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    Where It All Began Paid Member

    In what was greater India more than twenty-five hundred years ago, a young, pregnant noblewoman named Maya Devi was traveling home beneath a full moon, when she came upon a fragrant grove of sal trees. As she strolled through the grove, smelling the flowers and listening to the birds, labor pains unexpectedly came upon her, and in the garden of Lumbini that evening she gave birth to a boy, Siddhartha Gautama, heir to the Shakya clan. Not long after childbirth, Maya Devi and the newborn aristocrat continued on their homeward journey to Kapilavastu. Because it is considered the birthplace of the Buddha, and certainly not because it ranks high on anyone’s list of vacation spots, Lumbini, located within the borders of present-day Nepal, is an essential stop on any Buddhist pilgrimage in Asia. More »
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    Resource Guide—Dharma On No Dollars A Day Paid Member

    The practice of dhamma dana, or the gift of dharma, lies at the heart of the Buddha way. The Buddha gave his wisdom free, and taught that engaging in dana—giving energy, material or wisdom to others—is a means to overcoming greed and egoism and is one of the six perfections (paramitas), the virtues perfected by a bodhisattva. Continuing this custom, most Buddhist centers offer some form of free dharma. More »
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    Receiving the Breath: Meditation Q & A Paid Member

    When I try to bring awareness to my breath, I feel instead like I’m interfering with its natural flow. What should I do? This is not an unusual experience. Throughout our lives, we breathe without effort; then the moment we try to breathe consciously, our breathing suddenly feels blocked, shortened, or constricted. Our bodies know how to breathe without instruction, yet it can feel as if we are having to learn how to breathe all over again. More »
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    The Spice Of Life Paid Member

    So there i was, speeding down a winding country road on a glorious day last fall, running through yellow lights, completely stressed out, trying to get to the meditation hall on time. I was teaching daily yoga classes at a women’s meditation retreat at Spirit Rock, a Buddhist center in a rural valley north of San Francisco. But my beloved babysitter, Megan—a twenty-something Zen student with beads and small electronic parts woven into her turquoise-and-blonde dreadlocks—had gotten caught in a traffic jam and arrived at my house an hour late, and then I had gotten stuck in the same freeway snarl myself. As I barreled along, I kept imagining a cop pulling me over: “But officer, it’s a dharma emergency!” I burned rubber into the Spirit Rock parking lot, walked to the meditation hall as fast as possible while still appearing mindful and serene, and got there with seconds to spare, just as the bell was ringing to end the last sitting period. More »
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    Eating and the Wheel of Life Paid Member

    Knowing how much is enough when eating...This is the teaching of the buddha. —Dhammapada “Knowing how much is enough when eating.” It sounds so simple. Yet how often the matter of “enough” trips us up. For much of the world, getting enough to eat is the problem. Here in America we eat too much. Two-thirds of the population is overweight, nearly a third clinically obese; meanwhile, our ideal of physical beauty keeps getting thinner and thinner. More »
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    The Koans of Yogi Berra Paid Member

    Compiled with commentary by Brad StroupDiscovered inside a catcher’s mitt in the year 2087 by archaeologists while excavating rubble in the abandoned Yankee Stadium in the Bronx:   KOAN 1: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”   Commentary: Yogi gave this mystifying advice to a young second baseman being sent down to the minors after popping out too many times with the Yankees. It caused the young man to stop in his tracks, freeze, and study the wall of the Yankee dugout for over an hour. He was last seen in Troy, New York, playing for the Mohawks, still carrying a frown on his face. Hundreds of players have studied this koan as they have gone down to the minors. It sits like a boil on the forearm of pitchers - feverish, festering, a red circle surrounding a yellow mound. Once considered without spit or curves, the mind cannot escape the fork. The dust clears in the outfield. More »