Are we there yet?

You don’t particularly expect happiness out of the path. However, you do expect sophistication and a sense of relief or confidence that something is actually happening. You don’t have to know where you are on the path but you need to know that you are moving and you are going to get to your destination.... Continue Reading →

Love is your gateway

The human heart longs to love and be loved, yet we are all too often afraid. We’ve been hurt, betrayed, abandoned, misunderstood, targeted, left out, and our love story has become a ghost story. The ghosts of loss and pain haunt us, warning us to hedge our bets and put up a shield to protect... Continue Reading →

Perception phenomena

Normally, we limit the meaning of perceptions. Food reminds us of eating; dirt reminds us to clean the house; snow reminds us that we have to clean off the car to get to work; a face reminds us of our love or hate. In other words, we fit what we see into a comfortable or... Continue Reading →

Adverse circumstances

In prison Khenpo Münsel Rinpoche taught me this: "The extent of your realization will be known when you encounter difficult circumstances. You will not know the extent of your realization when things go well."When you find yourself in a troublesome situation, when you are in great pain, when an intense emotion arises, only then will... Continue Reading →

Discursive thinking

Discursive thinking is basically a set of memories that we are now recycling as “us.” That’s why it’s such a problem. It’s coming from the past. We’ve picked it up from here, there, and everywhere. The only thing that is truly ours is the life that’s in our body that wants to unfold. Everything that... Continue Reading →

Spark of goodness

There's always the primordial dot: that spark of goodness that exists even before you think we are worthy of thatTake a look. There is something else, something more than all that. We are willing: willing to wait, willing to smile, willing to be decent. We shouldn’t discount that potential, that powerful seed of gentleness. Generally... Continue Reading →

Basic sanity

Meditation, especially at the beginning, exaggerates the leaks that are taking place. You keep pouring all kinds of goodies, all kinds of interesting experiences, into your vessel, but it never fills up. Finally, through the practice of meditation, you realize that there is a leak. It’s not all that magical. The leakage is distrust. You... Continue Reading →

Exposing ego’s game

In meditation practice, finally, we are exposed. We hoped that we wouldn’t have to go through the embarrassment of exposing ourselves; we hoped to bypass that particular area and become enlightened. You might talk about how bad you used to be. It’s okay to talk about that because it’s in the past; you are already... Continue Reading →

Stealing a bell

There is a story about a man who was stealing a bell, and he covered his own ears so that no one would hear it ringing. We plan ways to hide our own pain, thinking that nobody will know. Realizing the fundamental suffering, the private parts that we stupidly try to hide—being so intelligent and... Continue Reading →

Befriending ourselves

Loving kindness towards ourselves doesn’t mean getting rid of anything. It means we can still be crazy after all these years. We can still be angry after all these years. We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness. The point is not to try to throw ourselves away and become... Continue Reading →

Freedom from fear

Fear is a common predecessor to anger and hate—fear of loss, of hurt, of embarrassment, of shame, of weakness, of not knowing. When fear arises, anger and aversion function as strategies to help us feel safe, to declare our strength and security. In fact, we actually feel insecure and vulnerable, but we cover this fear... Continue Reading →

Forget the tyranny of perfection

Imperfections are part of the display of life. Joy and sorrow, birth and death are the dance of existence throughout which our awakened consciousness can shine. Yet we long for perfection. The perfect partner, house, job, boss, and spiritual teacher. And when we find them, we want them to stay that way forever, never to... Continue Reading →

Teachings of a Tibetan Master

To understand how delusion arises, practice watching your mind. Begin by simply letting it relax. Without thinking of the past or the future, without feeling hope or fear about this thing or that, let it rest comfortably, open and natural. In this space of the mind, there is no problem, no suffering. Then something catches... Continue Reading →

What is Dharma practice?

To begin with, what is Dharma? Generally, when most people try to practice Dharma, or say that they practice Dharma, they sometimes understand it as a ritual, something that you do with your body, your speech, or through special actions or activities. And if that is the case, then you need to devote special time... Continue Reading →

Ego has no where to live

As a Buddhist, you have been taught that aggression is generally considered to be a negative emotion. Therefore your immediate reaction to any aggressive tendency or thought that arises in your mind will be to reject it. And you reject it because you are in love with your “self,” which makes you an egoist. As... Continue Reading →

Working with others

Trust begins with trusting in yourself. When we talk about working with others, we are talking about working with ourselves to begin with. If we are ready to work with others, it doesn’t matter who comes along in our world. You might be working with somebody who is completely untrustworthy, but that doesn’t matter. We... Continue Reading →

Individual salvation

In order to make yourself a person of the world, you have had to fight for every inch. Even when you are pressing your clothes or busy organizing a cocktail party, there is always an undercurrent of trying to prove something, trying to achieve something. Whatever you do involves some kind of chauvinism, which in... Continue Reading →

Acceptance is not resignation

As Ostaseski puts it, you don’t have to like what’s arising in front of you. This has nothing to do with seeking only what’s pleasurable. “Our task is only to meet what’s showing up at our door.”Acceptance is not resignation, he continues. This has nothing to do with being a “door mat.” Ostaseski quotes James... Continue Reading →

Reconnecting with our heart

Many sorrows of the world arise when the thinking mind is disconnected from the heart. As one great Indian master, Sri Nisargadatta, put it, “The mind creates the abyss, and the heart crosses it.” In meditation we can reconnect with our heart and discover an inner sense of spaciousness, unity, and compassion underneath all the... Continue Reading →

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