Buddhism

  • The self exists, it's just not as real as you think. Paid Member

    If a basic principle in Buddhism is non-self (anatta), is it incompatible with psychotherapy, which seems to be all about finding and understanding the self? The question is a little misguided, and in an ABC News NOW segment Buddhist psychiatrist Mark Epstein explains why: The self exists, it's just not as real as you think it is. You can watch the interview here. More »
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    Just Now Paid Member

    The mind can do wonderful and unexpected things. Meditators who are having a difficult time achieving a peaceful state of mind sometimes start thinking, “Here we go again, another hour of frustration.” But often something strange happens; although they are anticipating failure, they reach a very peaceful meditative state. My first meditation teacher told me that there is no such thing as a bad meditation. He was right. During the difficult meditations you build up your strength, which creates meditation for peace. We may want to spend much time—months or even years—developing just these first two preliminary stages, because if we can reach this point, we have come a long way indeed in our meditation. More »
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    An Easy Connection with Life Paid Member

    We all know what it’s like to get trapped in dark, constricting states of mind—and how useless it is, in terms of awakening, to dwell there. That is exactly what the Buddha taught: we don’t need to stay stuck in greed, hatred, and delusion. Life can be lighter, more workable, even when it’s challenging. This lightening up, which I see as an aspect of joy, is the fruit of insight into anatta, the selfless nature of reality, and anicca, the truth of impermanence. When we are not attached to who we think we are, life can move through us, playing us like an instrument. Understanding how everything is in continual transformation, we release our futile attempts to control circumstances. More »
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    Mindfulness Leads to Wisdom Paid Member

    In a state of mindfulness, you see yourself exactly as you are. You see your own selfish behavlor. You see your own suffering. And you see how you create that suffering. You see how you hurt others. You pierce right through the layer of lies that you normally tell yourself, and you see what is really there. Mindfulness leads to wisdom. - Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, from “Mindfulness and Concentration,” Tricycle, Fall 1998 Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Read the full article: Mindfulness and Concentration More »
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    Open Yourself Up to Compassion Paid Member

    The practice of compassion means letting experience in. A Japanese poet, a woman named Izumi who lived in the tenth century, wrote: “Watching the moon at dawn, solitary, mid-sky, I knew myself completely. No part left out.” When we can open to all parts of ourselves and to others in the world, something quite extraordinary happens. We begin to connect with one another. –Joseph Goldstein, from “Heart Touching Heart,” Tricycle, Winter 2007 Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Read the full article: Heart Touching Heart More »
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    Working with Pain Paid Member

    Pain is an intrinsic part of being born in a physical body, as the Buddha has taught. In reality, aging and sickness begin the moment we enter the world. Yet we are conditioned to ward off all pain. We are unwilling to allow the pain simply to happen... Paradoxically, once we are willing to work with pain, we feel that it is not all bad. Pain is a riveting object of attention; to paraphrase Samuel Johnson, it concentrates the mind wonderfully. If we leave the breath and direct attention to whatever physical sensation is in the body, allowing ourselves to be present with whatever has arisen, the mind doesn’t tend to wander very much. If we are truly aware of the sensations, we find that pain can focus and calm the mind. There can be joy that arises with this concentration. We are not scattered. More »