You Can’t Steal My Chocolate

You Can’t Steal My Chocolate

Sometimes when I am at home alone, I turn up the music really loud and dance like a madman in my living room. Yesterday while I was dancing, my phone rang, and I didn’t hear it. The music was too loud, so I missed the call. We’ve all had experiences like this. When the ambient sound near us is loud, we are less sensitive to quiet sounds. In a quiet room, we can hear someone whisper, but when the vacuum…

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Sujata’s Gift

Sujata’s Gift

In the life story of Siddhartha Gotama, just before his enlightenment he is skeletally thin and barely alive, having deprived himself of sustenance to the point of starvation. A young woman named Sujata gives him a bowl of rice and milk. Understanding that deprivation is not the path to awakening, Siddhartha gratefully accepts Sujata’s gift, ending his six-year experiment with rigorous asceticism. Enlivened by the nourishment and brought back into balance, Siddhartha attains enlightenment shortly thereafter. These days, we wonder how we can be like Sujata. We strive to make a difference…

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Refresh Your Browser Frequently

Refresh Your Browser Frequently

All too often, we confuse meditation with concentration. Specifically, we attempt to lock our attention into a fixed, non-thought position. While there are meditation techniques that include one-pointed concentration on an object – the breath, a candle, a visualization, etc. – these techniques are mental exercises and alone do not constitute a complete path. Due to the oversimplification and commoditization of meditation and mindfulness, the word meditation has become synonymous with non-thought and the struggle to achieve that imagined state…

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AH

AH

Many Vajrayana Buddhist meditation practices begin with the intonation of the syllable AH. This being a short sound at the beginning of a longer practice, it is easy to say it and then progress on to the rest of the practice without giving much thought to its meaning or purpose. However, when we look into it, we find that this single syllable represents the entire practice, the entire teaching, and the entire path. When we understand and embody the meaning…

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I Make Offerings

I Make Offerings

It took me more than twenty years of Buddhist practice to develop even a limited understanding of the ritual of making offerings. Since it has been a relatively short time that I have practiced making offerings in any kind of meaningful way, what I have to share here does not qualify as a complete explanation. Other people with more experience can do a better job explaining why we make offerings. But I do think that the process that I went…

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The Endless Purple Fog

The Endless Purple Fog

After we fall asleep, there is a period of time when we are completely unconscious, and then we begin to dream. Ordinarily, when we dream, we are not aware that we are dreaming. Instead, we believe that what is happening is real, even when it is illogical and outrageous. Of course, when we wake up, we are immediately aware that the dream was just a dream. Sometimes, we become lucid, aware that we are dreaming. Usually, the dawning of lucidity…

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