The greatest deception

Prince Siddhartha sat on a patch of kusha grass beneath a ficus religiosa tree investigating human nature. After a long time of contemplation, he came to the realization that all form, including our flesh and bones, and all our emotions and all our perceptions, are assembled — they are the product of two or more... Continue Reading →

Stop reacting instantly

When You Are Feeling LowQuietly observe the feeling without trying to change it. It will change on its own. As if gazing at a tree in the backyard, as if sitting by a river and watching the water flow by, quietly observe your feelings as if they are external to you. If you observe your... Continue Reading →

Injecting Bodhichitta

“...the time we live in is a fertile ground for training in being open-minded and open-hearted. If we can learn to hold this falling apart–ness without polarizing and without becoming fundamentalist, then whatever we do today will have a positive effect on the future. Working with polarization and dehumanization won’t put an immediate end to... Continue Reading →

Devotion in Buddhism

"It may sound as if you must have devotion first in order to have an understanding of the view, that devotion ignites the practice of the Dharma. But as you become more seasoned in practicing the Dharma, especially the Vajrayana, the gap between devotion and the goal of devotion becomes very small. As you become... Continue Reading →

Are you operating out of love or fear?

Are you operating out of love or fear? And our intention is something. If we learn how to pay attention to that and hone it and sculpt it and strengthen that muscle within us to be there for the people, for the planet, not for our bank account or for our reputation. It's a slippery... Continue Reading →

Salt of suffering

An aging master grew tired of his apprentice’s complaints. One morning, he sent him to get some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master told him to mix a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it.“How does it taste?” the master asked.“Bitter,” said the apprentice.The master chuckled and then asked... 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 →


Interdependence is our reality, whether we accept it or not. In order to live productively within such a reality, it is better to acknowledge and work with interdependence, wholeheartedly and without resistance. This is where love and compassion come in. It is love that leads us to embrace our connectedness to others, and to participate... Continue Reading →

Isolation retreat

Many of us are now settling into a different rhythm of life and getting used to words like quarantine, lockdown, curfew, shutdown, isolation, social distancing and so on. We have also been seeing people everywhere feeling the effects of these words whilst also being fearful of catching the virus.The term "social distancing" is such an... Continue Reading →

Contemplating emptiness

Balance your realization of emptiness with a sense of compassion and care to guide your life impeccably. Seeing emptiness means seeing that all of life is like a bubble in a rushing stream, a play of light and shadow, a dream. It means understanding that this tiny planet hangs in the immensity of space amidst... Continue Reading →

The pain of being in-between

"We are told about the pain of chasing after pleasure and the futility of running from pain. We hear also about the joy of awakening, of realizing our interconnectedness, of trusting the openness of our hearts and minds. But we aren't told all that much about this state of being in-between, no longer able to... 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 →

What is emptiness?

Realizing interdependence leads us to the naked understanding of reality beyond the extremes of existence and nonexistence—reality empty of all conceptual contrivances. A disciple of the Buddha once asked him, “What is emptiness?” The Buddha then entered the nonverbal state of meditation. Manjushri explained that this was the Buddha’s expression free of all contrivances, a... Continue Reading →

Focusing on our inner interdependence

We have within us already the most important resources we need for living interdependence well. We have tremendous mental flexibility that allows us to adopt new positions in relation to changing circumstances. As I will explore in the following chapters, I believe that we have the basic ability to open our hearts to others, to... Continue Reading →

Realise your interconnectedness

“Fifteen years ago, a business manager from the United States came to Plum Village to visit me. His conscience was troubled because he was the head of a firm that designed atomic bombs. I listened as he expressed his concerns. I knew if I advised him to quit his job, another person would only replace... Continue Reading →

The nature of interconnectedness

You know that your happiness and suffering depend on the happiness and suffering of others. That insight helps you not to do wrong things that will bring suffering to yourself and to other people. If you try to help your father to suffer less, you have a chance to suffer less. If you are able... Continue Reading →

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