Buddhist Teachings

  • Don't be afraid of pain Paid Member

    Sometimes I think anticipation of pain is far worse than the pain itself. That's not to diminish the reality of pain, but it's a fact that we've all got to deal with it so why not find a way to be with it? It goes against the grain, but Buddhists have traditionally seen in pain an opportunity for practice. (Granted, this was before the Fentanyl patch.) Not for everyone, but for those it does work for, it makes plenty of good sense. Try it next time you've got a toothache on the weekend. Read Upasika Kee Nanayon's "Tough Teachings to Ease the Mind" here. More »
  • Seven Tips for Giving Up Gossip Paid Member

    by Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron 1. Recognize that gossip doesn’t undo the situation you’re talking about. It only puts in motion another situation based on negative feelings. 2. Know that comparing yourself to others is useless. Everyone has his or her own talents. In this way, give up jealousy and the wish to put others down. 3. Be aware of and transform your own thoughts, words, and deeds rather than commenting on those of others. 4. Train your mind to see others’ positive qualities and discuss them. This will make you much happier than gossiping ever could. 5. Forgive, knowing that people do harmful things because they are unhappy. If you don’t make someone into an enemy, you won’t want to gossip about him. More »
  • Why do we gossip? Paid Member

    Gossip can mean many things, from benignly shared information about someone not present to false rumors insidiously spread, to idle chitchat about someone’s personal life. The question to ask is: What is our motivation when we talk about others? From a Buddhist perspective, the value of our speech depends principally upon the motivation behind it. When talking about others is motivated by thoughts of ill will, jealousy, or attachment, conversations turn into gossip. These thoughts may seem to be subconscious, but if we pay close attention to our mind we’ll be able to catch them in the act. Many of these are thoughts that we don’t want to acknowledge to ourselves, let alone to others, but my experience is that when I become courageous enough to notice and admit them, I’m on my way to letting them go. Also, there’s a certain humor to the illogical way that these negative thoughts purport to bring us happiness. More »
  • Praise and Blame Paid Member

    If we really stop to think about praise and criticism, we will see they do not have the least importance. Whether we receive praise or criticism is of no account. The only important thing is that we have a pure motivation, and let the law of cause and effect be our witness. If we are really honest, we can see that it makes no difference whether we receive praise and acclaim. The whole world might sing our praises, but if we have done something wrong, then we will still have to suffer the consequences for ourselves, and we cannot escape them. If we act only out of a pure motivation, all the beings of the three realms can criticize and rebuke us, but none of them will be able to cause us to suffer. According to the law of karma, each and every one of us must answer individually for our actions. This is how we can put a stop to these kinds of thoughts altogether, by seeing how they are completely insubstantial, like dreams or magical illusions. More »
  • Resiliency in Challenging Times Paid Member

    Sharon Salzberg and cop-turned-dharma-teacher Cheri Maples are running a daylong retreat at the New York Insight Center on something that we could all surely use more of: Resiliency in challenging times. Saturday, October 03, 2009 $65 for Saturday; $80 for both Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. This daylong retreat is an opportunity to rediscover the resiliency of the human spirit. For many, the feelings of being overwhelmed and stressed have become all too common. Balance of heart and mind is the key to sustaining ourselves, especially in the face of daily challenges. The practice of meditation helps to develop three essential skills that cultivate balance: concentration, mindfulness and compassion. This day will emphasize these skills and move us towards deeper care, both for ourselves and for others. It is suitable for both beginning and more experienced meditators. More »
  • Good! - Daily Dharma, September 15th, 2009 Paid Member

    When you ask accomplished teachers how they are, they always say, “Good, good, very good” — always good. Many people say that they feel dishonest saying they are good when in fact they have problems. But what we are talking about here is developing a fundamental sense of strength and well-being. Wouldn’t it be better to associate our mind with that rather than with all the fleeting emotions and physical sensations we experience throughout the day? What is the point of being honest about something so fleeting and impossible to pin down? More »