Health

Buddhist practice begins with mindfulness of the body
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    This is Your Brain on Buddhism Paid Member

    SOMETIME IN THE 1980S while residing at a meditation center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I heard of Tibetan yogis being tested with rectal thermometers for increased body temperature, a side effect of the meditation called tumo, the inner heat that burns up subtle obscurations. The yogis, apparently, were uncomfortable with the experiment; someone told me one of them had died not long after returning to India and that the pool of tumo practitioners willing to participate in Western research had dried up for several years as a result. These were merely rumors, yet they revealed the beliefs and prejudices of both sides, as rumors tend to do, making the Westerners sound crude and ruthless, the yogis ignorant and superstitious. More »
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    The Formless Form Paid Member

    I was a Buddhist before I got sober. I entered Buddhist practice at San Francisco Zen Center's Green Gulch Farm in an effort to get control of my life which was rapidly fragmenting as I plummeted through the last phases of my struggle with alcohol. If I got up earlier, if I did more meditations, if I studied harder, if I went to more retreats, if I lived inside the Green Gulch monastery instead of outside in the community, if, if, if . . . then everything would be all right. More »
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    The Bhikkhu Diet Paid Member

    “Theravada monks eat only one meal a day . . .” That was how it started. A friend I’d known for several years (albeit only by phone) was coming to stay for five days. Of course I knew he was a Theravada Buddhist monk. It wasn’t the basis for our friendship, but I knew it. And so I couldn’t quite grasp the insistence of the woman speaking to me on the phone. “You know it,” she said. “But you don’t understand it. That means that he will eat three meals at one sitting—no kidding! So really pile it on.” “For real?” I inquired. “What’s the use in that?” “He can explain that for himself,” she answered, a bit peremptorily, I thought. It was true. Although slim for his build, the bhikkhu could eat like nobody I’d ever seen. I come from the South, from the land of all-you-can-eat barbecue restaurants, and so I know what it looks like to watch someone tuck away half a cow at a single sitting. The bhikkhu left them in the dust. More »
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    Food for Enlightenment Paid Member

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    Tender Mercies Paid Member

    Buddhism emphasizes that death has only one intrinsic quality: not deliverance or joy, sadness or salvation—but certainty. In a universe of variables, it remains the only reliable beacon. To contemplate death, then, and allow this one certainty to inspire our daily behavior is, from a Buddhist perspective, a sane and radically pragmatic inquiry for everyone. Historically "The Great Matter of Life and Death" has been left largely to spiritual adepts and subsequently packaged by institutional religion. So it is somewhat ironic that this domain of religious bureaucracy is being democratized not by a neo-Aquarian awakening, but rather by medical science at its most secular, and in particular by issues such as euthanasia and the use of aborted fetal tissue. More »
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    Healing Mind, Healing Body Paid Member

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