How Do You Afford Your Buddhist Lifestyle?

“Now tickets to concerts and drinking at clubs Sometimes for music that you haven’t even heard of. And how much did you pay for your rock’n’roll t shirt That proves you were there That you heard of them first? How do you afford your rock’n’roll lifestyle?” I heard this song on the radio. “Rock ‘n’ […]

The Bodhisattva’s Five Paths

According to Mahayana texts, there are five paths, or stages, that can be described to explain the spiritual journey. From taking vows, to generating the urge to attain enlightenment to help others, to complete realization, these 5 paths are said to really explain the journey for us. I’m going to describe them as well as I […]

Flashes of Experience

The Tibetan Master Jamgon Kongtrul described various experiences that can come up during our meditation practice. These are temporary experiences that come up sometimes and we can see them as sort of a roadmap for our awakening. If we’re having experiences that are confusing to us, we can look at his list and see if they […]

Why Zen?

I’m not interested in worshipping the Buddha or Bodhisattvas. I’m not even really all that interested in revering them. When the Buddha attained awakening under the Bodhi tree he said, “I and all beings have attained Enlightenment.” I want to actualize that statement. Zen isn’t about bowing to statues, it’s about bowing to our true […]

Opening the Sky Door: Vipassana Meditation

When people talk about meditation they’re usually talking about one kind, and that’s Shamatha, or concentration meditation. I’m going to present another kind that’s often done alongside Shamatha. It’s called Vipassana, or Insight Meditation. Shamatha provides ground for Vipassana and the two are equally important. I’m not going to present Vipassana as superior to Shamatha. […]

Simplicity in Shamatha

Shamatha is a simple meditation style. The point is to free ourselves from delusion. We dwell in delusion all the time, but as long as we understand that and cultivate discipline, shamatha can help us transform ourselves. It’s about being here now. When we aren’t fully present we make all sorts of mistakes. Shamatha is […]

What Do You Mean By “Wisdom”?

It’s an important virtue in Buddhism. It’s one of the Three Trainings, along with Virtue and Meditation. But, Wisdom is not always well defined. We sometimes blur the line between wisdom and knowledge, or between wisdom and intellect. These things aren’t the same. But What is Wisdom, Really? To me, wisdom means an intuitive understanding […]

The Six Perfections

The six perfections are: generosity, virtue, patience, diligence, concentration, and wisdom.   The Perfection of Generosity The perfection of generosity represents more than just giving material things. Obviously, it does represent giving money or items to the needy. It also represents giving your time, things like helping a friend move or spending time comforting someone […]

Saving Ourselves

The path of Buddhism is called the Dharma. It is a method for saving ourselves. I don’t mean that as a trite platitude. The Dharma will save you. Not save your soul from damnation. As Buddhists we don’t believe in that. The Dharma will save you from yourself. It will save you from your own […]

The Three Yanas

These are the three Yanas, or the three great sects, of Buddhism. If we’re going to compare the three yanas to western religion, I think the appropriate thing is to liken them to the three Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Although they have essentially the same foundation, those religions have some big differences. Buddhism […]