Tag: brain

Practice Circle: Keeping Your Practice Together

| September 8, 2017 | 0 Comments
Practice Circle: Keeping Your Practice Together

I won’t bore you with the details, but 2017 has been a tough year for me. Job loss, unemployment, an auto accident, the stress of adjusting to a demanding new job, physical injury, and more — it’s all come one after another. Dukkah, thick and fast. And, just as I needed my practice the most, […]

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Practice Circle April 3: Rick Heller and Face Meditation

| March 22, 2016 | 1 Comment
Practice Circle April 3: Rick Heller and Face Meditation

Hi! To avoid the holiday weekend, we’ll reschedule Practice Circle for Sunday, April 3, when author Rick Heller will join us as guest facilitator. Rick will share one of the practices from his book, Secular Mediation: 32 Practices for Cultivating Inner Peace, Compassion and Joy. Here’s an excerpt from the chapter on the practice Rick […]

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Practice Circle: Relax

| November 5, 2015 | 3 Comments
Practice Circle: Relax

I think every contemplative technique I’m aware of involves at least some degree of relaxation. The practices I was taught in MBSR all begin with bringing awareness to areas of tightness and holding in the body and inviting them to relax; the Body Scan, which is the first technique one learns in MBSR, consists of […]

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Waking Up: A Review

| September 22, 2014 | 53 Comments
Waking Up: A Review

I still remember my excitement on encountering, in Sam Harris’ first book, The End of Faith, the suggestion that it would be possible to enjoy many of the benefits which people had traditionally sought from religion without the need to embrace religion itself.  Buddhist meditiation was one of the practices Harris mentioned as a specific example of wisdom that […]

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A Secular Evaluation of Rebirth

| May 29, 2013 | 179 Comments
A Secular Evaluation of Rebirth

Rebirth: it’s one of those topics that defines the Secular Buddhist approach. Practitioners who accept the traditional Buddhist notions of rebirth and the kammic causation that accompanies it will be less interested in a naturalistic ‘secularization’ of the dhamma. Discussions along the frontiers of belief tend not to be very fruitful: people find their beliefs […]

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Gotama and Parfit on the Self

| April 3, 2013 | 22 Comments
Gotama and Parfit on the Self

The self is perhaps one of the most fraught and confusing elements of the dhamma. The Buddha considered it an advanced teaching: it’s not something he brought up in discussions with laypeople. Indeed, the great lay benefactor Anāthapiṇḍika was apparently not aware of any of the doctrine of non-clinging until his deathbed, and urged that […]

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If Not-Self Then What?

| July 14, 2012 | 27 Comments
If Not-Self Then What?

The Buddha’s teachings on not-self truly are impressive, especially when you consider those were times in which people were immersed in beliefs about the supernatural, an essence of self that is everlasting, and a multitude of gods. For Buddha to point out the parts of the body as not self, the emotions as not self, […]

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