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Tragedy Led Me To The Dharma

| May 24, 2017 | 1 Comment
Tragedy Led Me To The Dharma

I sometimes think the deaths of my parents led me directly into Buddhism. When I was fourteen years old my dad was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He was in his early 50s. I remember when he told me. He had been having stomach problems for a while and he saw a doctor and they found […]

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On Mettā

| May 21, 2017 | 5 Comments
On Mettā

Where do the instructions for mettā practice come from? The suttas give relatively little instruction on what actually to do, beyond generating universal good will that we find in the Mettā Sutta (Sn. 143-152), and the practice of focusing on each direction, in an oft-cited pericope: [W]ith his heart filled with lovingkindness, he dwells suffusing […]

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Strong Determination: My Goenka Retreat

| April 5, 2017 | 1 Comment
Strong Determination: My Goenka Retreat

Meditators and nonmeditators alike questioned me with raised eyebrows about my decision to attend a 10-day silent retreat at one of S.E. Goenka’s vipassana meditation centers. Admittedly, I questioned myself as well. A single reading of the procedures and rules led me to refer to the retreat as meditation bootcamp. At the retreat, students are […]

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Buddhist Activism and Quietism

| February 6, 2017 | 9 Comments
Buddhist Activism and Quietism

Many of us are looking for the right way to engage with contemporary political concerns. What does Buddhism have to teach us? A couple of recent articles have taken this question in opposite directions. In “Let’s Stand Up Together”, Bhikkhu Bodhi argues that Buddhism has a number of important ethical lessons to teach that rise above simple notions […]

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What Is Dependent Arising?

| January 29, 2017 | 8 Comments
What Is Dependent Arising?

I said that dependent arising is both very simple, and very complex, but always helpful, and worth the effort to understand. Let me start with the very simple. It Really Is Simple Dependent arising says that we come into the world with certain drives that cause us to build a view of the world and […]

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Yes, Dependent Origination Can Be Saved

| January 28, 2017 | 6 Comments
Yes, Dependent Origination Can Be Saved

This post is going to get personal. It can’t be helped. I’ve looked for some other way to write it, but there isn’t one in which I can be straightforward and tell the truth. I’m not going to attack anyone. I might — oh, okay, I will — argue against methods and conclusions, though. But […]

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A Camera Vipassana – Essential Buddhist Insights Through Photography

| January 28, 2017 | 2 Comments
A Camera Vipassana – Essential Buddhist Insights Through Photography

For some years I have been deepening my understanding of certain Buddhist principles through the practice of photography. These realisations have happened very slowly but deepened over time. The core tenets of Buddhist reality are not easy to realise, especially when they have to do with the way we see & experience the world. But […]

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