Health

Buddhist practice begins with mindfulness of the body
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    Meeting Mara Paid Member

    The path to uncovering our heart’s positive qualities is a radical one. It is fraught with the demons of the heart/mind that in Buddhism we call Mara. Mara is the aspect of heart/mind that creates roadblocks, gives excuses, procrastinates, and urges us to avoid all the unpleasant mind states that accompany the healing of awakening. Mara is the inner experience of all forms of addiction, greed, hatred, and delusion. Mara will attack with vengeance at times, for by committing to the heart’s liberation, we are committing to facing Mara directly. More »
  • A Moral Politics Paid Member

    For months members of the House of Representatives wrangled over how much in cuts they would make to the nation’s food stamps program in the new Farm Bill they were drafting. On July 11th, by a vote of 216 to 208, the House finally passed a bill, and guess what? The bill does not include any funding for food stamps. Opposition to the bill was strong—all Democrats joined by twelve Republicans voted against it—but the majority prevailed, reflecting the agenda of Tea Party ideologues and conservative deficit hawks who dominate in the House. More »
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    A Life Too Long Paid Member

    On an autumn day in 2007, while I was visiting from northern California, my mother made a request I dreaded and longed to fulfill. She’d just poured me a cup of tea from her Japanese teapot; beyond the kitchen window, two cardinals splashed in her birdbath in the weak Connecticut sunlight. Her white hair was gathered at the nape of her neck, and her voice was low. She put a hand on my arm. “Please help me get your father’s pacemaker turned off,” she said. I met her eyes, and my heart knocked.  More »
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    DNA Sutra Paid Member

    It began with a rush of blood. Then came fear, and curiosity. Were there dangers hidden in my genes? Clues about my future, even my death? Was my “self,” my personality, programmed into my genome? Penetrate completely the matter of birth and death, says the traditional Zen instruction. Somehow I imagined it might be easier to let go of “body and mind,” as Zen master Dogen instructed, if I knew that both of those phenomena had been constructed genetically. Most of our ancestors are forgotten, faceless and nameless. But they left their genes, and some left their words. I searched through those words and genes, expecting to see in them the familiar face of a hero or victim from the old stories. I glimpsed that face. But I saw something else, too. I saw the face of a persecutor, a killer. I saw a stranger’s face. My face. More »
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    Begin with the Breath Paid Member