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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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Buddha calling earth to witness

Tired, yet, of living a cliché?

On the last day of the recent Kadampa Summer Festival, the life story of Buddha Shakyamuni was shown, as it always is, and well received. Buddha’s story is a great story, and ours can be a great story too, if we stop thinking about ourselves in clichéd, samsaric ways. “Anything that has become trite or commonplace through […]

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 […]

selfloathing 1

Ever had self-loathing?

Delusions are inner diseases. When our mind is uncomfortable or ill at ease, we can accept that we are experiencing mental dis-ease, some level of uneasiness, without thinking, “I am a disease.” (By the way, Dad, the definition of delusion is “A mental factor (state of mind) that arises from inappropriate attention and functions to […]

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 […]

boomerang

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 […]

hoarding

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 […]

calvin and hobbes new year's resolution

Learning to meditate in 2013

(A holiday bonus special article, twice the length! :-)) It is that up-in-the-air time again, when between recovering from the same-old, same-old hectic holidays and looking lugubriously ahead to the same-old, same-old January treadmill we may decide we want things to be different this year. We may want it to be a better year, preferably […]

how to get rid of delusions

How meditation overcomes negative thoughts and emotions

A bit more on the subject of delusions and how to get rid of them. Nothing is as it seems If it is true that “The things we normally perceive do not exist” it means that nothing is really out there, and everything is free of being real and fixed. This means we can change […]

disappearing world

Top Five Regrets of the Dying – and a Buddhist’s perspective

A hospice worker called Bronnie Ware wrote a very interesting article called “Top Five Regrets of the Dying”. I (and others) posted it on Facebook and it garnered a lot of attention, probably as all of us are dying sooner or later, and who wants to die with regrets?! Other hospice workers chimed in to […]