Author Archive: Mark Knickelbine
"Buddhism Without Beliefs" and "The End of Faith" led me to seek out a dharma practice without the religious trappings of Buddhism. I found it at a local health clinic, where I learned mindfulness in the manner of Jon Kabat-Zinn. I've continued to study texts from the Pali, Chan and Zen traditions, and I practice with a secular mindfulness group in Madison, Wisconsin. I'm a writer, editor, and political activist, and I have a masters in English, which qualifies me to pontificate on nearly any topic.
According to the tales in the Pali Canon, the very first teaching Gotama gave after his awakening was what we have come to know as the Four Noble Truths. This concept is foundational to all traditions that we call Buddhism, Secular Buddhism included. To the extent that newcomers to dharma practice know any Buddhist doctrine [...]
This is to be done by one skilled in aims Who wants to break through To the state of peace: . . . As a mother would risk her life To protect her child, her only child, Even so should one cultivate a limitless heart With regard to all beings. Khuddakapatha 9, trns Thanissaro Bhikkhu [...]
In the introduction to Dependent Arising in Context, Linda Blanchard credits the inspiration of Nanavira Thera. One of the first Westerners to become an ordained Theravadin monk, Nanavira’s spirit echoes through Blanchard’s work. Boldly idiosyncratic, driven both by his ferocious intellect and his fervent belief that the Pali canon held wisdom that had been ignored [...]
With good will for the entire cosmos, Cultivate a limitless heart: Above, below, & all around, Unobstructed, without hostility or hate Whether standing, walking, Sitting, or lying down, As long as one is alert, One should be resolved on this mindfulness. This is called a sublime abiding, here and now. This is from Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s [...]
This is the final installment of four. Here are links to the first, second, and third part. It was 6 a.m. on the first morning of the retreat, and after a restless night’s sleep I was sitting on a wooden bench before a still farm pond, examining again my intention for being there. For several [...]