Relationships

All of our interpersonal relationships are a crucible for Buddhist practice
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    Four Simple Tips for Living a Buddhist Life Paid Member

    1. Gather MeritWhatever the circumstance may be, there is a difference between people who gather merit (or positivity) and those who do not. What do I mean by gathering merit? First, it is to be able to cultivate compassion; to have an altruistic motivation and to do things to benefit others. It is to help people in an appropriate way, such as giving advice, and likewise to be generous and disciplined and to develop patience—to develop these kinds of qualities and do things with a pure, sincere wish to help. 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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    Manchu Palaces Paid Member

    Machu PalacesJeanne LarsenHenry Holt and Company,Inc.:New York,1996342 pp., $25.00 (hardcover) In China during the Qing dynasty, when hard-riding warriors from Manchuria ruled the vast lands "between the passes," Beijing's new gentry altered the rules of architecture. The Manchu lords built rambling compounds with highly ornamented ritual halls and bed­chambers facing onto courtyards perfumed by fruit trees, all hidden from the squalid streets by high walls. Over generations, new structures rose to meet their needs—a summer house set aside for an infant male heir, or a walled garden, evocative of the hilly south­land, built to cheer a homesick concubine—until brick and mortar came to embody complex genealogy. More »
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    What Is Karma? Paid Member

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    Who Are You? Paid Member

    Who are you? My name is Peter. If you went to Nicaragua, you'd be called Pedro. Are Pedro and Peter one person or two? One, because I am only who I am. Are you a name? No, of course not. Then who are you? I am a man. You mean you are not a woman? No. I mean that I am a man. But you are only a man because you are not a woman. Who are you? I am an Englishman. If you went to Japan, would you be a Japanese man? No. Why? Because I was born in England and I speak English. If you had been born in England but raised in China, would you be Chinese or English? I would be English. More »
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    How Important is Faith? Paid Member

    IN PALI (THE LANGUAGE OF THE ORIGINAL BUDDHIST TEXTS), the word for faith is saddha. While sometimes translated as "confidence" or "trust," the literal meaning of saddha is "to place your heart upon." When we give our hearts over to a spiritual practice, it is a sign of faith or confidence in that practice. Faith opens us to what is beyond our usual, limited, self-centered concerns. In the Buddhist psychology, it is called the gateway to all good things, because faith sparks our initial inspiration to practice meditation, and also sustains our ongoing efforts. More »