brief teachings

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    Dear Abbey Dharma Spring 2012 Paid Member

    Dear Abbey Dharma, I often wonder about loving oneself and awareness. I am terrified of getting into a relationship, so I avoid pain by avoiding relationships. But I end up creating more pain for myself that way, and I often find myself in bad situations. How can I achieve a level of self-esteem where I am open to new relationships? Sincerely, Afraid to CommitDear Afraid to Commit, More »
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    On Becoming the Dharma Paid Member

    The perspective articulated by the Buddha was something very different from either materialism or spiritualism, and might be called an early form of phenomenology. What we take to be "the world" is a virtual construction of the human mind and body, woven together of moments of consciousness arising and falling away in an ongoing stream. It is a world of appearances, of phenomena, constructed and imbued with meaning locally by each individual according to patterns learned from, and passed on to, others. More »
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    Intelligence & Investigation Paid Member

    Some people may think of spirituality as the practice of having faith in something. Some others may see the dharma as being like a spiritual massage. The way I see the dharma, however, is that intelligence and investigation are even more important than faith. To practice the dharma is to look into the content of one’s life in a very deep way. To do this, one must be able to discern between one’s strengths and one’s shortcomings. This is not possible through faith alone. More »
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    Visualizations Paid Member

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    Set the Compass of Your Heart Paid Member

    You need a reliable compass to set your direction and steer through the rough waters when you are going through hard times, when you’ve been betrayed, when you’ve lost your job, when you’ve lost friends or loved ones, when you’re in conflict with your family, or when you’re going through illness. But how can you set your direction when you can’t see any clear harbor? And how can you navigate through difficult waters when you’re swamped by overwhelming emotions, when so much of your awareness is taken over with trying to figure out who’s at fault and who did what to whom, or creating stories about who’s wrong and who’s right and why? When we’re overwhelmed by a difficult situation, sometimes we know we’re behaving in a way that is only making matters worse, but we don’t know how to stop. More »
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    A Cheerful "Good Morning" Paid Member

    How many people wake up in the morning to hail their families with a cheerful “Good morning”? This may seem like a little thing, but the person who is unaccustomed to greeting others will find it hard to get that simple salutation out of her mouth. “I’ll be laughed at,” such a person thinks, and she crawls right back into her hard shell of self-absorption. Even a simple hello will not come naturally without the right opportunity. The only way to get around this kind of mental block is to act instead of fretting over what to do. Give a greeting once. Then try to give greetings several times in succession. Then try for a week and then for a month. In time, you will sense a subtle change in the people around you. Given more time, you will suddenly awaken to the change that has taken place within you. Your heart and mind will be released from the rigid controls that kept you locked within yourself for so long. More »