Alertness within

We sometimes think that being mindful means being critical of ourselves and very watchful. We think that meditation provides us with a big brother who is going to watch over us or whip us into shape if we do something wrong. But mindfulness practice is not about punishing yourself when you lose track of your... Continue Reading →

Nourishing happiness

When I was a young monk, I wondered why the Buddha kept practicing mindfulness and meditation even after he had already become a Buddha. Now I find the answer is plain enough to see. Happiness is impermanent, like everything else. In order for happiness to be extended and renewed, you have to learn how to... Continue Reading →

Unacknowledged sorrow

Most often, opening the heart begins by opening to a lifetime’s accumulation of unacknowledged sorrow, both our personal sorrows and the universal sorrows of warfare, hunger, old age, illness, and death. Most often we feel the depth of our wounds, our abandonment, our pain, as unshed tears. The Buddhists describe this as an ocean of... Continue Reading →

Happily everafter?

In almost all spiritual traditions, renouncing the world is regarded as one of the first steps in spiritual practiseSpiritual practise is often regarded as a means of salvation. According to that conception, spirituality should provide a permanent shelter where we can be happy and free; and since our daily living situation does not provide permanent... Continue Reading →

Jungle of samsaric chaos

The nature of the path is more like an expedition or exploration than following a road that already has been built. When people hear that they should follow the path, they might think that a ready-made system exists and that individual expressions are not required. They may think that one does not actually have to... Continue Reading →

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