When the night has ended

Whenever our goodness is seen, it is a blessing. Every culture and tradition understands the importance of seeing one another with love. An old Hasidic rabbi asked his pupils how they could tell when the night had ended and day begun, for daybreak is the time for certain holy prayers. “Is it,” proposed one student,... Continue Reading →

Many expressions of Buddha’s wisdom

“They say there are 84,000 expressions of the Buddha’s wisdom, but what is the common thread that runs through all of these methods and teachings? The insight into dependent arising. To see the nature of dependent arising, pratityasamutpada, means to see things in context… in relationship. Nothing is self-defining because everything is conditioned by the... Continue Reading →

Who is a warrior

The word “warrior” is taken from the Tibetan pawo, which literally means “one who is brave.” Warriorship in this context is the tradition of human bravery, or the tradition of fearlessness. The North American Indians had such a tradition of wisdom and it also existed in South American Indian societies. The Japanese ideal of the... Continue Reading →

Be Daring

In order to overcome selfishness, it is necessary to be daring. It is as though you are dressed in your swimsuit, standing on the diving board with a pool in front of you, and you ask yourself: “Now what?” The obvious answer is” “Jump.” That is daring. You might wonder if you will sink or... Continue Reading →

The other is a mirror

“How does feeling our breath or taking a mindful step help anyone else? It happens in several ways. The more we understand our own minds, the more we understand everyone else. We increasingly feel the commonality of our human condition, of what creates suffering and how we can be free. Our practice also benefits others... Continue Reading →

Happiness is something we access

“Once you are able to quiet the mind, you have a highly sustainable source of happiness. My friends, that is a life-changing insight. That suggests that happiness is not something we pursue, happiness is already there. Happiness is something we access, something we allow. Once you understand that, it changes everything in life. This is... Continue Reading →

To see with eyes of compassion

Becoming aware of intention is the key to awakening in moment-to-moment practice In times of difficulty it is this repeated setting of our heart’s compass that determines the result. Whether in a family disagreement or community conflict, before we speak and act, we can become aware of our deepest intention. Even the simplest words can... Continue Reading →

The greatest charity

“Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don't judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone's differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse... Continue Reading →

The Midlife Unravelling

It seems as if we spend the first half of our lives shutting down feelings to stop the hurt, and the second half trying to open everything back up to heal the hurt. Sometimes when the “tear the walls down and submit to death” thing overwhelms me, I find it easier to think about midlife... Continue Reading →

The Bodhisattva vow

The bodhisattva—the renowned ideal of Mahayana Buddhism—is not a god or deity but a way of being we can all aspire to. As Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche explains, those who take the bodhisattva vow make one simple commitment: to put others first, holding nothing back for themselves. The bodhisattva vow is the commitment to put others... Continue Reading →

The middle way

The term Middle Way is commonly misunderstood. We may interpret middle to mean “finding a balance.” For example, in the way that we might pursue, say, material fulfillment on the weekdays and try to balance that with something “spiritual” on the weekends. Or we may think the Middle Way refers to something in between two... Continue Reading →

Different types of bodhisattvas

A bodhisattva is someone who says from the depth of his or her heart, “I want to be liberated and find ways to overcome all the problems of the world. I want to help all my fellow beings to do likewise. I long to attain the highest state of everlasting peace and happiness, in which... Continue Reading →

Transcend Samsara

Ordinary enjoyments are pleasurable in the beginning, but as time goes on, they become an increasing source of torment, If you wrap a strip of wet leather around your wrist, it is fine at first, but as the leather dries and shrinks, it tightens painfully. What a relief it is to cut it away with... Continue Reading →

Taking the bodhisattva vow

A Bodhisattva is a person who lives in the spirit of Buddhism’s bodhisattva vow, committing to put others before oneself, to give up one’s own well-being — even one’s own enlightenment — for the sake of others Taking the bodhisattva vow implies that instead of holding our own individual territory and defending it tooth and... Continue Reading →

A taste of that open space

As we go through life, we accumulate layers of ideas about who we are and what we’re capable of achieving. As these layers accumulate, we tend to become increasingly rigid in our identification with certain views about ourselves and the world around us. Gradually, we lose our connection to the basic openness, clarity, and love... Continue Reading →

We are frightened of ourselves

Milarepa had already gone through the subtleties of loneliness and his romantic notions of being in retreat, and having gone through all that, he began to relax a little bit. But in the course of his relaxation, once again his dear familiar ego came back and approached him with all kinds of temptations. All kinds... Continue Reading →

Autonomy will never be an option

The investigations of the Middle Way tradition make it clear that autonomy will never be an option. So don’t waste your time trying to single yourself out of the bigger picture. You are not big, nor are you small. You are not important, nor are you insignificant. And you cannot be affirmed or denied. You... Continue Reading →

Forgiveness is a way to move on

We have all betrayed and hurt others, just as we have knowingly or unknowingly been harmed by them. It is inevitable in this human realm. Sometimes our betrayals are small, sometimes terrible. Extending and receiving forgiveness is essential for redemption from our past. To forgive does not mean we condone the misdeeds of another. We... Continue Reading →

What keeps us unhappy

“The innocent mistake that keeps us caught in our own particular style of ignorance, unkindness, and shut-downness is that we are never encouraged to see clearly what is, with gentleness. Instead, there’s a kind of basic misunderstanding that we should try to be better than we already are, that we should try to improve ourselves,... Continue Reading →

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