gratitude 5

Choosing to be grateful is choosing to be happy

Heartburn or heartwarm?! Today is the official day to give thanks in the United States. It can be an excuse to slaughter defenseless turkeys, get indigestion, and argue with relatives, or it can be a heartwarming reminder of our good fortune. What would happen, do you think, if 300 million people stopped blaming & complaining […]

Benefits of gratitude

Seven benefits of gratitude

Now we are coming up to Thanksgiving here in the United States, and apparently the word “thanks” is connected to the word “grateful”, no surprises there, really. (“Grateful” is also loosely related to the word “grace”.) So this is the time of the year to feel grateful, which is nice, as study after study shows […]


Feel free to change your mind

With attachment born of ignorance we are always splitting ourselves off from our actual happiness, the happiness of our own peaceful mind. Holding onto an isolated real “self”, distanced from “other”, happiness is now necessarily separate from us, other than us. We distance ourselves from it in time – “Oh I was so happy back THEN!” […]

samsara's ocean

What is life according to Buddha?

We can start the meditation on the mind, as mentioned here, just by watching the cloud-like thoughts come and go within the clear sky-like mind, without reacting or intruding or indeed thinking them through. Our mind may not seem much like a clear sky to begin with – it may indeed feel totally overcast, with […]

universal love 1

Meditation on clarity and non-duality

Right now, reading this, what is the consciousness you are having of your screen, or the room around you? That consciousness is not physical. You cannot see it with your eyes or with any physical instrument, however subtle. You cannot touch it, you cannot sit on it, you cannot photograph it, you cannot reproduce it, […]

More to read…

criticism 4

Five ways to deal with criticism, part 3

This is the final installment. For the first two installments, see Five ways to deal with criticism and Five ways to deal with criticism, part 2. How about us criticizing others? Most of you agreed that it is best avoided. This is because our criticism can hurt others and is often not that helpful. If […]


What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

I just had my flu shot. (I know, I know, some of you will disapprove, I do a bit myself). But it reminded me of Geshe Kelsang, my Teacher’s, explanation of transforming adversities into the spiritual path, where he uses the example of a needle. So, in normal circumstances, I would not let a stranger […]



The great Indian Buddhist Master Shantideva is famous for his practical advice on dealing patiently with problems: If something can be remedied Why be unhappy about it? And if there is no remedy for it, There is still no point in being unhappy. Here is a flow chart to illustrate this seemingly unarguable point (sorry, […]

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 […]

should i tell him

How to catch a problem before it catches you

This carries on directly from this last article. My lovely dad turned 80 on October 2nd, and we were discussing the meaning of (the rest of his) life. He told me he’d been perusing the obituaries to get a sense of how long he had to live and worked out (by some strange and somewhat optimistic […]

wide open road

Clearing out the clutter from our mind

Yesterday I met Steve, recently evicted from his mobile home and locked out from his possessions for no longer earning enough money from eBay to pay his rent. Living in his car for two weeks, he has just been rescued by my old friend Iben who lives next to him and who decided to buy […]

Bin Laden

Wanted Dead or Alive!! (Our anger and other delusions…)

I wrote this some time ago, but it still seems particularly relevant in today’s climate. ____________ At 11.30pm last night I had just brought some friends home from the airport when we heard the news from President Obama that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. Rejoicing broke out in streets all over the US. I […]


Don’t worry, be happy

Sarah, the piano, and the Italian vacation We can get in the habit of worrying about small things incessantly if we are not careful. Of course, our worries never feel small because they fill our mind. There is no objective scale. I was in England this summer visiting my family. We spent a delightful weekend […]


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 […]


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