brief teachings

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    Planting the Seeds of Happiness Paid Member

    We spend decades of our lives wanting happiness, peace, and contentment—without sowing the causes for that aspiration. Why did we not plant the seeds of the fruition we aspire to? Buddhist logic says that if you plant a lemon seed and pray for a mango fruit, logically it won’t work. But this is what we do: we wish for happiness without planting the seeds of happiness.From a dharma talk given by Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche in Amsterdam, June 19, 2008. Illustration by Roberto La Forgia More »
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    Transforming Conflict Paid Member

    Learning how to negotiate conflict demands that we become more present, more fearless. We may need to relinquish the hopeful image of ourselves as remaining serene under all circumstances, like sitting buddhas carved from wood or stone. We have to expect our composure to be compromised as we learn about the possibilities and creative solutions of working directly with the conflict in our relationships. Even, and maybe especially, when things don’t turn out as we want, our engagement with discord refines and teaches us something, altering our life’s very course. Whether the results are invigorating or devitalizing depends on how consciously we work with ourselves and our circumstances. Simply retreating, smoothing things over, or trying to win out won’t take us to anyplace new. Developing our skills creates a sense of freedom; a confidence in ourselves; and an ability to be real, intimate, and ultimately loving with others. More »
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    To Be the Host Paid Member

    The ancient Chinese used the image of the host to describe the observing, stable meditator. Many guests visit the host. Some are invited, and they tend to be kind, charming, and a pleasure to entertain. Others are not invited: they are drunk, unruly, and eat all the food. Or they stand around, staring into space. More »
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    We Can Only Try Our Best Paid Member

    Generating compassion does not mean actually freeing beings from their suffering; it is wishing that they be free. Of course, if there are things we can do to help, we should do them. Sometimes our efforts will work, sometimes not. The most skilled doctor is unable to cure every patient, and the most courageous rescue worker can’t save every life. No matter how strongly we may wish someone to be free from a problem, we may not be able to bring this about. We can only try our best, and then accept whatever the result may be.From Awakening the Kind Heart: How to Meditate on Compassion by Kathleen McDonald © 2010. Reprinted with permission of Wisdom Publications. More »
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    Get Intimate with Your Emotions Paid Member

    If you want more joy, get as intimate as possible with all of your emotions, illuminating and honoring the basic energy of each one. There is a kind of joy that sooner or later emerges from such exploration, the joy of simply being present at the heart of whatever we are feeling. Such joy weeps as easily as it celebrates; its loss of face only deepens its presence.  From Emotional Intimacy: A Comprehensive Guide for Connecting with the Power of Your Emotions by Robert Augustus Masters, PhD © 2013 Robert Augustus Masters. Reprinted with permission of Sounds True. www.soundstrue.com Illustration by Roberto La Forgia More »