the sweet in the bitter

One of the turning points in our spiritual practice happens quite unexpectedly, as they always do, when an uncanny feeling of wholeness creeps up on you in the most surprising contexts. All recurring feelings of remorse and failures seem somehow resolved. Nothing dramatic, really. This is a quiet joy where once there was quiet desperation. … Read more

to sit or not to sit

This issue: to sit or not to sit?   Merely stating this issue brings up a legion of other issues, many of which go unchallenged and unrecognized in the awareness of a potential meditator. To tackle one issue inevitably begs other, lateral questions.   As an instructor, I am somewhat aware of the dynamics involved in teaching. … Read more

working with our speech

A veteran American born Buddhist monk in Thailand (Thanissaro Bhikkhu) commented once about the Buddhist practice of right speech. He said he his teacher once told him “if you can’t control your mouth, there’s no way you can hope to control your mind.”  The Buddha set out some specific guidelines for considerate, compassionate communication in … Read more

let freedom ring

“The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” Thomas Jefferson Buddhism, particularly Mahayana Buddhism, stresses the ideals of freedom from suffering for all beings. This ties in nicely with the writings of Thomas Jefferson. I think he must have been thinking of the corruption of governments and the need for some way to hold governments accountable … Read more

review of the basics

“The ultimate point of view is that there is nothing to understand, so when we try to understand, we are only indulging in acrobatics of the mind. Whatever you have understood, you are not. Why are you getting lost in concepts? You are not what you know, you are the knower. “ Nisargadatta Maharaj. From … Read more

valley vs mountain (1)

A question that came in recently: “I can accept the moment is as its supposed to be but have issues with accepting things like the Rwanda genocide (and other human made atrocities) was it was supposed to be.” This question points to a larger issue we face when we engage spiritual practice. I think of … Read more