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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
I hear the words bandied about “traditional marriage.” And as a minister, I get asked, “What is the Buddhist position on same-sex marriage?” What would Buddha say? In truth, the Buddha would probably respond to the question with another question, “How does this issue lead to the understanding of suffering and the cessation of suffering?” […]
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 […]
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 […]
When I was younger (as the Beatles say, “so much younger than today”), I remember reading Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree.” I thought it was a horribly sad story of unrequited love. A tree who loves a boy so much that it just waits and gives and gives and gets less and less in return. […]
This is an hour lecture, but it was my talk on Mindfulness Based Resolution at this year’s SHCA conference in Jacksonville, Fla. The talk was for hospital patient advocates, but it actually applies to everyone. It is how to deal with life’s day-to-day challenges. http://www.thepao.com/MindfullnessSHCA2011.mp3
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 […]
Is it wrong to want or have a sexual relationship if I am practicing Buddhism? If we are supposed to eliminate craving and desire then wouldn’t sex be against Buddhism?
The Four Noble Truths is one of the simplest, yet most misunderstood, philosophical concepts ever presented. The Buddha said that there is a general dissatisfaction with the world: just by the very nature of existing as a temporal being. We are generally dissatisfied (dukkha or “suffer”) because we have cravings that we cling to. There is a solution. The way to end suffering is following the Noble Eightfold Path. [CLICK ON TITLE FOR FULL STORY]
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]
I visited my my family this weekend for a picnic. They live in Chicago. I live almost eight hours away and other family members live even farther. It is rare to get us all together and so I felt compelled to show. I had to deal with many questions of my Buddhist faith. Most of my family is heavily invested into their Christianity and to them, the concepts of any other faith are considered false.
So how do you speak with a Christian that is trying to understand that Buddhism a wholesome practice for everyone? [CLICK ON TITLE TO READ THE FULL STORY]
Trying to explain Buddhism to non-practings Buddhists can sometimes be a challenge. Nevertheless, it can also be a truly fruitful experience, because it requires you to reflect and answer questions that perhaps get unmindfully conditioned in the brain.
Speaking to a friend of mine about Buddhism, she stated, “ If Buddhism is about non-attachment then I would rather suffer. I enjoy my attachment to things like my family and friends. I may find some suffering from owning a car, but I enjoy my car more than I suffer from it.”
The world is made up of what we use and what gets in our way.
Her statements were true. I honestly believe and practice my Buddhist faith, but I enjoy my family and my pleasure in the suffering I endure with my clinging to them. I do practice unconditional love and acceptance of metta, but that is not the only love I have for them. I have that attached love of a parent and son. [CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE]