Teachings

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    The Evolution of Happiness Paid Member

    It is said that after his enlightenment the Buddha was motivated to teach by seeing that all beings were seeking happiness, yet out of ignorance were doing the very things that brought them suffering. This aroused his great compassion to point the way to freedom. The Buddha spoke of different kinds of happiness associated with various stages on the unfolding path of awakening. As we penetrate deeper into the process of opening, the happiness of each stage brings us progressively closer to the highest kind of happiness, the happiness of nibbana, of freedom. What are the causes and conditions that give rise to each of these stages of happiness? How does this joy come about? The events and circumstances of our lives do not happen by accident; rather they are the result of certain causes and conditions. When we understand the conditions necessary for something to happen, we can begin to take destiny into our own hands. More »
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    The Western Pure Land Paid Member

    Christmas Humphreys, a noted early English Buddhist scholar and proponent of Zen, once declared Shin "a form of Buddhism which on the face of it discards three-quarters of Buddhism. Compared with the teaching of the Pali Canon it is but Buddhism and water." In fact, Shin Buddhism is often portrayed this way by those who believe meditation practice constitutes the core teaching of Buddhism. However, comparisons with meditation actually miss the point of Shin Buddhism, which offers instead a discipline of the heart demanding deep self-reflection, constant awareness of one's gratitude to the Buddha, and compassion for all beings. More »
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    The Heartbeat Sutra Paid Member

    The first time I talked with “Dr. Chaos” about Buddhism was one twilit night a couple of years ago in a California January. We were sitting on the deck of a friend’s house in Big Sur, two hundred feet above the Pacific. It’s a place where you can both hear and see the waves break. As we listened and watched, the water stretching out like a vast mirror to the horizon, there, in glorious magenta light, the winter sun slowly set: metallic, then amber, then scarlet—one of those natural scenes so far beyond the viewer, so much grander and deeper, that a kind of vertigo swept over us. “You know, I have never watched a sunset before in my life, not to that final moment,” said Dr. Chaos as the darkness rose up out of the ocean and covered us. More »