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Are Most Mentally Ill Not Ill?

Until the 19th century, persons who imitated illness—that is, who claimed to be sick without being able to convince their physicians that they suffered from a bona fide illness—were regarded as faking and called malingerers. Not much has changed today and many still see those who say that they are mental ill as deficient morally […]

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No secret to happiness

Secret to Happiness: There is no secret!

“OK, so what is the secret to happiness?” a friend threw out over dinner together. Being a Licensed Social Worker and Buddhist minister, I suppose that people believe that I should have some secret to being happy. The truth is that I do know what makes for a happy life, but it isn’t a secret. […]

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Why do we have emotions?

Why Do We Have Negative Emotions, Darwin?

Why do some people actively cling to negative emotions when they know it is harmful? Why did we evolve to have such emotions?

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How to Become Self-Motivated

My daughter is a teenager. Like many teenagers, her relationship with her parents is stressed by the divergence of priorities. She will tell me that she will clean her room. She will tell me that she will get her driver’s license. She will tell me that she will do her homework. Being a parent, I […]

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Spend enough time listening to people and one thing becomes very clear: people seem to really be involved with the negative experiences in their lives. Not just the intense, sometimes crippling, life-threatening dramas that can give a person PTSD. Not just the abuses that happen over long periods of time that wear down our psyche. […]

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The Buddha resists the temptations of mara and unwholesome thoughts.

How is the word “nightmare” related to Buddhism??

HOW IS THE WORD NIGHTMARE RELATED TO BUDDHISM? The word nightmare doesn’t come from the idea of horse, but folklore term “mare” in Middle English meaning a evil spirit (like a succubus or hag). It’s origins go back to the Proto-Indo-European word “mer” meaning to “rub away” or “to harm.” It is found in various […]

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Life Satisfaction Through Mindfulness-Based Therapy

Why Not Just Practice Buddhism? One of the issues of using spirituality as a healing tool is that its personal and introspective nature does not allow of empirical third-party scrutiny. The scientific method requires that all processes be predictable and able to be replicated; and therefore provide evidence of results. It is not to say […]

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Do Our Emotions Make Our Decisions?

Standing over the brownie pan in the kitchen a debate rages within, “I shouldn’t have another brownie.” “Perhaps if I just took a little sliver that would be enough.” “Now it is uneven. I’ll just eat the one piece and leave it alone.” At the end of an evening half, if not all, of the […]

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Thrive or Strive: Motivate Change for Happiness

As I am developing this intervention model of Buddhist Therapy, I have had a few people ask how individuals and counselors can help develop change. “Mind precedes things, dominates them, creates them” (Mano pubbangamadhamma mano settha mano maya). ~ Dhammapada The core of change comes from the acknowledgement and understanding of decision-thinking is self-motivated. Even […]

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ReWrite Your Stories and Be Happy

I was on my first silent meditation retreat. I was so excited to enjoy the silence. Share that time with others who were seeking time in quiet reflection and loving kindness. But by the end of the fourth day, I wanted to see misery brought down upon every meditator there. I couldn’t stand their smug […]

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Is Fear Good For Us?

A movie-goer sits in a darkened air conditioned square room watching the giant illuminated screen in front of him. At this point he is calm, almost bored as he waits for his entertainment. Soon, the screen is filled with a tiger walking on the African plains. A hunter, unsuspecting, is eating breakfast in a clearing; […]

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Freud and Buddha


Over the years , as a Buddhist practitioner and minister; as well as a Licensed Social Worker; I have been very disheartened when I hear people talk about “Buddhist Therapy.” It is because it is never Buddhist AND therapy. When I read the literature over the years, I have seen many great Buddhist scholars talk about […]

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Originally posted on Name Calling, Insults and Teasing:
You get a phone call and discover the person you have fallen in love with has decided to end the relationship. An event is coming up and each time you think about this, you experience waves and waves of fear. Some big kids at school teased you…

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Memory, Mindfulness, and Buddhism

     Last Sunday, we (at the Pittsburgh Buddhist Center) had a great opportunity to meet and learn from Dr. Bhikkhuni Kusuma, a senior Buddhist nun from Sri Lanka. Everybody who came to this event enjoyed her engaging sermon and meditation. Moreover, everybody was impressed to see her energy at the age of 84 to disseminate […]

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Practising Listening with Empathy, by Thich Nhat Hanh

Originally posted on Buddhism now:
Yesterday, Sister True Virtue talked a little bit about the fourth precept concerning speaking and listening. This is a very deep practice. Listening is an art, and many people do not have the capacity for it, especially in the case of listening to the suffering of others. One reason for…

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