on practice

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    Taking Your Future Into Your Own Hands Paid Member

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    The Teacher in Everything Paid Member

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    Discovering the Sky Paid Member

    After my freshman year, inspired by Thoreau, I retreated to the woods of Vermont where I went on long walks, came alive to colors, dreamt out all my bad dreams, and wrote poetry. I had found a part of the way toward filling the pit of loneliness and anger that had dominated my life. When the cold weather hit, motivated by Herman Melville’s Typee and Somerset Maugham’s The Moon and Sixpence, I set out from New York on a freighter for Tahiti. After passing through the Panama Canal, I meditated on the sky for ten days, lying on the small top deck on the windward side of the smokestack, filling my mind with the marvelous blueness of that truly pacific ocean.... More »
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    Opening to Practice Paid Member

    About ten years ago, a man gave me a copy of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s book Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism. He leaned into my face and in a low, conspiratorial voice, said, “This book will change your life.”With the stroke of that well-intentioned invitation to enter the dharma stream, every bone in my body braced itself against all things Buddhist.I was just finishing college; the man was a teacher’s assistant for a course on American history, and during that semester I fell in love with Thomas Jefferson. My idealism about the United States was evidenced in everything I said and wrote. More »
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    Sitting on the Fence Paid Member

    In order to practice, we have to surrender, we have to take a risk. Otherwise what we’re doing is standing back in order to judge, in order to feel superior. Often the obstacle is fear: we don’t think we’ll ever succeed. And so we’d rather stand apart and be cynical, to feel protected in that way, not having to try. More »
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    Hearing: A Door to Liberation Paid Member

    The most famous cultivation techique in the Shurangama Sutra is the method reported by the Bodhisattva Kuan-Yin, who used hearing to realize the self-nature. Using hearing, she was able to enter samadhi and ultimately attain complete enlightenment. Manjushri, who is the Buddha of Wisdom and teacher of the other Buddhas, said that this technique surpassed all the other dharma doors in existence. More »