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New Year Message from Thich Nhat Hanh on Suffering

“The New Year is a great opportunity to begin anew. Because many people look at the new year, the year to come, with hope. “I will do better next year,” you promise yourself…Of course we have made mistakes. Of course we have been not very skillful. Of course we have made ourselves suffer. Of course […]

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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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Song and Message for those Alone or Bereft on Thanksgiving

As I do every year, I offer this song, “By Way of Sorrow,” to all those who may be alone this Thanksgiving, without family and friends—or maybe even without hope. Please don’t give up! There is a way “home.” The first step may be hope and trust in our own innate capacity to change, to […]

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Metta-the Healing Power of Visualizing and Radiating Love Toward Others

Here is a unique teaching on metta, or loving-kindness meditation, by Acharya Buddharakkhita from “Mettá: The Philosophy and Practice of Universal Love.” In this teaching, Buddharakkhita focuses specifically on how to use visualization and thought-radiation to embrace others in universal love and goodwill. This teaching presents the classic sequence of beginning with loving oneself, and […]

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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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Hatred Can Never Bring the Changes Our Hearts Long For

“Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal.” The Buddha ♥♥♥ “When we attack injustice, cruelty, and suffering with intolerance and loathing, we make the mistake of believing that hatred can generate compassion and goodness.  Hatred is suffering, and can only perpetuate suffering, […]

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Thich Nhat Hanh on Loving Ourselves by Looking Deeply into Ourselves

SELF-LOVE From Teachings on Love by Thich Nhat Hanh “Until we are able to love and take care of ourselves, we cannot be of much help to others.” We begin practicing this love meditation on ourselves May I be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit. May I be safe and free from injury. […]

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Kahlil Gibran-A Tear and a Smile

A Tear and a Smile By Khalil Gibran I would not exchange the sorrows of my heart For the joys of the multitude. And I would not have the tears that sadness makes To flow from my every part turn into laughter. I would that my life remain a tear and a smile. A tear […]

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A Buddhist prayer for the well-being and happiness of all beings

I recently came across this beautiful metta, or loving-kindness meditation by the dhamma teacher Venerable Visuddhàcàra  One could certainly call it a prayer, although in Buddhist prayer there is no appeal to a supreme being. Rather, it’s a deep and earnest aspiration and wish for happiness from one being’s heart to the hearts of all […]

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Why Loving-kindness Doesn’t Have to Be Lovey-dovey

One of my favorite things each day is getting my daily e-mail for Tricyle Magazine. There’s always an inspiring dharma teaching or quotation from an article at the website that I almost always want to go and read. Given that this blog is all about metta practice, and since Gil Fronsdal is a teacher I’ve […]

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The Karaniya Metta Sutta and Healing Through Loving-kindness (with Music)

Over the years, I have collected many wonderful translation of the Metta Sutta, the Buddha’s sutta (sutra) on loving-kindness. But of all of them, I believe this one, from the Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery, is my favorite. I have it printed out and taped to my wall, and I often turn to it for inspiration.  I […]

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For the Sake of Strangers-Poem and Music

For the Sake of Strangers by Dorianne Laux No matter what the grief, its weight, we are obliged to carry it. We rise and gather momentum, the dull strength that pushes us through crowds. And then the young boy gives me directions so avidly. A woman holds the glass door open, waits patiently for my […]

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Goodwill-not a pink cloud of cotton candy covering the world

“As a mother would risk her life to protect her child, her only child, even so should one cultivate a limitless heart with regard to all beings. So with a boundless heart should one cherish all living beings; radiating kindness over the entire world.” The Buddha, Sutta Nipata I, 8 The Challenge of Making Goodwill […]

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How to Deal Skillfully and Compassionately with Memories

We all have things we’ve done in the past that we regret, and memories of these mistakes can often arise in meditation. Here is a helpful teaching from Thanissaro Bhikkhu that explains what the Buddha said we could do when we are haunted by memories. How to Deal Skillfully and Compassionately with Memories “As for […]

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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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