Lojong Point 7: Guidelines of Mind Training

This point has to do with how we go further in our day to day life. This is connected to an understanding of how we can have better behavior in our relationships and in our lives in general.   39. All Activities Should Be Done With One Intention The one intention is to cultivate bodhicitta, […]

On The Practice of Taking Refuge

Taking refuge is central to Buddhist teachings and practice. It’s referred to as “entering the gate”. When we come to understand that taking refuge means that we are working on ourselves, then we understand that it’s a process of changing the directions of our lives. We work on ourselves by doing the practices that the […]

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 […]