Buddhist Teachings

  • Watch: Bhikkhu Bodhi on Buddhism for the Post-Modern Mind Paid Member

    "I've come to an understanding that the dharma, to be really living, vitally important, and to be a dharma that is alive and blows open the mind, has to be applied against the background of the period of history we're living in and directed not only to the great universal problems that all humans face but also to the special over-arching problems of this historical period in which we are living." -Bhikkhu Bodhi More »
  • Head and Heart Together Paid Member

    Today’s Daily Dharma: All too often, meditators believe that if they can simply add a little more heart juice, a little more emotional oomph, to their brahma-vihara practice, their attitudes can become limitless. But if something inside you keeps churning up reasons for liking this person or hating that one, your practice starts feeling hypocritical. You wonder who you’re trying to fool. Or, after a month devoted to the practice, you still find yourself thinking black thoughts about people who cut you off in traffic—to say nothing of people who’ve done the world serious harm. More »
  • Acharya Judy Lief on Gratitude Paid Member

    Every Friday, Acharya Judy Lief, a senior teacher in the Shambhala tradition of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, comments on one of Atisha’s 59 mind-training (Tib. lojong) slogans, which serve as the basis for a complete practice. Atisha (980-1052 CE) was an Indian adept who brought to Tibet a systematized approach to bodhicitta (the desire to awaken for the sake of all sentient beings) and loving-kindness, through working with these slogans. Judy edited Chogyam Trungpa’s Training the Mind (Shambhala, 1993), which contains Trungpa Rinpoche’s commentaries on the lojong teachings. Each entry includes a practice. See the previous slogans and commentaries here. More »
  • Buddhism and the Supernatural Paid Member

    Today's Daily Dharma: There is a widely held misconception in the West that Buddhism was originally a humanistic movement that made no place for gods, goddesses, and spirit beings. This, however, is not the case. Buddhist cosmology from the outset envisioned the Buddha with a host of spirits and divinities who participated in his career and offered support to those on the Buddhist path. While the Buddha transmitted the wisdom and methods whereby his followers could attain enlightenment, he commissioned his supernatural aides to attend to his congregation's immediate needs for well-being and relief from suffering. -Miranda Shaw, "Mothers of Liberation" (Summer 2007) Read the complete article here. More »
  • Thoughts on Buddhism and Prayer Paid Member

    I remember being very young and being given my first prayer wheel.  I wasn't given any explanation or  instruction aside from that it "had blessings in it" and that I was supposed to spin it clockwise.  I don't recall ever spinning the wheel for anything in particular, but I do remember spinning it like crazy, over and over, for years, "just because." Then, in about first grade, as I had been learning more and more from my classmates about this magical all-powerful fellow in the sky named God, who frankly, sounded a bit far-fetched to me, I was inevitably asked if I prayed.  My mind flashed to my countless hours with my prayer wheel, and for a second it seemed as if I had stumbled on to some common ground with my young Christian friends. I blurted out "Yes! I pray all the time!"  Then, however, I was asked, "Who do you pray to?" More »
  • Ken McLeod on Intention Paid Member

    In a recent talk at Unfettered Mind, Ken McLeod discusses different strategies for being able to implement intention. Intention is only half the battle; you have to be able to see it through. You intend to do something and then you do it. By strengthening intention, McLeod says, you can make things manifest in the world, you can change the direction you’re going in and break free of negative habitual patterns. An example of one of his strategies: Another way, and this is very useful for working with difficult situations, either internally or externally. Follow the gesture. This is a way of knowing what is happening. When you follow the gesture, and you know what is happening, then go another way. Do something different. It doesn’t really matter what you do as long as it is different. More »