“All things are passing. When we rest in the present moment, we’re faced with this directly. This realization doesn’t have to be cause for depression. It can be a reminder of the preciousness of our life. Relaxing into the vulnerability of unknowing and facing our direct experience can be courageous. It’s an opportunity to taste vast, interconnected spaciousness — the groundless ground that has no reference points or handles.”
The irony is that at one time I was everywhere online. Well, maybe not everywhere but in all the hot places, for a little while at least.
But, wow, has the internet become a cesspool of clickbait and mass surveillance! Maybe I’m naive but I remember when people weren’t afraid to post their most inner thoughts without worrying who would scrutinize them — or worse, use that information for profit or shaming.
Maybe I got bored, or maybe I saw the futility in broadcasting my thoughts into a sea of nonsense. But it’s been quite a year, with revelations on crimes committed by the rich and powerful — our overlords — and mostly played out on social media. I’m in Australia and yet I’m well informed about the outing of actors and media moguls who abused their status for personal (albeit fleeting) gratification. I’ve followed Trump from the first time he said Mexico was sending rapists and criminals over the border, and was probably just as shocked as you to hear he won the US presidential race. Read More
Short film about 5 minutes. Hakuin’s self-taught, spontaneous, yet masterly and inspired painting and calligraphy, just like his teachings and writings, expressed the mind and heart of Zen for monks and lay followers alike.
I’ve made some big changes in my life but, strangely, decided not to blog much about the more significant ones. You would think that’s the point of having a personal blog like this, but I think I made the right decision because I think how I would have written about it all would have come out wrong.
And so I thought this post from Buddhism Now was somewhat apt and timely: My intention going forward is to pick up where I left off, but with a different tone than I’d previously used in my more personal posts.
Rapid technological advances. Increased wealth. Stress. Stable lives and careers come under the pressure of accelerating change. The twenty-first century? No, the sixth century BC—a time of destructive warfare, economic dislocation, and widespread disruption of established patterns of life, just like today. In conditions similar to ours, the Buddha discovered a path to lasting happiness. His discovery—a step-by-step method of mental training to achieve contentment—is as relevant today as ever.
Putting the Buddha’s discovery into practice is no quick fix. It can take years. The most important qualification at the beginning is a strong desire to change your life by adopting new habits and learning to see the world anew.
Each step along the Buddha’s path to happiness requires practising mindfulness until it becomes part of your daily life. Mindfulness is a way of training yourself to become aware of things as they really are. With mindfulness as your…
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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 780 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 13 trips to carry that many people.
‘Buddha’ As the years go by, this particular word has become increasingly meaningful and precious to me; it is something that reminds me of the way of mindfulness.
I came to Buddhism as an adult after being brought up in a Christian family where the word ‘buddha’ was never spoken. When I was twenty-one, I deliberately chose Buddhism because of the teachings. The word ‘buddha’ itself, however, still remained a kind of abstraction in my mind. I could be inspired by the idea of a buddha, but it is only after years of practise that the profound meaning has manifested.
I am not saying that I am a buddha because that doesn’t make sense. People have claimed to be buddhas, but that isn’t actually the way it works; it isn’t a question of becoming or personally identifying with the word ‘buddha’. To do that is a sure sign that…
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