The aging of beings in the various orders of beings, their old age, brokenness of teeth, grayness of hair, wrinkling of skin, decline of life, weakness of faculties — this is called aging. The passing of beings out of the various orders of beings, their passing away, dissolution, disappearance, dying, completion of time, dissolution of [...]
At the Wisdom 2.0 conference I heard several speakers talk about their life’s calling, and others refer to life’s purpose. Our society speaks about people’s life’s purpose as though it’s a real thing out there to be discovered, to give life your life meaning. In fact, there are books such as A Purpose Driven Life, Finding Your Life’s Purpose.
Over the past few weeks, we focused on exploring how the feeling of me, mine, and I arise from the five aggregates: body, feeling tone, perceptions, fabrications, and consciousness. Each of these arise as a part of the human condition. In fact, they’ve been necessary to our evolution as a species. Without a feeling of I, you might not bother to feed yourself.
The problems of the aggregates comes from not recognizing them as the processes that go into the making of a perception of self, not recognizing that these are impermanent, and the focus for this week, how we cling to them and crave for more.
I recall going into the local sangha, taking a seat on my cushion, and the women in a chair beside me leaned down. “I notice whenever you come here that you always sit in a different place.” I smiled. “Yes, I’m not crazy about routine, and I enjoy challenging my comfort zones.” She looked at [...]
Critical thinking, skepticism, and experimentation are not only important in science, but our everyday lives. This is also true in Buddhism, and especially secular Buddhism. In fact, the Buddha was well known for saying, and I’m paraphrasing here: Don’t just believe what I say. Look for yourself.
When we first began practice with meditation, and mindfulness in our daily lives, many of the teachings prove themselves to be true. It becomes starkly apparent, for instance, that we cling to pleasure and we have aversion to pain. Our reactions to such clinging often cause a great deal of internal suffering. Mindfulness goes on to reveal much more than just clinging, but also how we create and recreate a feeling of self.