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Meditating With and For Each Other

| February 1, 2016 | 10 Comments
Meditating With and For Each Other

While meditation retreats have always been challenging, rewarding, and in some ways, deeply moving experiences for me, I believe that they don’t sufficiently foster two key aspects of our practice: our ethical, socially-conscious engagement in the world and our active participation in sanghas. In a previous blog post I raised concerns about the negative effect […]

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Lovingkindness Now and in the Past

| January 26, 2016 | 12 Comments
Lovingkindness Now and in the Past

In contrast to the dominant role that mettā (lovingkindness) and the other Brahmavihāras (compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity) play in contemporary Buddhist practice, they seem to have played a relatively minor role in the earliest tradition. One looks in vain for much elaboration on mettā’s dhammic role; largely it seems to have been seen as […]

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Secular Meditation: A Review

| January 20, 2016 | 6 Comments
Secular Meditation:  A Review

When I reviewed Sam Harris’ book, Waking Up, in these pages, I lamented that the book failed to live up to its subtitle, “A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion.” Indeed, there are a growing number of volumes, from writers like Harris, Stephen Batchelor and others, that discuss the philosophical underpinnings of living a spiritual life […]

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Keeping Your Meditation Resolution

| December 30, 2015 | 2 Comments
Keeping Your Meditation Resolution

Is starting a regular meditation practice on your list of New Year’s resolutions? Congratulations! Making time for daily meditation is powerful act of self-compassion. As the Dhammapada tells us, not even one’s mother or father can be of greater help than one’s own well-cultivated mind. However, if starting a daily practice were easy, we wouldn’t […]

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On Materialist Disenchantment

| December 16, 2015 | 20 Comments
On Materialist Disenchantment

In Buddhism there are two main unskillful approaches we may have towards the world: greed and aversion. Most contemporary dhamma discussions tend to revolve around mitigating aversion. To do that, we practice mettā, the other Brahmavihāras, and learn to accept and embrace the world with kindness and compassion, just as it is. So for example […]

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Pali Intensive Course Offered Online

| December 13, 2015 | 0 Comments
Pali Intensive Course Offered Online

There are some exciting things happening in the world of Buddhist studies. There is one in particular I’m familiar with that I thought you might like to know about, because – especially at this moment in time – you don’t need to be either a monastic or a student at a university, or a big […]

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The Importance of How We Translate: The End of Suffering

| December 11, 2015 | 21 Comments
The Importance of How We Translate: The End of Suffering

    How readers understand Buddhism depends a great deal on how it is presented to us. This should be obvious. Though Buddhism teaches us to see for ourselves whether what we learn applies to our lives, how we practice, and what we look for when we practice is going to be affected by how […]

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