intrinsically dukkha—suffering and unsatisfactoriness. Further, the Buddha, or Buddhism, teaches that our […]

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Karma-no big deal, just the way things work

Karma-just the way things work In Buddhism, dharma has many meanings but at its simplest level, dharma is just the way things work.  When through experience, suffering, and observation, you gain genuine insight into how the world really works, in that moment you are an awakened one. Why we are fooled about life The problem […]

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How to Silence Those Self-sabotaging Inner Voices

You really should do something about those voices you’ve been listening to!  No, I’m not saying you’re crazy! I’m talking about the inner “voices” we all listen to, consciously, and unconsciously. Yes, those voices—the ones in your head that say you’re a failure, that you’re no good, that you will never get ahead, that you’ll […]

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