Buddhism

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  • Why a Buddhist monk doesn’t need an app to meditate and why you do

    Wildmind Buddhist Meditation
    Mark Tillotson
    21 Jul 2015 | 10:06 am
    Dragos Bratasanu, Huffington Post: A few years ago I traveled to Nepal to hike in the Himalayas, learn a bit more about myself and about the world from the Buddhist spiritual teachers. For over seven years I have went back and forth across the bridge between science and spirituality. I have studied both, trying to understand why we try to separate them, why we need to follow one path or the other. I never could quite understand why a scientist cannot spend time in meditation or pray and why a person on the spiritual path can’t actually think? As the night embraced the … Read the…
  • Chinese Cremate Body of Revered Tibetan Monk, Ignoring Pleas

    NYT > Buddhism
    16 Jul 2015 | 9:00 pm
    The decision by the Chinese authorities over the monk, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, who died in prison, could exacerbate Tibetan protests.
  • We knuckle-dragging earthlings

    The Zennist
    The Zennist
    2 Aug 2015 | 7:45 pm
    We moderns have a bad habit of finding it difficult to see or envision this whole cosmos as the manifestation of one substance or essence this being Mind.  This bad habit also includes our disbelief that it can be acquainted with in samadhi.  But this is exactly what Buddhism is about.  Some guy named Siddhartha long ago in India became directly acquainted with the stuff  the cosmos is made of, including even his thoughts and yes, even his dreams.  Is this a kind of myth or worse, just nonsense?  No, not for someone who has done it; who never…
  • How mindfulness can help us appreciate food

    Wildmind Buddhist Meditation
    Wildmind Meditation News
    30 Jul 2015 | 9:01 am
    Derek Watson, Herald Scotland: When I was a wee girl my daddy used to cajole me and my brother and sisters into finishing our meals by playing a game in which we were to imagine each forkful going to a different part of our bodies. Beef and potato, for instance, would be mashed up and formed into a pie shape, which we took great delight in dividing into wedges. On dad’s instruction we’d scoop up each piece and as we swallowed we’d imagine it going to, say, our left knee or our right pinky toe or a bicep or an eye. We imagine … Read the original article »
  • Cecil the Lion, and the Story of Savari the Hunter and Kuan Yin

    The Endless Further
    David
    3 Aug 2015 | 12:22 am
    By now you must have heard about Cecil the Lion. But if you haven’t, here is a brief account of the facts: Cecil was a 13 year old lion that roamed Zimbabwe’s Hwange national park. (See him on the left in an undated photo from by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit – click to enlarge). Cecil was a popular cat, a favorite attraction for tourists visiting the park. Reportedly, a dentist from Minnesota paid $50,000 to a professional hunter for the opportunity to kill poor Cecil, killed him. They allegedly lured Cecil was out of the sanctuary, shot and wounded him with an arrow.
 
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    The Zennist

  • We knuckle-dragging earthlings

    The Zennist
    2 Aug 2015 | 7:45 pm
    We moderns have a bad habit of finding it difficult to see or envision this whole cosmos as the manifestation of one substance or essence this being Mind.  This bad habit also includes our disbelief that it can be acquainted with in samadhi.  But this is exactly what Buddhism is about.  Some guy named Siddhartha long ago in India became directly acquainted with the stuff  the cosmos is made of, including even his thoughts and yes, even his dreams.  Is this a kind of myth or worse, just nonsense?  No, not for someone who has done it; who never…
  • Going beyond the moons in the stream

    The Zennist
    1 Aug 2015 | 10:33 pm
    Many years ago, one night I walked down to the shallow portion of the stream beside my run down old ranch house. I could see countless moons in the water.  Then I thought to myself that this might make a good koan.  Which one is the real moon?  This for me is like saying which of my thoughts is the pure Mind?  From this, I mused just how close 'pure Moon thought' and pure Mind are, so close, as to mistake thought for pure Mind. Back to the moons in the water, if someone who had never before seen the moon above, in the cool night sky, were to check out all of…
  • Why answers about Zen seem inadequate

