Pain is not wrong

“Pain is not wrong. Reacting to pain as wrong initiates the trance of unworthiness. The moment we believe something is wrong, our world shrinks and we lose ourselves in the effort to combat the pain...perhaps the biggest tragedy of our lives is that freedom is possible, yet we can pass our years trapped in the... Continue Reading →

We are all broken

"I've come to believe that we we're all broken from the same nameless heart, and every living thing wakes with a piece of that original heart aching its way into being. Along the way, we are broken open like seeds that bear fruit, so we can meet each other and be touched by each other;... Continue Reading →

How to live fully

“Subconsciously we are lured by the expectation that we will reach a stage where we don’t have to fix anything ever again. One day we will reach “happily ever after.” We are convinced of the notion of “resolution.” It’s as if everything that we’ve experienced up until now, our whole lives to this moment, was... Continue Reading →

We become our own monastery

When we take the one seat on our meditation cushion we become our own monastery. We create the compassionate space that allows for the arising of all things: sorrows, loneliness, shame, desire, regret, frustration, happiness. In a monastery, monks and nuns take robes and shave their heads as part of the process of letting go.... Continue Reading →

The power of an open question

If we think about it, life resists definition. How can we truly know things that continuously change, are impossible to pin down, and are always open to interpretation? Can we, for instance, ever reach absolute conclusions about the redness of a flower, a moment of grief, or the meaning of the universe? We’re lucky that... Continue Reading →

In silence lies truth of who you are

When all mental activity around who you think you are or what you need for happiness is stopped, there is a crack in the authority of perception, in the structure of the mind. I invite you to enter through that crack. Come in through that opening. When you do, the mind is no longer filled... Continue Reading →

World plays a role in our liberation

“Of course, even when you see the world as a trap and posit a fundamental separation between liberation of self and transformation of society, you can still feel a compassionate impulse to help its suffering beings. In that case you tend to view the personal and the political in a sequential fashion. "I'll get enlightened... Continue Reading →

The Invitation

“You cannot trade the courage needed to live every moment for immunity from life's sorrows. We may say we know this but ours is the culture of the deal-making mind. From infancy, we have breathed in the belief that there is always a deal to be made, a bargain to be struck. Eventually, we believe,... Continue Reading →

Out of control everyday mind

“At my first meditation retreat, a two-week period of silent attention to mind and body, I was amazed to find myself sitting in the dining hall with an instant judgement about each of the hundred other meditators, based on nothing besides how they looked while eating. Instinctively, I was searching out whom I liked and... Continue Reading →

Falling Into Grace

“I remember hearing a talk from a very famous Tibetan teacher, a man who had spent many years in a small, stone hut in the Himalayas. He was crippled, and so he couldn’t use either one of his legs. He told a story of how a big boulder fell on his legs and broke them,... Continue Reading →

The trance of unworthiness

We focus on other people’s faults. There is a saying that the world is divided into people who think they are right. The more inadequate we feel, the more uncomfortable it is to admit our faults. Blaming others temporarily relieves us from the weight of failure. The painful truth is that all of these strategies... Continue Reading →

Freedom is right here

What are the experiences that the teachings of the Buddha are founded on? They are sadness, love, and openness. Although they appear to be quite different, sadness and openness are in fact intimately connected. The profound sadness that overwhelms us when we understand the impermanent nature of all phenomena opens us up to the world... Continue Reading →

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