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 […]

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 […]

This Precious Human Life

This is something we talk about in Buddhism sometimes. “This Precious Human Life.” We dwell in a vast ocean of suffering. The fires of greed, hatred, and delusion assail us throughout our lives. But when teachers talk about This Precious Human Life they’re saying that we are lucky to be here, that our presence in […]


  Facebook just informed me that today, March 20th, is the first day of spring. I had no idea. I don’t really follow such things. I’m sure my pagan friends knew. Some of their practices involve celebrating the seasons. I’d like to make the case for Buddhists celebrating the seasons too. It doesn’t feel like […]

Pagan Festival 2016?

For two years in a row the Sacred Experience Committee of the Heartland Pagan Festival hired me to give Buddhist teachings during their event. It’s an outdoor camping festival in the Midwest that has been going on for 30 years. I takes place on Memorial Day weekend. I enjoyed the first year. There was something […]

Perform Only Virtuous Actions

  “Do not commit any non-virtuous actions. Perform only virtuous actions. Subdue the mind thoroughly.” -The Buddha   This is chanted in a lot of Buddhist temples. To me it’s the shortest possible explanation of Buddhism. People sometimes ask me about Buddhism, mainly because I write about Buddhism on the internet and I have cool Buddhist […]

My Life

Do you know that my life exploded last year? People reading this probably know I spend a lot of time at the local Buddhist temple these days. People reading this might also be aware that my life changed a lot last year. What you may not realize is that these things are connected. I fell apart […]

Teaching at the Rime Center

Daniel Scharpenburg, Dharma Teacher I’m now officially a Dharma teacher at the Rime Center in Kansas City. I’m leading Monday night Zen meditation and I’ll be teaching classes, starting with a class on the Diamond Sutra this spring. It’s a great and wonderful opportunity and I’m very happy that Lama Matt has given it to […]

The ancients said: “It is easy for a worldly man to win Buddhahood, (But) hard indeed is it to bring wrong thinking to an end.” We can say, the practice is easy. We just have to overcome delusion to be Enlightened. Once we can overcome our delusion, then we will be free and Enlightened, like […]

Altar Sutra: The Story of Hui-neng

This story was told by the Patriarch at Pao Lin Monastery and was transcribed by his students. This teaching was attended by government officials, Confucian scholars, monks and nun, laymen and laywomen, and Taoist Philosophers. The congregation asked him to give the most complete teaching he could and he told the story of how he […]