Ten ways to be happier

Who doesn’t want to be happier? That, and wanting to be free from suffering, are the two basic wishes of all living beings, from world leaders to the smallest gnat. Generally, however, as Shantideva says: Although living beings wish to be free from suffering, They run straight towards the causes of suffering; And although they […]

meditation at lake

Clear mind

The meditation on the nature of our own mind has many benefits, the first being that it pacifies distractions. If we understand what we are meditating on, we’ll see how that works. For perfect instructions, please consult Geshe Kelsang’s beautiful new book, The Oral Instructions of Mahamudra. The nature and function of the mind In […]

sky and clouds

Lamrim, Lojong, and Mahamudra

First I thought it’d be helpful to give some context for the clarity of mind meditation, and then share some thoughts on why it is so effective at pacifying our distractions. The clarity of mind meditation is part of Sutra Mahamudra. And Mahamudra is the heart essence of the Kadampa tradition of Buddhism. A Kadampa […]

human life cycle 2

The end of collection is dispersion …

I’m not claiming to be any expert, but I love the meditation on the clarity of the mind. So I thought I’d do some articles and invite your comments. Here is a quick meditation we can do for starters: Meditation We breathe out whatever is on our mind, and all scattered thoughts, gently opening up […]

compassion fatigue?!

How to be a hero

One of the main things about compassion is that it makes us a kinder, more helpful person. A force of good in this world, for sure. But it also helps US. Why? Because it overcomes our own limitations and problems, as does love. If we understand this, we are less reluctant to develop it. (Carrying on […]

More to read…

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 […]


What’s karma got to do with it?

This morning I felt mildly irritated at an “official” person because they have a different idea about something than I do, and naturally that means their idea is daft, but they are the ones in charge. Sound familiar? (I know it’s not just me). Angry Birds People play Angry Birds, so they tell me, because […]

perspective and meditation

Creating space in our minds

Until Konstantin the Russian tenant showed up, my yard in America was overgrown with prickly thistles and ugly weeds. My ultimate plan was to get rid of the seeds and roots of those unwanted plants, but how was I supposed to dig those up if I couldn’t even get to them? I first needed to […]


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 […]

karma painting

How are you feeling? Musings on karma continued…

(You may want to read this article first to get up to scratch. I’ve divided the article up into two parts to make it easier to read in a coffee break.) Feelings Going back to the discussion in the last article, as there are three types of object, there are three types of feeling that experience […]

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 […]

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 […]

Biggest problem

Advice from a Buddhist dad on making practice a priority

This is the second guest article from our Kadampa Buddhist dad, who has five young kids and a very busy job. The first is Kadampa Parenting. Making our daily practice a priority In many ways, the biggest obstacle to our attainment of enlightenment is our inability to establish a consistent daily practice.  This is especially […]

Buddha 1

Why can’t I be happy?! Buddha’s reply.

We all want to be happy, isn’t that the truth?! In fact, we all want to be happy all the time; it’s the way living beings are wired. But are we happy all the time? And if not, given our wish and the 24/7 effort we put into it, why not? Buddha Shakyamuni and many […]


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