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Look at the Three Characteristics in Terms of Actions

“So the Three Characteristics in and of themselves are not the content of Buddhist wisdom, Buddhist discernment. They have to be placed in context, the context of the question of skillfulness: “What are you doing? What are your intentions? …”

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How Practice and Creativity Can Open Up Your Metta

It was an honor to join millions around the world in giving metta, loving-kindness meditation, to my fellow beings on World Day of Metta! Although, like most Buddhists, I do “formal” metta every day, as well as “metta in the moment,” it felt good to set aside a special time to give metta with so many […]

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Take Time to Be Present Before You Rush Off to Do

Take time to be present before you rush off to do. One of the skillful Zen koans is “What is this? ” It doesn’t mean looking at something and saying, “That’s a chair. ” It doesn’t mean identifying where you are, i.e, “What is this? This is my front room. This is a mountain trail, […]

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How the Buddha looked at the “What is a Person?” Question

A recurring theme in Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s writing is his stress on how important it is to understand what kinds of questions the Buddha answered, and refused to answer, in his teachings. Many people think his new way of using the Pali word “khandhas” was the answer to the question, “Who am I” or “What is […]

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Quiet in Every Way – Breaking the Mind’s Chatter

I just finished a 14-day intensive meditation/metta retreat at home, which is why I haven’t posted for a while.  Looking back at the 2 weeks work, I couldn’t help but think of this article by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. One of the things that became so evident to me, day after day “on the cushion” or in […]

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Loving others-a skillful means, not a principle

When the heart awakens No matter what one’s spiritual path, I believe there comes a time when when one’s heart so expands in love and compassion that helping alleviate the suffering of others becomes just as much an aspiration as the alleviation of one’s own suffering. Of course, sometimes we may need a lot of […]

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How do we develop discernment?

An interesting post at a fellow blog… The Year of Discernment …got me to thinking about discernment.  In Buddhism, what is discernment and is it something we can cultivate? The question brought to mind a great essay on the subject by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, one of my favorite dharma teachers.  In an article entitled “Giving Rise […]

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