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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; […]

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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? […]

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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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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 […]

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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 […]

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Must we all suffer?

The last article, What is the root of all evil according to Buddha?, looked at how self-grasping — thinking that our I or me is real, solid, independent — naturally leads to self-cherishing, which believes that same I or me to be the most important. Self-cherishing thinks that holding onto ourselves and other things, finding […]

dolphins

It all depends how we’re looking at it

So I have recently moved from Florida (80 degrees, wall to wall sunshine, sea breezes, pelicans and dolphins) to Liverpool (frozen lake, not quite wall to wall sunshine, bracing wind, swans and Lambananas.) Just now I was scooting down the stairs to the World Peace Café that is conveniently placed inside the large house I’m […]

Nick Vucicic

No arms, no legs, no worries!

This brave, funny and happy man is helping millions of people to change their attitude, seeing the glass as half full rather than half empty. He is inspiring because he is a dramatic, visible, irrefutable example of how life depends on how you look at it. It is hard to sustain self-pity or even self-doubt […]

kindness of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Can ageing be worthwhile?

Carrying on from where this article left off. The power of the Bodhisattva’s mind  When a Bodhisattva experiences pain, they regard this pain as an example of the pain experienced by countless other living beings. They do not possess the pain or identify with it. Ordinarily, pain destroys our happiness because we grasp it tightly […]

Awakening the Santa within

This is continued from this article for the holiday season. So, what’s wrong with miserliness. Well, for starters: Due to miserliness we sometimes wish to hold onto our possessions forever, but since this is impossible we experience much suffering. If our possessions dwindle, or we are forced to give them away, we experience great pain. […]

Five ways to deal with criticism, part 2

This continues on from Five ways to deal with criticism. How to deal with criticism and overcome our faults without feeling guilty or inadequate If we have any self-cherishing, criticism will probably sting us to a greater or lesser extent. As Christopher Penny put it: “It depends on how high my self-cherishing dial is turned […]

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What is the root of all evil according to Buddha?!

Synopsis Buddha said that the root of all our negative minds — all our so-called “delusions” or unpeaceful, uncontrolled minds — is self-grasping ignorance. We are grasping very tightly at an exaggerated sense of self — an I or me that is independent, real. Due to this we naturally develop a grossly overrated, over the […]

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