Archive | 2009

Marriage and Buddhism

My advice is always to seek love and develop love with the knowledge of the mortality of love, just as there is mortality in anything that is born. All things are impermanent, but all things are also inter-dependent. The love, compassion, and acceptance we develop with our spouses carries on beyond our marriages. The love we develop in our marriages is not less important because it is temporary, but more precious because of this fact. Two people who have bonded and joined their lives to journey their short time on this world together are a blessed by each other and are able to take a non-monastic path in their understanding of happiness, wisdom, understanding and compassion.

We must choose the Buddhists we wish to be develop and become, always understanding that the goal is not nirvana, but true happiness. While a married lay person must carry a heavier burden in the physical world, they still walk the Middle Path.

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How to deal with people who bother you

We must recognize that when we harbor negative feelings about someone, that it is not a gift or curse from others, but a choice we have to develop those negative thoughts and hold onto them until they become very unpleasant– and only to us.

Instead, let these feelings go. Remind yourself that you should focus on liberating yourself from negativity and replace the arising of those negative thoughts with something positive.

And if you focusing only on the present situation without developing judgments about it you will find that you will not give power to the negative energy we all so easily hold onto in our lives. This is the poison of aversion and clinging. To avoid and push negative energy away, itself takes energy and develops a sense of validity to negative thoughts, just as clinging to them feeds those negative thoughts as well. We end up carrying rotting potatoes.

Feel the lightness of being when we can put down the burden and move forward in our lives without dealing with such things.

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Do I Exist?

Rene Descartes said, “I think therefore I am.” In one short sentence,he was able to sum up the delusion of man, because while he could deny and question the existence of everything external to him, he was unable to rationalize away his own existence. (Actually, he said it in Latin, “Cogito ergo sum!” which made it sound even more impressive.)

But is his statement true? Because we think, do we exist? In Buddhism, so many try to wrap their heads around the concept of emptiness (sunyata): the concept that we have no true nature and therefore possibly do NOT exist. In addition, this concept of emptiness raises other questions of “does any thing exists?” and “what is the point if nothing exists?”

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Mindful Marriage: How to reconnect

After the rings are exchanged, cake is cut, honeymoon tans have faded marriages have to get down to business. The enthusiasm of this new phase in the relationship – the marriage phase—is exciting like a new car: it is shiny, sexy, smooth to ride. Like a new car, we are extra careful in how we treat our new relationships. With a car we do what we can to avoid scratches, change oil regularly, etc. In a new marriage, we work hard to avoid conflict, temptation, maintain passion.

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Craving

Ajahn Brahm addresses the issue of craving.

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Being Alone

The holidays, we are told, are times for family. It is a time for family and friends to come together and share of themselves. It is a time where we can renew our connections with others.

It is a predominate theory that the reason human beings have large brains—brains that use about 20% of our energy output—is because we are hyper-social creatures. We do not have claws, fur, and animal strength: what we have is our communal power.

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Buddhism and Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a great time for Buddhist. The act of giving thanks is a way we can develop ourselves. By recognizing all the wonderful gifts we receive in life Buddhists can appreciate the world around us.

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Emotions and Dharma

When we develop our Buddhist practice, we develop the habits of loving kindness to replace greed, we develop compassion to replace hatred, and we develop equanimity to replace delusion. We embrace the emotional aspects of who we are, but recognize that emotions are conditioned responses are what we must focus on for change. Nothing is miserable unless we think it is so.

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Be Happy Without Wanting

Enlightenment is not born from ecstasy but from the displeasure of discontentment. Stimulated enjoyment is simulated happiness. The arousal of the senses to pleasurable experiences distracts the mind from genuine experience. We know this because when we turn the stimulation off—we are left empty and wanting.

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Buddhism & the Bible: Adam and Eve (A Love Story)

One of the first stories of the Bible is the story of Adam and Eve. It is a rich story of the origin of man and woman, with many lessons revealed within on how Western/Middle Eastern culture understands the nature of human beings. As Western Occidentals, understanding more how we were raised to understand human nature makes it easier to understand our orientation to the Buddhist philosophy and its understanding of the universe.

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What is Suffering?

The Buddha gave a very clear mission statement, “I teach one thing and one only: that is, suffering and the end of suffering.” (— SN 22.86)

The Four Noble Truths, the oble Eightfold Path, the Law of Karma, etc.: Everything that the Buddha taught was done with one clear purpose: to end suffering.

But what does he mean by suffering? How does that translate into happiness?

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Being Still And See the World

Buddhism doesn’t change the world, but how we engage in it. Buddhism—in its application—is a fundamental shift of thinking, where we see that we are not fixed identities but a grouping of ever-changing processes and conditions continually in motion. That realization dissolves the concepts of self, separateness and isolation that are cornerstones to the illusions which cause our suffering.

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Tips to Healthy Meditation Posture

Anyone who has started a regular meditation practice knows pain is something that is part of the practice. But is there anything we can do to minimize the issues of pain in our meditation? While many meditation instructions discuss the challenges of the mind, they less frequently discuss the challenges of the body.

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4 Points of Meditation for Self-Forgiveness

In today’s society we are continually marketed the image of what beautiful is. Be mindful that this world is made up of nothing but beautiful people. We just need to adjust our focus from what other’s expectations are for beauty and what truly makes people beautiful.

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How I lost 20lbs in a month through Buddhism!

Overall, I am now finishing my month-long experiment and very satisfied with the results. I have not only lost nearly 20 pounds (which my dieticians say is fantastic and healthy), but I have developed a greater understanding into myself and my Buddhist practice.

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