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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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magnified sand

Exploring our potential for peace and omniscience

We all need to be able to let go of our unhappiness. This, to put it mildly, is a Very Useful Skill – unless of course we don’t mind hanging onto misery for a few more years, a few more decades, a few more lifetimes… Considering that we probably do mind that, quite a lot […]

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 […]

how to deal with depression

Marvin the manically depressed robot

My parents were staying with me early this year, which was lovely, and one night we watched Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which was entertaining enough if you had no expectations whatsoever and were in the mood, which we were. Marvin the manically depressed robot got me thinking. He’s a robot with the brain the […]

Mental Health (2)

Dealing with anger … more from our social worker

This is the fourth article from a guest writer, Kadampa Buddhist and student social worker. For the others, see Guest Articles. Who is mentally healthy? My second placement in my social work training was for a mental health charity. I found myself being attracted to the ethos of this organisation. They believe that we all […]

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 […]

dead weight

Awakening our inner Santa

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. […]

monster in the cellar

Dealing with our demons

Of the three steps to overcoming our delusions taught in the mind-training teachings of Buddhism, the first is recognizing or identifying them. And that means not just intellectually but in our own minds. We identify them but we don’t identify WITH them — the difference is crucial. (The next two steps are overcoming them by […]

SurfingMonkNKTimage

Surfing life’s waves

The other day I saw a little dude with his surfboard looking disappointedly at the ocean – it was clearly his first day of vacation and his parents perhaps hadn’t warned him that the Gulf of Mexico is not known for its waves. Lojong or mind-training practitioners are also a little disappointed when everything goes […]

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Where is a problem? … more from our social worker

This is the second article from a guest writer, Kadampa Buddhist and student social worker. For the first, see Meditation Helps Me Be a Better Social Worker and Vice Versa. The problem is not in the person — the problem is the problem and the person is the person. ~ Solution-focussed social work theory Our […]