All of our interpersonal relationships are a crucible for Buddhist practice
  • Early Days with Thich Nhat Hanh Paid Member

    Like many thousands of others around the world, I have had Thich Nhat Hanh close in my thoughts this past week. Along with so many, I breathed with some relief when I read Sunday’s report from his community in Plum Village that his condition, following his brain hemorrhage, seems to have stabilized, and while his condition remains critical, there is reason for cautious optimism about the possibility of a full recovery. More »
  • 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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    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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    The Joy of No Sex Paid Member

    I won’t mince words. I’m celibate. And it’s because of the dharma. I’m not sure why writing that feels so exhibitionistic, so confessional. That the statement is extremely personal goes without saying. I’ve never sought to discuss all the sex I’m not having (as a friend likes to joke) publicly. But in the time I’ve been a student of Buddhism, well over half my life, it’s the one detail of my practice that ever made anyone balk, or that got treated as a problematic behavior. If the subject of my nonexistent love life comes up, I often hear from friends or colleagues, including some Buddhist ones, that I’m probably still shaken by the demise of my marriage (seven years ago), that I’ll change my mind, that I don’t know what irresistible liaison the future could bring, that I’m squelching my real feelings. More »
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    The Tie That Need Not Bind Paid Member

    I am so filled with thirst to be involved with people that there is no room in me for judging whether a person is good or evil, beautiful or ugly, right or wrong. This is not the result of some concept such as “one lives to love and be loved.” Any concept, faith, or “ism” cannot separate me from other people. My spirit shines with the heart/mind of embracing all beings. Without logic or argument, I only want to embrace everyone. My work of spreading the dharma is nothing but the expression of this heart/mind. —Haya Akegarasu (1877–1954) More »
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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 »