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flicking off a rock

Dealing with suffering

Happy Vajrayogini Day :-) This transcendent Buddha of Wisdom is all about helping us destroy our suffering at its root, in the course of one short lifetime. We don’t like suffering, at least I don’t. Strange how much time we spend, then, dwelling on our own suffering each day. Geshe Kelsang has said it is meaningless to […]

ripples from one drop of water

Who do you want to be when you die? ~ rebirth part 6

When we gain insight into the continuum of our mind — and that death is the permanent separation of the mind and the body, not the death of consciousness — this realization expands our horizons and is very joyful, liberating. People say that they don’t want to think about death, “I don’t want to think […]

recycle wasted time

Time traveler ~ rebirth part 5

A few days ago I was in the English Lake District, walking in Tarn Haws, contemplating water flow – sometimes gushing fast down a waterfall, sometimes collecting briefly in pools created by rocks in the river, but always, always moving. Even in the stillest parts of the stream, the water did not remain the same even […]

then what

What is the point of training the brain!? ~ rebirth part 4

My grandfather lived to 100. He was a spiritual person, and he probably could have lived to 110 as he was immensely fit, but unfortunately he was run over by a car. During his last 6 weeks, spent in hospital, he went through a lot of stuff, going in and out of pain, in and out […]

time is empty

The circle of life ~ rebirth part 3  

If we do the meditation described in the last article on rebirth, we get a sense of the flow of our mind – what it is, where it’s coming from, where it’s going. This helps us understand rebirth.  There are 5 different ways in general to understand rebirth, and understanding the continuum of consciousness is […]

More to read…

ugly tree

Why am I so sad? Removing the two ego minds at the source of our pain.

In a recent article I tried to explain how self-grasping and self-cherishing, and the delusions they spawn, entirely undermine our happiness. Luckily, nothing is fixed – if we can understand these two ego-centered states of mind at the source of our pain and dissatisfaction, that’s the first step to removing them. We don’t need them […]

Tom Tom and Zia's new home

Do liberals and conservatives share any common ground?

Someone commented on my last article that from the perspective of someone in the UK there is no difference between the two US presidential candidates. But I think that up closer there is a difference in candidates (and parties), not just in terms of their policies but in terms of the core values that motivate […]

hoarding

Letting go before we are swamped

One of my dearest friends is a hoarder. He is gentle, kind, thoughtful, funny, and very unable to let go of his junk. For him, of course, that is because it is not junk. We tried to do a yard sale of all his stuff earlier this year and after weeks of work involving a […]

slicked back hair

Mirror, mirror, at the door

At 8am this morning, as I was peacefully absorbed in meditation, someone honked their horn very loudly. There was a pause, then they did it again. Another pause, and then a loud banging at my door. I open it in my dressing gown, and a (watch this instant prejudice…) brash looking man in a shiny […]

broken printer

Buddhism and the pursuit of happiness

The last article, based on the Spring Festival introduction, looked at how deceptive samsara’s enjoyments are. Of course its sufferings are no fun either. Now I have boarded my second plane, from San Francisco to Denver, to find it almost entirely empty. I asked the flight attendant why, and she told me that the machines printing […]

criticism 6

Five ways to deal with criticism

What is criticism? According to Buddha’s teachings on karma, pointing out a truth motivated by kindness and skill is a positive action that leads to good results, whereas hurtful speech motivated by delusion is one of the ten non-virtuous actions that leads to a lot of trouble. If this is true, it makes sense not […]

how to get rid of delusions

How meditation overcomes negative thoughts and emotions

A bit more on the subject of delusions and how to get rid of them. Nothing is as it seems If it is true that “The things we normally perceive do not exist” it means that nothing is really out there, and everything is free of being real and fixed. This means we can change […]

Meditando na Montanha

Breathe your way to inner peace

This is the last installment of the how not to worry articles. Breathing meditations can help enormously in instantly alleviating our worry, and anyone can do them if they have a mind to. Simple breathing meditation Worrying affects us physiologically, from shallower breathing and the inability to relax through to full blown panic attacks when […]

burnout bang head here

How to avoid stress and burn-out at work

This is related to the article, Meditation in the Pursuit of Happiness. Do you or any of your friends have any of the following symptoms of chronic stress or burn-out? Do you have to drag yourself to work and, when you get home, do you have no energy left to do much other than flop […]

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