Buddhist Teachings

  • How to Identify A Tibetan Deity Paid Member

    Jeff Watt at Himalayan Art Resources knows everything about Tibetan Buddhist iconography. I sometimes call him and ask questions like, "Who is that odd-looking deity?" Or, with urgent requests like, "We need an image, and we need it now." I sometimes try his patience, too, so I have to make sure I sort of know what I'm talking about before I call him, and still, it's hard to sound halfway intelligent: the complex landscape of Tibetan iconography is no easy thing to navigate. But those days may be over. 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 »
  • 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 »
  • What do Buddhists Believe? Paid Member

    Good question. And the answer will depend on who you ask. Is there a set of beliefs that all Buddhists share? I'm sure there's no definitive answer, but here's one noble credo that attempts to make it clear: This I believe: That phenomena do not have any kind of demonstrable, intrinsic existence. That anything that is the composite sum of other parts is, logically, impermanent. That suffering is a given in any form of existence where confusion and ignorance are present. That when confusion and ignorance have been definitively eliminated, and goodness, caring, and wisdom have entirely taken their place, that is true happiness. Click here for the entire article. More »
  • Daily Dharma: To sum it up, "Don't cling." Paid Member

    There's no school that says "Cling." Liberation is about cutting, or dissolving, or letting go of, or seeing through—choose your image—the attachment to anything. The description of the mind of no-clinging may be different in the different schools, but the experience of the mind of no-clinging is the same. How could it be different? –Joseph Goldstein, from "How Amazing! An Interview with Joseph Goldstein," Tricycle, Summer 1999 Read the complete article. Sign up for the Daily Dharma or Tricycle Community Newsletter More »
  • Realization through one's own effort Paid Member

    Laypeople live in the realm of sensuality. They have families, money, and possessions, and are deeply involved in all sorts of activities. Yet sometimes they will gain insight and see dharma before monks and nuns do. Why is this? Well, why? Read Ajahn Chah's "Meeting the Dharma Alone" here. More »