Can Wise Speech Buddhism Help the World?
Learning wise speech Budhism can be a healing balm to a world often troubled by major conflicts, acts of terrorism, devastating wars, political scandals and false accusations, international spying, ethnic cleansing and many more abusive and violent actions. Continue reading
Can We be with Nature Wilderness with Mindfulness, Equanimity, Patience and Ease?
I remember my first backpacking trip on my own. I wanted to go and I felt afraid to be on my own. At the time we lived in New Hampshire and I took an early autumn trip into the secluded Pemigewasset Wilderness area in the White Mountains. I decided to go to an area called “Seven Falls” where there was a confluence of seven rivers merging together. Continue reading
How do I speak and listen with compassion and wisdom individually and globally?
As a child I was told by my parents in order to protect myself from harm to say to other children “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never harm me.”
I said it and perhaps this prevented further mocking by other nasty children but the damage was already done. The words they said stung, they hurt, there was harm; I felt afraid and embarrassed. Continue reading
Speaking Wisely, Listening Deeply
“If you propose to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind?’ ~ Buddha
These words of the Buddha spoken 2,600 years ago have as much relevance today as when he originally said them. When the Buddha began teaching he first instructed his students in generosity as a practice to open the heart through compassion, connectedness, and support among the “Four-Fold Community” of practitioners (sangha) that were developing. Monastics, monks and nuns and lay people, men and women offered mutual exchange to each other through alms given freely and learning the teachings of the Buddha. Continue reading
Mindfulness and Breath Meditation
Welcome to mindfulness meditation. Let’s begin this meditation by relaxing your eyes and beginning to bring your attention inward. Slowly settle into your body. Continue reading
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is an inherent ability that we all have to live in a state of awareness moment by moment; to actually be present in a whole way. At any given moment mindfulness invites us to be aware of our breath and body sensations, our feelings, mental states, which are composed of emotions and thinking. It is non-judgmental awareness. How often do we really notice what is going on within and how influences are affecting us? Continue reading
“The belief that freedom is possible and that having it does not depend on having things, keeping or holding onto things. Having faith is giving.”
This is the time of year when most of us think about gifts, presents, shopping, and how we will squeeze in the time and space to accomplish all this. The days approaching the holiday season are filled with untold busyness, as we try to fulfill the needs and obligations of family, friends, and co-workers. Most of rush around in a driven state, trying to check another item off the never ending “to do” list and are left feeling exhausted and unfulfilled. Continue reading
The 4 Noble Truths: A Path to Happiness
The Buddha was called the “Happy One.” His capacity to truly appreciate life was strong and full because his home was the present moment and he could receive the aliveness and beauty in all forms of life and its manifestation. He truly understood the nature of reality; rejecting nothing and accepting everything. He cultivated a state of being that recognized what brings human happiness, called sukkha, the pleasant, happy moments. He also learned how to live in harmony with the myriad causes and conditions which life brings. His capacity for seeing life’s challenges and difficulties without backing away from them, denying them, or compensating for them, allowed him to live with what is. This was not a temporary happiness but a lasting happiness, not based on conditions. This was freedom. Continue reading
The Triple Gem, the Three Jewels, the Three Refuges
Taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha has traditionally been a way for people to begin their commitment to practice as they find a way to happiness, freedom and awakening. Continue reading
The earliest recollections of my childhood come to me in images — helping other little girls to care for themselves. Three distinct memories come to mind of wanting to help others — the tall, shoestring blond, gangly girl, who spoke very loud as if she had a frog in her throat and out of turn, in class, where she was constantly teased by other kids. There was the diminutive, cute Hispanic girl I met in Miami Beach while on vacation who could not speak understandable English and I tried to help by showing her how to speak the names of paper money. In addition, the poor farmer’s daughter who wore tattered clothing, her greasy, blond hair stuck to her scalp from infrequent washings. I wanted to let all three of them know that I cared, it did not matter that they were different — so was I. Continue reading