Human experience, perceived and filtered through the deeply conditioned and unconscious belief in a separate, inherently existent self, is pure fiction. The ultimate goal of meditation, from a Buddhist perspective, is to remove these faulty perceptual filters, and to free the individual from the confusion and negative consequences of being lost in delusion. Wisdom is …
Reverend Angel Kyodo Williams is a jewel. Radical Dharma is the title of her latest book which I look forward to reading. Today I attended her workshop on Radical Dharma. Here are my (white) person thoughts: Dharma is a Sanskrit word which can be roughly translated as “the teaching of Buddha” for a Buddhist, or …
What does it mean to be mindful, not merely of my breath rising and passing, sensations of the body and mind, but of my carbon footprint? My white male able bodied, naturalized citizen, English speaking privilege? What does it mean to be mindful of the suffering of sentient life due to my dietary habits and choices?
My mom’s aimless wandering through our house, wondering how to get home, are almost daily now. But we are there for her, reminding her again and again, in calm tones, that she is home, that she doesn’t need to perform any tasks or prove her usefulness.
1998. I remember hooking up my first laptop to a dialup connection and being amazed and inspired by the power of the internet. The world literally felt like it was at my fingertips. Seemingly unlimited information and knowledge were mere seconds away. Perhaps it would have been useful if there had been a warning sticker on the box that said – “too much information can be hazardous to your health”.
Zen meditation uses koans to help one learn not to be deceived by language, or the confused mind that superimposes concrete, separate identities on things. When one learns not to be deceived by language and deceptive mental habits, there is freedom.
Beauty is revealed in the interplay of light and shadow, and the serenely steady mind which observes impermanent phenomena, flashing across our retina, leaping from neuron to neuron within our cortex, maintaining perfect equanimity and openness as we continually update our stories, until perhaps one day the story dissolves into a perfect stream of consciousness with no fixed boundaries – the no-story story.
Life is a mixed bag. As soon as we’re born, the process of dying begins. It’s really no different for nations, planets, stars, and all things produced by causes. So there’s nothing really gloomy and doomy here. It’s the dharma of our present global situation and if we wish to be free, we need to find that middle way between sticking our heads in the sands of denial on the one hand, and freaking out merely because we cannot predict the exact timing and circumstances of the demise of our body, our planet, on the other.