• What Does Being a Buddhist Mean to You? Paid Member

    DOC O'CONNOR Office Manager, LaGrange, Ohio "Long pilgrimages to Asia. I'm just back from five months in India and Nepal with a more balanced foundation for dealing with my own chaotic American culture." FATHER ALLEN BREAUX Pastor, St. Rita Catholic Church, St. Martinsville, Louisiana "Being free—being given permission to be oneself. In the tradition of being unrestricted—to freely question and to find the answer in the question." TRACI GOZA Dancer, Houston, Texas "Living a simple life. Being present to life as it is. Not that I even know what that is." SIDDHARTHA Brahmin's Son, India More »
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    Posture, Posture, Posture Paid Member

      In the Buddhist tradition, mind and body are considered interdependent facets of our experience. A relaxed body helps relax the mind. The traditional meditation posture is designed to create a supportive physical structure for your awareness practice. More »
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    Mantra: Tool for Thinking Paid Member

    The Sanskrit word mantra combines the root man (“to think”) with the suffix tra (“instrument” or “tool”). Therefore, mantra means literally “tool for thinking.” Since earliest Buddhist times, the repetition of sacred phrases has been used as an aid for meditation—to purify and focus the mind, to offer devotion or thanks, and to protect and nurture the spiritual activity of a particular person or place. Some authors differentiate between bijas, or “seed syllables” (pure sounds, such as om); “mixed” mantras, which combine bijas with words having translatable meanings; and dharanis (phrases that are similar in function to mantras but can be translated word for word). More »
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    Gardening at the Green Dragon's Gate Paid Member

    Every spring I receive my best gardening instruction from walking along the edge of our cultivated farmland. I walk just inside the fields, right up against the nine-foot-high deer fence, running my hand over the woven wire as I go. On this ragged borderline, I am forced to slow down. Sometimes I walk so slowly I can close my eyes. I smell the wild pennyroyal mint rising out of the wet eye sockets of small mountain springs just outside the fence. On the rim of these springs grows fetid adder’s tongue, Scoliopus bigelovi, thrusting its ill-scented flowers into the new spring air. The stench of rotting meat hovers over the strange, brown-speckled blooms as they uncurl, luring the flies that will pollinate them. I can feel the slow water of the pennyroyal springs seep out of the hillside and saturate the farm soil on my side of the fence. A good place for summer leeks, I tell myself. The mountain will keep the land wet well past June. More »