Buddhism

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    Daily Dharma - Being Natural is Very Special Paid Member

    Wherever we are, whatever we're doing, what we need to acknowledge is something natural. Something uncontrived. The uncontrived state is actually very special. Being natural is very special. And the natural way is actually already with us, in or out of retreat, but we just don't acknowledge it. If you just acknowledge your natural way, that's enough, good enough. It's like the cow peeing in the field. It just stands there and pees. Every day, it just pees, quite naturally. More »
  • Why I Became a Buddhist Monk, Why I Quit and What I Learned Paid Member

    Former Tibetan Buddhist monk Stephen Schettini, now director of TheQuietMind.org, explains his teaching this way: I don't promise perfect peace, earth-shattering insight or transcendental breakthroughs. On the contrary, I ask my students to work hard, and especially to beware their own expectations. We're all twenty-first century grownups and as much as we want to believe in easy solutions and magical formulas we know perfectly well that a down-to-earth approach will pay off more than all the mantras, visualizations and promises of enlightenment on the world wide web. Does this sound like someone who's been disillusioned by traditional Buddhist practices? I'd say so. More »
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    Tibetan region focus of Indian-Chinese border dispute Paid Member

    Trade is flourishing between India and China—and so is the rivalry. The neighbors share many miles of frontier, and much of the border is in dispute. They also disagree over Tibet. India hosts the Dalai Lama's government. China calls him a "splittist" intent on breaking up the People's Republic. These two issues have come to a head in the town of Kawang Tawang, the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama. The region is currently controlled by India, but China claims it. Indian soldiers and Tibetan monks walk side by side through the streets of the town. Chinese troops watch the situation from just a few miles away. Neither side wants to fight, but both want the disputed zone: More »
  • Survival of the Kindest Paid Member

    Loving-kindness guru Sharon Salzberg points us via Twitter to an Ode article about Italian psychotherapist Piero Ferrucci, who tells us that happiness and freedom start with being kind: The most sensible way to look after our own self-interest, to find freedom and be happy, is not to directly pursue these things but to give priority to the interests of others. Help others to become free of their fear and pain. Contribute to their happiness. It’s all really very simple. You don’t have to choose between being kind to yourself and others. It’s one and the same. And in his book Survival of the Kindest, Ferrucci writes: People who are suffering don’t need advice, diagnoses, interpretations and interventions. They need sincere and complete empathy—attention. More »
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    Religion or philosophy redux: Are we humans innately religious? Paid Member

    An earlier post ("Is Buddhism a Religion? The Question that Won't Go Away") garnered plenty of comments. And it turns out it's true that the question won't go away. The discussion shows no signs of ending, here or on our Facebook page, and has prompted Editor-at-Large Andrew Cooper to remind me of one "Letters to the Editor" section that appeared many issues—and several years—back. In it, a reader objects to Cooper's assertion that Buddhism is indeed a religion, and that we are "inescapably religious" creatures. It's a good give-and-take, and you can read it here. More »
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    Food for enlightenment: You are what you cook Paid Member

    Can some foods or a certain style of cooking aid you on your path to enlightenment? Consider shojin ryori, or, as the Honolulu Star Bulletin has it, "vegan Buddhist fare": Shojin Ryori embodies the concept of food and cooking that sustain the body in working toward enlightenment. On the menu: hijiki and soba salad, roll cabbage with tofu, nishime, chirashi and Hawaiian-style coconut curry with vegetables. More »