There are many, many practices out there that claim to help.

And here’s a little secret: too many of them do noth¬ing. The Unitarian Universalist theologian James Luther Adams once wryly noted how “Nothing sells like egoism wrapped in idealism.” Much of what passes for spiritual practice is just puffing up the ego, reinforcing and guarding it against any and all assault. And—have no doubt in […]

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Some say that spirituality is a way of attaining a better kind of happiness, transcendental happiness

Others see it as a benevolent way to develop power over others. Still others say the point of spirituality is to acquire magical powers so we can change our bad world into a good world or purify the world through miracles. It seems that all of these points of view are irrelevant to the Buddhist […]

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The most profound and effective way to overcome sloth and torpor is to stop fighting your mind

Stop trying to change things and instead let things be. Make peace not war with sloth and torpor. – Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond

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Products are specially designed to catch the eye and captivate the mind.

Because we focus on what else there is to acquire, rather than what we already have, we fall into the endless upgrade game. “The functions you need are coming in the next version! The new design is so much more attractive! And it comes in your favorite color!” These products may be mass-produced, but they […]

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Those who wish to protect their practice should zealously guard the mind.

The practice cannot be protected without guarding the unsteady mind. Tigers, lions, elephants, bears, snakes, all enemies, all guardians of hells, evil spirits, and demons become controlled by controlling the mind alone. By subduing the mind alone, they all become subdued. For the Propounder of the Truth said that all fears and immeasurable sufferings arise […]

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When we look back, at the time of death, the experience of this life will seem like a dream.

And—just as with our nighttime dreams—it will seem useless to have put so much effort into it. The fear we experience in a dream is gone when we wake up; feeling afraid was just an unnecessary exertion of effort causing us to lose sleep! When we look back on our lives at death, the amount […]

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As a species, we should never underestimate our low tolerance for discomfort

To be encouraged to stay with our vulnerability is news that we definitely can use. Sitting meditation is our support for learning how to do this. Sitting meditation, also known as mindfulness-awareness practice, is the foundation of bodhichitta training. It is the home ground of the warrior bodhisattva. Sitting meditation cultivates loving-kindness and compassion, the […]

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A young couple decided to deal with their ambivalence about panhandlers by giving money to the first person who asked each day.

They were sincerely attempting to work with their confusion around the issue of homelessness, but they had an agenda: they would be good, generous people and do their noble deed and then forget about their conflicted feelings for the rest of the day. One morning a drunk asked the woman for money as she went […]

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The self-centered thought is not who we are.

The self-centered thought is different from the mind that wants to be happy because we’re sentient beings. Everybody wants to be happy. There’s no problem with wanting to be happy. The problem is the way the self-centered thought goes about thinking of our happiness and the way it goes about getting happiness. It is a […]

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Whatever arises in our mind whether it’s a thought, an emotion, a sensation, or a perception is the arising of co-emergent wisdom.

It is the radiation of the mind’s emptiness and clarity. Every arising is a temporary arising—one thought comes and goes, then another thought comes and goes. All our thoughts and emotions just appear and disappear. This is very important, because we usually grasp at whatever occurs. For instance, when sadness arises, we hold on to […]

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