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flowers

Body image: a Buddhist perspective

Apparently, “body image” is how we see ourselves when we look in the mirror or when we picture ourselves in our mind. And how we think others see us. That sounds about right, as does the common notion that body image is related to self-esteem at all ages. No surprises, really, considering we impute or […]

buddha-for-skeptic

A skeptic’s guide to Buddhas and blessings

By a guest writer and long-term meditator I live in a country where the majority of the population identify themselves as non-religious (agnostic or atheist). They are not closed minded people, rather just naturally skeptical. So, for some time now I have been pondering how to explain the existence of Buddhas and blessings to a […]

who-wants-change

Think globally, act locally

We cannot change everyone. We cannot get everyone to behave. You may have noticed this. So being the change we want to see in the world — as Mahatma Gandhi put it in equally trying times — really needs to be our internal starting point. As Buddhist master Atisha says: Since you cannot tame the minds […]

reflection-of-mind

Hey, what’s going on?!

A friend just told me that the Republicans are winning by 36,000 votes in this great state of Colorado. It gave me pause, again!, as so many times I have been wondering of late, hey, what’s going on?! (Apologies to my subscribers for popping a second article into your inbox so soon after the last […]

More to read…

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 […]

Japan earthquake 2

What can we do about tragedies?

I wrote this on the occasion of the Japanese earthquake some years ago, but Buddha’s advice still holds true. How can we help? “What did you feel when you heard about the colossal tragedy in Japan? Powerless or not? What are the best ways you think you personally can help?” I asked these questions on Facebook and […]

criticism 6

Five ways to deal with criticism

What is criticism? According to Buddha’s teachings on karma, pointing out a truth motivated by kindness and skill is a positive action that leads to good results, whereas hurtful speech motivated by delusion is one of the ten non-virtuous actions that leads to a lot of trouble. If this is true, it makes sense not […]

broken printer

Buddhism and the pursuit of happiness

The last article, based on the Spring Festival introduction, looked at how deceptive samsara’s enjoyments are. Of course its sufferings are no fun either. Now I have boarded my second plane, from San Francisco to Denver, to find it almost entirely empty. I asked the flight attendant why, and she told me that the machines printing […]

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 […]

depression

Mindfulness is as good as antidepressants

“Mindfulness is as good as antidepressants, study says”: “Mindfulness therapy is gaining headway in many areas of psychology, and now there’s more evidence to back up its effectiveness. A new study published the Archives of General Psychiatry finds that depression patients in remission who underwent mindfulness therapy did as well as those who took an […]

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 […]

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 […]

space-needle-1

A way out of this fine mess …

I have been at the Fall Festival in Toronto this week, which has been an incredible pleasure, one that could only have been improved upon if you had all been here as well. During one lunch with my old friend G from Florida and his charming new wife S, who is relatively new to Buddhism, she […]