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tessa-now

A disciple passes

Tessa Logan died today at 5am GMT. She has left a lot of friends (I am just one of them) and a very kind, decent family, including a ninety-year-old mum who has nursed her for a long time. Her tiny “bird-like” mom, with the same mop of hair as Tessa, stroked her daughter’s now bald […]

equalizing

Equalizing self and others

 Equalizing self and others is cherishing others as much as we cherish ourselves. Just as I wish to be free from suffering and experience only happiness, so do all other beings. In this respect, I am no different from any other being; we are all equal. ~ The New Meditation Handbook  When we can stand […]

carlin-american-dream

What can we really know about anyone?

We always think we know stuff about people — yeah he’s really annoying, yeah she’s boring, yeah he’s great, etc. Occasionally we find ourselves hopelessly confused, for example when a friend becomes an enemy or a stranger and we are not sure how that happened, “What happened?!” — but generally at any given moment we […]

Buddha image

What is Buddhism? ~ A short, simple guide

This summer my parents asked if I could write a “short, simple guide” to answer the main questions they and their friends have about Buddhism. They kindly sent me the list of quite excellent enquiries, so I am going to have a go now. What is Buddhism in one sentence?  Buddhism is learning to live […]

Emptiness of the mind 1

Your mind is empty (even if it doesn’t feel like it) …

  Do you ever feel as if your mind is crammed full of thoughts you’d rather not be having? Or stuck in painful places, as if your thoughts are thinking you rather than the other way around? Dragging you around with them wherever the heck they feel like it, even when you’d rather be somewhere […]

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Charlie Brown sigh

Delusions be gone!

I had one more article on delusions up my sleeve, quickly finishing off the six causes of delusion as these are so practical. They show how delusions arise in dependence upon other factors and so, if we avoid those factors, we don’t have to experience the delusions. First it is worth remembering, as always, that it […]

emptiness take care of the housework

What am I so attached to?

Back in this article I was surmising that the reason we don’t go for a realization of emptiness more passionately seems to be because we are so attached to inherently existent things, particularly if they appear nice. That seems to me to be our deep laziness of attachment. There’s a contemplation I do to combat […]

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 […]

rubber band 1

“Me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me”! (to the tune of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy)

Self-cherishing — thinking that me and my happiness are the most important in the world  — is bad news for me and for everyone else. Very bad news. Beaker unwittingly demonstrates some of the perils of self-cherishing in his rendition of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy: Self-cherishing not only destroys our chances at any lasting peace […]

mutual dependence, 2012 election, common bond

Believe in love

Wild applause in Chicago. Stunned silence in Boston. Or numberless scenes like this when elections are won and lost all over the world. And, February 7 2016, my team, the Broncos, just won the Superbowl. Geshe Kelsang once told a sports lover how to watch games skillfully by rejoicing in the winners and having compassion […]

letting go 5

Stop grasping

To me the spiritual path seems largely a process of letting go – first of the expectations that this life is the be all and end all of existence, then of the expectations of samsara working out, then of the expectations that our happiness comes first, then of the expectations that everything is as really happening […]

theft of iphone

Everything we need is inside us

I seem to be here again at the Denver DMV. I thought I’d left this grimy place forever, but here I am back all over again. “Weren’t you here just the other day”? asked the man who failed me in my first test and whom I’d never felt the great urge to see again. But our […]

Buddha 1

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 […]

attachment

Falling in love (again) according to Buddhism

I’m continuing with the subject of love, desire and attachment started in this article. Our attachment can be very strong. We’re in love with the idea of love in this society. It sometimes seems as if our whole society is focused on finding the right person — we need someone to complete us. We can’t […]