Tag Archives: karma

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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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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What Am I Doing Right Now? And Why Does it Matter?

In this essay Thanissaro Bhikkhu analyzes the profound importance of understanding the nature of our intentions and the actions that arise out of those intentions.  In many ways, as he points out, this issue is at the very heart of the Buddha’s teaching—looking deeply into intention, into cause and effect, and seeing how to “unbind” […]

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Look at Karma in Terms of What One is Doing Right Now

Karma—It’s About What We Can Do Now An excerpt about karma from “Noble Strategy” by Thanissaro Bhikkhu Karma is one of those words we don’t translate. Its basic meaning is simple enough—action—but because of the weight the Buddha’s teachings give to the role of action, the Sanskrit word karma packs in so many implications that […]

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Am I Pleasing Others to Make Myself Feel Loved and Good?

The path of awakening, of liberation, always includes self-observation and self-inquiry. Without them, we tend to repeat the same unskillful ways of thinking and acting over and over again. That’s what is called samsara in Buddhism. In this essay I’m sharing my thoughts and observations on something I’ve struggled with much of my life: a […]

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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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Freedom from fear-is it really possible?

This article from Thanissaro Bhikkhu is filled with deep and helpful insights into the problem of fear and how delusion makes fear dangerous. It’s one of Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s longer articles, but there are so many gems here, so many very helpful insights, I hope you’ll take the time to ponder what he has to share. […]

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The Buddha on the Importance of Abandoning All Self Views

Who am I? What am I?  How am I?  We’ve all asked these questions.  Throughout history, people have asked these questions, and come up with countless answers and religions and philosophies to answer them.  Just who or what is this “self” we all have to deal with? Interestingly, the Buddha does not offer a final […]

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Buddhist morality-it’s all about karma and skillful means

For those of us who grew up in fundamentalist or authoritarian religions, the word “morality” can be like a red flag in front of a bull.  Words like “morals” and “morality” can sometimes evoke powerful childhood images and feelings of a wrathful god making arbitrary rules and punishing the wrongdoer—forever!  The words may also evoke painful […]

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The Karma of Not-self (audio)

Here’s another skillful teaching from Thanissaro Bhikkhu on how to use the idea of “not-self” skillfully. The teaching on “not-self” is some esoteric, metaphysical idea that we think about. It’s an immensely practical teaching that helps us look at how our thoughts and actions create a sense of self that determines our happiness or our […]

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Is the Buddhist Path at Odds with Our Humanity?

The Roots of Suffering in Biology and Human Nature What could be more natural than to desire pleasure and avoid pain in our life? We all desire what is pleasurable, and we all seek to avoid what is not. That’s just human nature, right? Well, it’s more than just human nature; it’s our biological nature. […]

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Freedom from Buddha Nature

Concluding this week’s theme of iconoclasm and “outside the Buddha-box” insight, I offer this essay by one of my favorite dharma teachers, Thanissaro Bhikkhu.  The provocative title says it all: Freedom from Buddha Nature. What? A Buddhist teacher who says that there is no innate, inherent Buddha nature?  Isn’t that a cornerstone of  Buddhist teaching?  […]

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The Moral Math of Climate Change « Goodheart’s Extreme Science

The Moral Math of Climate Change « Goodheart’s Extreme Science “…The future of the world depends on each one of us broadening and deepening our understanding of what is environmentally moral. The future depends on our moral imagination as a species.” This is a follow-up post to “Global Warming and the Loss of Earth’s Coral […]

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