Family

Buddhist teachings on family life
  • Bringing It All Back Home Paid Member

    Sometimes people ask me if there isn’t a conflict between the Mahayana instruction to see all beings as close relatives, worthy of our affection and compassion, and Buddhist teachings on nonattachment. Perhaps they are thinking of Jetsun Milarepa’s words: When you look at your child Firstly he is a soft-spoken young god.Then he is a distant-hearted neighbour.Finally he is an enemy and creditor.So I let go of children. More »
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    Lost in Memory Paid Member

    American CanyonBy Amarnath RavvaKaya Press, 2014180 pp.; $23.95 paper Amarnath Ravva’s snake was asleep. His mother’s seer, Sharma, who sensed from another continent the imbalance in Ravva's body, diagnosed him. Sharma prescribes a visit to Livemore, California, for a homam—a Hindu ritual involving consecrated fire and offerings to the god Agni—where prayer is chanted; 1,001 ghee offerings are made; and Ravva’s name is written in Sanskrit on a piece of paper in which the pujari, or priest, seals ashes from the fire. More »
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    Life's Hidden Support Paid Member

    The author and his father, Nathan Cooper, at the latter’s 75th birthday celebration in 1996. In the eyes of many, the entirety of Buddhist virtue is found through meditation. This is a much contested viewpoint, but whether or not one is of the opinion that the whole of the dharma is made available through meditation, it certainly does not follow that meditation is the only way the dharma is made available. More »
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    Simple Paid Member

    God's joy, wrote Rumi,
moves from unmarked box to unmarked box. I remember my sister’s husband,
 after her stroke, complaining
 "Liz is a box. It says
 on the outside Liz, but she’s not there, not the Liz I married." "Is she simple," our daughter wondered, noting how the sheer
weight of loss
 had rendered my sister speechless. But I have to confess, as I watch your memory fade—
grief and the rest of it aside—
I’m also curious: What is the self? What of the self, or the no-self, outstays loss after loss? 
I watch the wind 
fill with leaves, red and gold,
 as the tree that was once
 a summery billow
thins to an outline. A friend
 told of a woman he knew 
with dementia. "And who are you," someone asked her pointedly,
 and she replied, I watch.
 How is it for you?" our son 
got up his courage and asked you, More »
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    Dissolving Into Blue Sky Paid Member

    My mother planned to die at home. But she died in the hospital, near her home in Maine, because m that moment, when her growing shortness of breath so frightened and unnerved her, the hospital was where she chose to be. It was the right decision for her, and she was glad to have made it. More »
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    Planting Paradise Paid Member

    Last summer about this time when the Dragon Tongue beans began to thicken their speckled fingers and clutch heavy to the vine, I helped plant a circular "house" of sunflowers with an eager passel of kids. This sunflower circle was a ragged ring of paradise planted on the far edge of the kitchen garden near our giant Rosebrook apple tree. More »