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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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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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How Loving-kindness Practice and Meditation Can Help with Military Suicides

NOTE:  This post is a revised and expanded version of an earlier Metta Refuge post of mine called Veterans Day-The Wounds of Combat Can Be Healed.  I wanted to update and repost this particular message, because I was so disturbed and saddened by the news of so many more military suicides this year.  As a recent […]

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Skillful Ways to Deal with Your Demons

Recently, on Facebook, I posted a Photo to my Wall with a comment about working with “demons.” As I said at this Photo post: “Demons are not bloodthirsty ghouls waiting for us in the dark; they are the forces we find inside ourselves that fabricate around ego-clinging and that we project “out there” on others, […]

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Coming to Terms with the Father Who Lives Within You

Although this blog has mainly focused on the Budddhdharma, the teachings of the Buddha, it’s never been limited to that. Over time, I’ve shared skillful spiritual teachings, poems, and even music, that reflect humanity’s quest to come into a complete humanhood. I also strongly feel that the best in Western psychology powerfully complements the wisdom […]

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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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Everyone is Just Trying to Get Born Before They Die

In the past year I have my life has been greatly blessed by getting to know the inspired, skillful teachings of Stephen Levine. I highly recommend his A Gradual Awakening, Healing into Life and Death, and Who Dies?—An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying, the latter two being extremely helpful and skillful treatments of […]

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Choose life! Choose love! Choose to live!

“Most people can look back over the years and identify a time and place at which their lives changed significantly. Whether by accident or design, these are the moments when, because of a readiness within us and a collaboration with events occurring around us, we are forced to seriously reappraise ourselves and the conditions under […]

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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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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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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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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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Thich Nhat Hanh on Healing the Wounded Child in Us

From the great heart of the Buddha, and from the great heart of Thich Nhat Hanh, to the wounded child in each of us: “In our childhood we may have been through stages of great difficulties. We have been wounded, we have had traumas and we generally do not want to remember those stages of […]

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What Actually Happens Inside Us When We Are Hurt By Another?

We feel that someone has hurt us, but is the hurt we feel caused by the other person?  Or are the actions of others merely the “approximate cause” of the suffering—in other words, the trigger, but not the actual cause of the suffering itself? Put that way, it might seem obvious. Others can’t really make […]

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How Insight and Loving-kindness Free Us from Mental Parasites

In an earlier post entitled “Taming Elephants-How To Transform Negative Habit Energies,” I shared teachings from Thich Nhat Hanh on how to deal with what he called “habit energies.” As Thầy, as Thich Nhat Hanh is affectionately known by his students, writes: “We know how strong, how powerful the habit energy is. We notice that […]

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The Problem of Egolessness

Today’s post is an essay by Thanissaro Bhikkhu on the issue of how Buddhism looks at the Western idea of the ego.  Specifically, it addresses the issue of whether Buddhism as taught by the historical Buddha teaches “egolessness” and total rejection of the ego. These questions are not merely of theoretical interest.  They relate to […]

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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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Metta Music-Another Train

This is another in the series of “dharma songs” I’ve been posting from time to time. These are songs that have comforted, inspired, helped, and healed me over the years. I invite you to look up the song and have a listen (the lyrics tell only part the story; the beautiful music and voices complete […]

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Book Review-Freeing the Angry Mind-a book for angry men

A few years ago in a book store, a book with this title caught my eye: Freeing the Angry Mind—How Men Can Use Mindfulness & Reason to Save Their Lives and Their Relationships by C. Peter Bankart, Ph.D. Wow, a book addressing the specific issues of men around anger! I flipped to the front of […]

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