Dhyana: Mind Development

This is meditation, the cultivation of unified awareness focused on the present moment, the eternal now. In meditation there is no difference between the knower, the knowing, and the known. We are trying to cut through delusion. Our goal is full enlightenment, inner peace, and the dissolving of self-made barriers. Liberation from the self is […]

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 […]

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 […]

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’ […]

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 […]

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. […]

Bodhidharma’s 2 Entries

Bodhidharma said there are two ways to enter the path. Entry through conduct and entry through principle. He outlined this in a teaching called the Two Entries and the Four Practices. In this teaching he outlines in a clear way what we must do to attain enlightenment. Entry through conduct is associated with practices that […]

Bai Zhang’s 12 Meditation Steps

“Do not give rise to good and bad thoughts. When a thought arises-–-be aware of it-–-awareness dissolves the thought. When this method is applied over a long period of time—all thoughts are forgotten and oneness is attained.” -Bai Zhang Zuo Ch’an Yi, The Seated Meditation Regulation text, may have been one of the first lists […]

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 […]

Zen Master Dogen

I think it could be argued that the history of Zen is really a history of spiritual iconoclasts and revolutionaries, spiritual adventurers who saw the way things were and sought to innovate instead of merely accepting the status quo. Dogen is  looked upon by Soto Zen Buddhists as an ideal to live up to; he […]