brief teachings

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    Mercy Paid Member

    My throat is a clenched fire,an arson’s match. All day long I havewatched a huge porcupinelike a pile of coal or a burnt stumpmove about the yard in the cold raineating apples, satisfying thesoft, needy underside she protects,and I think I know what it is to cause anguish to those who touch you,to forage alone, and to cravesweet mouthfuls of mercy.“Mercy,” by Mark Hart. From Boy Singing to Cattle, © 2013 Pearl Editions. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. Illustration by Roberto La Forgia More »
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    Being Held by the Dharma Paid Member

    There’s no switch that turns on enlightenment. You move toward it with your effort. It’s an effort that might be unrecognizable to those who think “effort” means trying hard. You have to try soft—to be curious and open to whatever it is that results. Effort doesn’t mean gritting your teeth and pushing through to the other side; it means sitting where you’re stuck and not running away. From “Being Held by the Dharma,” by Nancy Thompson. Originally published on the Interdependence Project blog. Reprinted with permission of the author. More »
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    No Magic, No Miracle Paid Member

    Purify your mind. This is how you can help society; this is how you can stop harming others and start helping them. When you work for your own liberation, you will find that you have also started helping others to come out of their misery. One individual becomes several individuals—a slow widening of the circle. There is no magic, no miracle. Work for your own peace, and you will find that you have started making the atmosphere around you more peaceful—provided you work properly. More »
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    The Chaos Under the Hood Paid Member

    Chaos is the mind of the self, of selfing, of unconscious habit patterns run wild. The mind of chaos is what is referred to in Buddhism as dukkha, or suffering. It is a chronically stressed mind, a mind of taking everything personally, of constant reactivity both gross and subtle. Such a mind is the consequence of delusion, of believing that the self exists in the ways we both conceive of it and perceive it. With such a mind, we’re confined to experience within the fractured, chaotic state we create with labeling, separating, judging, resisting, and clinging. More »
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    The Single Thing Paid Member

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    What to Do When the Anger Gets Hot Paid Member

    Americans think it is beneficial to “get in touch with” their anger. That’s just the first step—recognizing your anger. The second step is analyzing and meditating on your anger. The tradition to which I belong [Gelugpa] teaches that analytical meditation must be combined with concentration meditation. So analyzing your thoughts, your ideas, your emotions, is absolutely important. With this you recognize what is really hatred, what is really anger. You’re going deeper and recognizing that “I am angry, I am hating.” More »