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flash of lightning 1

Life is like a flash of lightning

Two ways of thinking about the same thing Geshe Kelsang has said that “arising, abiding, and ceasing are just three different ways of thinking about the same event.” Even arising and ceasing (or cessation) are two different ways of thinking about the same thing. When we realize this, we begin to let go of grasping; […]

letting go 3

What is there to grasp at?

If something doesn’t remain for even a moment — if it is gone as soon as it arises — then what is there to hold onto??! (Carrying on from this article.) For example, we meet someone we like – but if they’re gone the moment we meet them, what is there to get attached to? […]

letting go 4

Nothing sticks around

We can understand subtle impermanence in two ways. (And I am once again unabashedly going to borrow Gen Samten’s explanations on the subject.) No carry over  The first we have looked at already, vis there is no carry over — no element of the past carries over, the present is completely new. Just to remind you: […]

too much to do today

Blink, and it’s a new world

When we feel overwhelmed with busyness it is usually because all our activities are bleeding into each other. With thoughts of impermanence, they don’t. We can focus on the here and now. We have walls up (as described in this last article). We can still plan — put the things we need to do in […]

boundary

No time like the present

First, a little anecdote I wrote this about a dog and me a few years ago. “I am leaving today. Earlier, I was a little melancholy to think this was the last walk Mr. Frodo and I would be taking down to the bay, until it occurred to me that it wasn’t a last walk […]

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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 […]

Lucy from Peanuts and love

Love, attachment and desire according to Buddhism

Happy Valentine’s Day! A good day to talk about love, I think. This is the annual “love day”. For most of us, our love is a mixture of two things – attachment, which is not in fact love at all, and love, which is. I like Valentine’s Day here in America. In England, Valentine’s Day […]

plastic surgery pig

Getting older and uglier by the year, who voted for this?!

When I was in my early thirties, and looking moreorless good still, I recall complaining to my hair stylist that I was starting to go grey. He replied that many of his clients complained of ageing, as they sat there staring at themselves and him in the mirror, and he would reply: “We are all […]

Happy Easter

Do you ever feel discouraged?

Happy Easter Everyone! I thought today would be a good day to start a series of articles on how to become unstuck – overcoming the long winter of our discouragement to arise anew. Sloughing off our sense of a limited, fixed, deluded self — a self that doesn’t in any case even exist — and […]

what is Buddha's enlightenment

What is Buddha’s enlightenment?

Happy Buddha’s Enlightenment Day! April 15th is another big holy(i)day for Kadampa Buddhists, marking the anniversary of Buddha Shakyamuni demonstrating the attainment of enlightenment in 589 B.C.E. I thought I’d take advantage of the opportunity to say something short and simple about what Buddha’s enlightenment means to me. Buddha Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha For sure, on Buddha’s Enlightenment […]

complaint

What’s YOUR problem?! :-)

A recent survey discovered that people in the UK “feel fully fit and well only 61 days of the year”. Some Australian commentators apparently reacted to this report as typical of the “whinging Poms”, but the fact is that other studies show that this level of health worry is just about normal throughout the Western […]

A young boy holds up a sign during an an

“If you do not help us, we will be killed.” What can we do about large-scale sufferings?

Some time has elapsed since I wrote this article on Homs, Syria; but the question “What can we do?” seems just as relevant to what’s going on today — which at the time of writing (June 13 2014) includes violent humanitarian disasters in Iraq and Ukraine, and atrocious slavery that has come to light in the shrimp industry in […]

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 […]

mutual dependence, 2012 election, common bond

Winners and losers

Wild applause in Chicago. Stunned silence in Boston. Geshe Kelsang once told a sports lover how to watch games skillfully by rejoicing in the winners and having compassion for the losers. If we are doing otherwise right now, ie, feeling resentful of the winners or gloating ignobly over the losers, this is good advice for […]

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