brief teachings

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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 »
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    Where is my Mind? Paid Member

    You should now examine where this mind dwells: from the top of the hair on your head to the nails on your toes; from the outer layer of skin, the flesh in between, to the bones, five organs, and six vessels within. When investigating the dwelling place of mind, most Chinese will claim that it abides in the head. Tibetans will say that it dwells in the heart. Neither one is sure, because when you touch the top of the head, the mind seems to leap there, and when you touch the soles of the feet, it seems to jump there. It has no fixed place. It dwells neither in outer objects, nor inside the body, nor in the empty space in between. You must become certain that it has no dwelling place. More »
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    Renunciation Paid Member

    Based on our stubborn belief in a “self,” we become completely overwhelmed by all kinds of emotions. Again and again, this belief in a self leads to our downfall. We feel deeply attached to ourselves and to those whom we associate with ourselves; along with this attachment to self comes its dark companion—a subtle aversion toward all that we regard as “not me” and “not mine.” We also classify objects—our possessions—as belonging to “me.” They are “ours.” This commonly held assumption is weighed down with emotions. Yet if we take the time to really look into this notion, we might just realize that nothing truly belongs to us. When we depart from this world, everything we know and own must be left behind. We can’t even bring along this body that we’ve cherished so intensely year after year. So what do we truly own and where is the presumed owner—this pampered “I”—for whose sake we argue, fight, crave, yearn, indulge, and so forth? More »
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    Thoughts Like Dreams Paid Member

    The best way to deal with excessive thinking is to just listen to it, to listen to the mind. Listening is much more effective than trying to stop thought or cut it off. When we listen there is a different mode employed in the heart. Instead of trying to cut it off, we receive thought without making anything out of it. More »
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    The Three Times Paid Member

    It is essential to see that we live our lives most of the time in the three times; that’s to say, the past, the present, and the future. We spend our time playing past, present, and future. Why do I suffer now? It’s because of something in the past. What about what should I do in the future? Well, I should plan to do something in the future. The odd fact is that the past actually is dead. There are memories of it, but everything in the past is actually gone, and everything in the future has not yet arisen. There’s only one place where you can actually be, and that is now. This needs thinking about, because it’s very easy to say that’s a lot of nonsense—of course there’s past, present, and future. But actually, the only place where there is something, is-ness, is only now. How could there be anything else? More »