Meditation & Buddhist Practices

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    The Single Thing Paid Member

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    Keep It Simple Paid Member

    The human mind has a tendency to make everything it takes up more complicated and elaborate than it needs to be. You may have noticed this. The Buddhists even have a word for it, papanca, which means something like mental proliferation. Meditation moves us in the other direction. It is an attempt to remove, piece by piece, layer by layer, all of the baroque ornamentation with which we embellish our world of constructed experience. Underneath all the drama, the restlessness, the hopes and fears, behind the narratives we weave about ourselves, and even before we’ve thought of ourselves as ourselves, lies a simple, unadorned awareness. It’s not even a thing—just an event that happens, a little burst of knowing, deep in the center of it all. More »
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    Let's Dance Paid Member

    At a group meditation I led recently, I was discussing the importance of properly preparing for meditation by paying attention to the elements of time, place, and posture. Segyu Rinpoche, Juniper’s founding teacher, was present. At one moment, with a playful look on his face, Rinpoche asked me a question. He wanted to know what I had meant when I mentioned the possibility of placing a flower or a candle in one’s meditation space. More »
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    The Pursuit of Happiness Paid Member

    You’re bright, curious, and driven. Maybe competitive, certainly inspired by a good challenge, and possibly interested in contributing something to make the world a better place. Maybe you’ve even thought about what it will take for you to reach 80 or 100 and be able to say: This is what I set out to do, and I’ve done it. There have been ups and downs, but I’ve pretty much stayed on track. More »
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    A Minty Fresh Mind Paid Member

    So now you’re convinced. You’ve read the Wikipedia page about Buddhism, watched a few videos of famous masters on YouTube, gone to the local New Age bookshop and bought a couple of Buddhist magazines, and now you’re ready to try some meditation for yourself. You visited the local sangha and sat with the group and listened intently as the teacher there told you the secret to practice was to meditate every single day. So you took the plunge and went to the gift shop and bought yourself a genuine meditation cushion. You set it up in the corner of your bedroom, where it waits for you every morning, lonely, sad, and neglected. The problem is, you just can’t seem to find the motivation. Your will is strong. Your belief is there. But darn it all, you just never seem to be able to get it together to meditate. Whenever you find a moment to meditate, you seem to do something else instead. More »
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    Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche's Bardo Teachings Paid Member

    In one of his final teachings the Buddha introduced the idea of tathagatagarbha, the buddha essence within every sentient being. The teachings make it very clear that tathagatagarbha pervades all beings equally in quantity as well as quality. This primordial essence is never defiled, but it becomes obscured when an individual engages in negative activity and thus accumulates negative karma that prevents him or her from recognizing tathagatagarbha. Such individuals are called sentient beings, while those who recognize buddha essence are called enlightened beings. That recognition is the only distinction between sentient and enlightened beings, for both have an equal quantity and quality of tathagatagarbha. The real purpose of practicing the dharma is to realize the manifestation of buddha essence that we now only glimpse. More »