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 […]

Nagarjuna

Nagarjuna is one of my heroes in Buddhist history. He was a scholar and adventurer, a mystic and wanderer. And a prolific writer whose work is still with us today. He’s sometimes called the Second Buddha. He’s the only figure given such a high distinction. He lived in the second century and he’s considered a […]

Bodhisattva Road

The Bodhisattva’s Journey Mahayana Buddhism is sometimes called the Great Vehicle. It’s also called the Bodhisattva Path. Bodhisattva means Enlightenment Being or Awakened Being. The path that I advocate, the path that I teach about, is the Bodhisattva Path. It’s a powerful and difficult journey. The ideal of the Bodhisattva is what we are trying […]

The Power of the Dharma

Power in the Dharma Practicing the dharma is powerful and it can bring us great benefit. When we are practicing we are engaging in a different way of thinking and seeing the world. I don’t mean to say that we are seeing the world in a magical or supernatural way. We are seeing the world […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]