brief teachings

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    Dear Abbey Dharma Summer 2011 Paid Member

    Dear Abbey,When I turn on the TV, it feels unbearable to watch. I want to know what’s happening in the world, but media sources seem toxic to me. I’m sure I’m not alone in my emotional regard for the many things happening around us—political or social— that impact us and those we love. How can a Buddhist stay informed without feeling so overwhelmed?Signed,ConfusedDear Confused,I agree that it is important to know what is happening in the world and that we are presented with vast possibilities for becoming informed. I also feel we can be selective about what is useful and relevant. Think about this as Wise Discrimination Practice. More »
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    Is There a Self? Paid Member

    Then the wanderer Vacchagotta approached the Blessed One … and said to him:“How is it now, Master Gotama, is there a self?”When this was said, the Blessed One was silent.“Then, Master Gotama, is there no self?”A second time the Blessed One was silent.Then the wanderer Vacchagotta rose from his seat and departed.Then, not long after the wanderer Vacchagotta had left, the Venerable Ananda said to the Blessed One: “Why is it, venerable sir, that when the Blessed One was questioned by the wanderer Vacchagotta, he did not answer?” More »
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    Meditation Instructions Paid Member

    SIT comfortably, with your back straight but not stiff or tense. Gently close your eyes and feel the sensations of the breath as the air passes the nostrils or upper lip. The sensations of the in-breath appear simply and naturally. Notice how the out-breath appears. Or you might choose to feel the movement of your chest or abdomen as the breath enters and leaves your body. Wherever you choose to follow the sensations of breathing, whether the in and out at the nostrils or the movement of the chest or abdomen, train your awareness to connect clearly with the first moment of the beginning in-breath. Then sustain the attention for the duration of just that one in-coming breath. Connect again at the beginning of the outbreath and sustain your attention till the end.More »
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    Great Compassion Paid Member

    Great compassion is like the sky, because it covers all living beings; great compassion is like the earth, because it produces all the teachings; great compassion makes it possible to see buddhanature, by first clarifying real knowledge for the sake of others. Great compassion makes it possible to pass through unyielding barriers, by plumbing the profound teachings more and more for the sake of others. Great compassion makes it possible to penetrate the transcendental, by seeking a life beyond for others. Great compassion can develop powerful application, by striving on this path for the sake of others. Great compassion can activate intrepidness, by keeping a vigorous will alive for the sake of others. Great compassion makes it possible to get beyond regression, because the mind is settled for the sake of others. Great compassion can produce broad learning, by studying everything for the sake of others. More »
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    A Still Mind Paid Member

    The only silence we know is the silence when noise stops, the silence when thought stops—but that is not silence. Silence is something entirely different, like beauty, like love. And this silence is not the product of a quiet mind, it is not the product of the brain cells which have understood the whole structure and say, “For God’s sake, be quiet”; then the brain cells themselves produce the silence and that is not silence. Nor is silence the outcome of attention in which the observer is the observed; then there is no friction, but that is not silence. More »
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    Stay with Your Broken Heart Paid Member

    When anyone asks me how I got involved in Buddhism, I always say it was because I was so angry with my husband. The truth is that he saved my life. When that marriage fell apart, I tried hard—very, very hard—to go back to some kind of comfort, some kind of security, some kind of familiar resting place. Fortunately for me, I could never pull it off. Instinctively I knew that annihilation of my old dependent, clinging self was the only way to go. . . . Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about. The off-center, in-between state is an ideal situation, a situation in which we don’t get caught and we can open our hearts and minds beyond limit. It’s a very tender, nonaggressive, open-ended state of affairs. More »