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.

Buddhism now

Working Tibetan women photo via Athur BravermanRapid 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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Buddhism now

Buddha at Gochizan-Nyorai-ji Photo © @KyotoDailyPhoto‘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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Free of the game of attraction, people grew into themselves. We were less prone to looking at each other through fantasy, or to interact with an agenda in mind. People revealed both “masculine” and “feminine” traits regardless of gender. Men were not either “strong” or “weak”, or women “nurturing” and “sexy”; we were all a mix of everything, and were the richer for it.

And then one night it happens.  In what seems like a nano sec??ond, the mind you???re search??ing in dis??ap??pears then reappears.  Yet, in that one moment of dis??ap??pear??ance you see some??thing incred??i??ble.  Then some??thing strange begins to hap??pen after??wards, clear light???a mys??te??ri??ous radi??an??cy???begins to engulf you gradually.  For me it grew and grew all through the night.  I had never, in my whole life, expe??ri??enced any??thing like this.  Whoa!  It is as if I saw a lit??tle hole in the fab??ric of the uni??verse and in that hole was pure light.  Yes, pure Mind.  And that was my first encounter with pure Mind.  Much later, anoth??er encounter hap??pened which made the first one seem like kinder??garten stuff.

Interesting that Stephen Colbert has picked Buddhism for his topic, given the political climate in America and, of course, the eleventh anniversary of 9/11. Maybe it's actually very timely.

It starts out with a quick overview of the Four Noble Truths — suffering, the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the path. Stephen reminds us that if you don’t like suffering, you can just be Catholic instead, as Jesus did all our suffering for us already…Stephen [also] thinks some might be relieved by Buddhism’s differences from other religions. For example: Buddhism’s stories lack, well, prostitutes — but that’s not quite right. (Check out the Parabhava Sutta.) Continuing through a yawn, he notes that Buddhism’s version of the end-times is downright boring compared to other religions’; Buddhists sit around waiting for centuries for the next Buddha to arrive, and when he does, he does the same thing as the last one.

via Shambhala Sun


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