Practice, Study, and Wisdom

Several things are important in our Buddhist journey. It’s through practice that we’re able to lessen our neurotic thought patterns, all that baggage we’re carrying around with us, the preconceived ideas that shape the way we see reality. It’s through study that we come to understand things. That understanding leads to a more awakened and […]

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 […]

Emptiness

The story is that the Buddha gave the first turning of the Wheel of the Dharma, the first set of teachings, just after his Enlightenment. This teaching consisted of the Four Noble Truths. And later there was a second turning. In the second turning the Buddha taught the Perfection of Wisdom teachings. This was a […]

The Flower and the Smile

It’s said that the lineage that we call Zen started in a place called Vulture Peak. It’s said that it started when the Buddha was silent, in the space between words—it was the teaching of no-teaching. His students asked for a teaching, as they did many times. Instead of speaking, as they expected, he just […]

The Buddha and the Kalamas

There is an old story called the Kalama Sutra. It is one of the oldest sutras and one of my favorites. It goes something like this: The Buddha was traveling the world spreading the Dharma, teaching people that wanted to listen. He came upon a group of people known as the Kalamas and started explaining […]

Good Enough

On the Bodhisattva path we are striving to save all beings. We are trying to put all other thoughts aside and just work for the benefit of all. But sometimes we forget to include ourselves. We’re taught to not judge others, to avoid looking down on them, to recognize their experiences are different from ours. […]

Ikkyu and the Bones of the Buddha Statue

Once, Ikkyu was staying in a temple. The night was cold and there were three wooden Buddhas in the temple, so he burned one Buddha to warm himself. The priest in charge of the temple woke up and noticed something was going on, so he looked to see what Ikkyu was doing. The Buddha statue […]

On the Road to Shambhala | Tattooed Buddha

By Daniel Scharpenburg I was on a pilgrimage. I was not traveling with family or friends, I was taking this journey alone. I live on the eastern edge of Kansas, so I would have to cross the entire state—the empty and desolate plains of western Kansas—to enter Colorado. My destination was the Great Stupa… via On […]

Zen And The Hindrances

Zen is said to be a method for overcoming the five hindrances: Sensation desire, hatred, sloth, anxiety, and doubt. These are described as the mental factors that hinder our progress, not only in the spiritual path but in daily life as well. Sensation desire refers to the type of wanting that tries to get our […]