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The Pitfall of Spiritual Achievement

People who start a spiritual path do so because they are seeking. Those who aren’t have no real need for spiritual practice. This seeking may be for existential understanding, resolving internal conflict, finding purpose or myriad other deficiencies in our understanding and engagement with the universe.

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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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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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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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Buddhist Society of Pittsburgh 4th Annual Vesak

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Worry- How We Keep Ourselves From Happiness

This is the question of all questions. If the Buddha was happy growing up he never would have left his castle, his riches, his wife and child. Studying faith and religion didn’t make him happy. Suffering and starving to cleanse himself didn’t make him happy. There is a general unhappiness that comes from living. The […]

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Who Is Meditating If There Is No “I”?

A meditator asked me, “If we are not dualistic, made of mind and body, then what is observing in mediation?” What a simple question that leads to a very challenging answer. “Who is the observer if we are observing that there is no ‘I’?” In order to answer this question we must look at how […]

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Sumitta quotes 2011

The following are  quotes from this year that I have said and liked. Most happened during teachings or during counseling. Many of them became my twitter or FB status updates. Now I am putting them all together. Do not leave your mind drag behind you. Do not throw it far in front of you. Do […]

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U.S. Army's first Buddhist chaplain, Thomas Dyer

Motivation for Enlightenment

I was speaking with a fellow minister of my order and I asked him what work he was doing. He is working as an Army Chaplain and he replied “I am reminding an infantry company to remain mindful and to bring the spiritual into their training. It’s an uphill battle.” Of course, he is a […]

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Ordination

I am a prolific writer; however, I tend not to write too often about the personal events in my life. I write about the dhamma and how to enrich our lives in the dhamma. However, this past Saturday, after an endorsement by the Venerable Chao Chu of the Rosemead Buddhist Temple (Rosemead, Calif.) and other […]

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GUEST BLOGGER: How does my Buddhist practice affect my daily life?

On occasion, the blogger of Precious Metal, Nate DeMontigny, coordinates a wonderful event: A Buddhist Blog Swap. This is an opportunity for digital dharma dialogists to be a guest speaker on other blog. I was very fortunate to have been given J Andy Lambert of Bayou City Buddhist as my guest speaker. —— My Zen practice never really stops. […]

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The Buddhist Freud

As a graduate student in clinical social work, I spend a lot of time reading the theories of psychology. As a serious Buddhist practitioner, I read a lot of Buddhist philosophy and the Pali Canon. Eventually, you come across those moments when you feel like a Reese’s peanut butter cup commercial: “Hey, your Buddhism is […]

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Evolution of the Buddhist Mind

Looking at ourselves biologically, I have to ask “how did we evolve to creatures that suffer (i.e. dukkha)? Certainly, if evolution creates being best suited for its environment, then the concept of suffering must somehow be linked to what is needed for our species to survive. How could Darwin translate Buddhism?

Now this is a pretty big subject, but here is one small part of how neuroscience and Buddhism meet for greater understanding why we the way we are. [CLICK ON TITLE FOR FULL STORY]

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There is no “I” in Dhamma

Speaking with another dhamma follower, we explored the concept of non-attachment and the practice of “non-self.” For most, this is the cornerstone of practice: the goal of Buddhism. We see dukkha (“suffering”) as something that must be eliminated to find happiness. We see anatta (the concept of “non-self “or “empty nature”) as the key realization needed to complete that process. This blog will hopefully elucidate that our Buddhist practice needs more than understanding of these concepts. The goal isn’t realizing anicca, anatta, and dukkha, but how we choose to live our lives once we do. [CLICK ON TITLE TO READ FULL STORY]

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The Science of “Why We Suffer”

What was sticking to the roof of my mouth like peanut butter was the question“why dukkha?” I know what you are going to respond, “Sumitta, we have dukkha because we have unwholesome craving.” But that is my point. Why do we have craving? Not just the Buddhist answers of “ignorance.” That requires a fully evolved brain.

Why did we evolve into a being of craving? Why did we evolve into a being of emotionality? Why have we not evolve through Darwinist evolution into creatures beyond unwholesome craving? What is the scientific explanation of “why we suffer?” [CLICK ON TITLE TO READ FULL STORY]

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