brief teachings

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    Flowing Feelings Paid Member

    The flowing, fast-moving water of a river is far less likely to contain impurities than trapped water that pools in swamps and hollows. Standing water is an incubator for bacteria, is often contaminated, unsafe to drink, a breeding ground of mosquitoes.  When feelings are allowed to flow through the body, they too are safe; they do not poison or destroy the container that conveys it. But when our emotional life is blocked, put off by distractions and the busyness of life, it becomes toxic; pressure builds over time, it seeks out other routes; the blocked energy eventually floods, spreading all that has developed in this damaging state.  More »
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    Tuning the Mind Paid Member

    When I look at relationships, my own and others, I see a whole range of reasons we get together and ways we interact. Some are transactional, but the deeper impulse of every human relationship is to evoke the love and oneness that unites us. But what actually happens is that many relationships reinforce our separateness because of our misperception of ourselves as separate beings, and because of our desire systems, which are based in separateness or ego. Relationships only work in a spiritual sense when you and I really see that we are one.  More »
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    A Contemplation Paid Member

    I contemplated my greed for peace. And I did not seek tranquillity anymore. From Teachings of a Buddhist Monk, © 1990/2001 Ajahn Sumedho. Reprinted by permission of Buddhist Publishing Group. www.buddhistpublishing.com. Illustration by Roberto LaForgia More »
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    Love Letter to the Earth Paid Member

    Dear Mother, there are those of us who walk on Earth but still wish to seek a Promised Land elsewhere, not knowing that you are the wondrous Pure Land, present in this moment. They are not able to see that the Kingdom of Heaven exists in their own hearts. They are not able to see that if their minds are calm and peaceful, then the very ground they are walking on becomes the Pure Land. We are able to play and enjoy this Pure Land day and night thanks to that insight, thanks to the practice of dwelling peacefully with mindfulness in the here and now. We have the Kingdom here and are no longer searching for it elsewhere. You have the capacity to carry us hundreds of millions of years into the future, after which you may manifest as another planet and we as other wonderful forms on you. More »
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    Your Own Noble Heart Paid Member

    There is a Buddhist saying that can help strengthen your determination to keep your balance in any challenging situation. It says: “If you can do something to change the circumstances, why be upset about it? And if you cannot do anything to change the circumstances, why be upset about it?” This saying is relevant to all situations in life. If you can do something to improve matters, wonderful. There is no reason to be distressed. On the other hand, there is certainly no point in worrying about something you cannot change. This advice applies when you seek to influence the way your government intervenes in others’ conflicts. It also applies when you are attempting to resolve other people’s conflicts. It applies when you yourself come into conflict with others. More »
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    Staying with Boredom Paid Member

    How unsatisfactory desire can feel can be gauged by considering our more obviously neurotic cravings, those emerging out of a dull feeling of frustration, boredom, and emptiness. We look for something pleasurable in order to fill that void and relieve the boredom, at least partially and temporarily. You eat a chocolate or drink a cup of tea or put on a piece of music not so much for the positive enjoyment of such things but more because you don’t know what else to do. It is these kinds of craving that should concern us most, more than those that arise out of a strong, healthy appetite. And the way to deal with them is to regard the boredom itself as a positive opportunity. It is like having to deal with fear, anger, or indeed craving, or any other negative mental state. It is an opportunity to experience the energy that is usually drained away by distractions. When you are really bored, the best thing you can do is sit down and let yourself experience the boredom more fully. More »