    The Zennist
    30 Jul 2015 | 6:46 am
    When it comes to beginners of Zen Buddhism asking special questions, it often involves a fair amount of relevant, background context in order for the answer to make any kind of sense.  Very seldom does this happen.  Asking particular questions related to Zen brings with it the questioner's own presuppositions which have a particular context.  E.g., the question, "What is Buddha-nature?" could have a context which assumes that there is some kind of adequate conventional answer.  But there is also the context, ignored by the questioner, that Buddha-nature…
  • The beginning of faith in Zen

    The Zennist
    28 Jul 2015 | 10:33 pm
    There is an inherent danger in relativism because it denies the truth of One Mind. Relativism affirms that there is a plurality of truths not just one. As it should be fairly obvious, one can easily slip into the abyss of nihilism if one lacks true faith in the One Mind.  But there is more.  Faith in Zen Buddhism begins with accepting that the everyday world we perceive and live in is composed from the unconditioned One Mind and that this same dynamic Mind is immediate with us, animating us.  This One Mind, in other words, gives life; we are it but don't yet recognize…
  • Breaking out of myth-making

    The Zennist
    27 Jul 2015 | 9:50 pm
    Myth-making is extremely useful.  It is almost the foundation of human culture—some might argue that it is.  We construct from our imagination a system of thought to satisfy certain needs which ring more of human inadequacies, thereby, assuming that this construction agrees with reality.  The explanatory power of myth certainly extends to the modern vision of science.  However, take away the elements of myth-making, there is no science.  The same goes for religion; almost all religions. Try as we might we cannot escape our myth-making (in science such…
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    Wildmind Buddhist Meditation

  • How mindfulness can help us appreciate food

    Wildmind Meditation News
    30 Jul 2015 | 9:01 am
    Derek Watson, Herald Scotland: When I was a wee girl my daddy used to cajole me and my brother and sisters into finishing our meals by playing a game in which we were to imagine each forkful going to a different part of our bodies. Beef and potato, for instance, would be mashed up and formed into a pie shape, which we took great delight in dividing into wedges. On dad’s instruction we’d scoop up each piece and as we swallowed we’d imagine it going to, say, our left knee or our right pinky toe or a bicep or an eye. We imagine … Read the original article »
  • The structure of gratitude

    Wildmind Meditation News
    29 Jul 2015 | 8:41 am
    David Brooks, NY Times: I’m sometimes grumpier when I stay at a nice hotel. I have certain expectations about the service that’s going to be provided. I get impatient if I have to crawl around looking for a power outlet, if the shower controls are unfathomable, if the place considers itself too fancy to put a coffee machine in each room. I’m sometimes happier at a budget motel, where my expectations are lower, and where a functioning iron is a bonus and the waffle maker in the breakfast area is a treat. This little phenomenon shows how powerfully expectations structure our moods and…
  • Why a Buddhist monk doesn’t need an app to meditate and why you do

    Mark Tillotson
    21 Jul 2015 | 10:06 am
    Dragos Bratasanu, Huffington Post: A few years ago I traveled to Nepal to hike in the Himalayas, learn a bit more about myself and about the world from the Buddhist spiritual teachers. For over seven years I have went back and forth across the bridge between science and spirituality. I have studied both, trying to understand why we try to separate them, why we need to follow one path or the other. I never could quite understand why a scientist cannot spend time in meditation or pray and why a person on the spiritual path can’t actually think? As the night embraced the … Read the…
  • Meditation infographic

    Mark Tillotson
    21 Jul 2015 | 8:43 am
    InformationIsBeautiful.net reviewed 75+ studies and compiled all the evidence in one graphic and datasheet. What are the effects of meditation & mindfulness, according to the latest scientific research? What’s it good for? And while we’re at it, what’s the difference between meditation and mindfulness anyway? Click on the graphic above to get more information.
  • The “Now Bench”

    Bodhipaksa
    20 Jul 2015 | 8:25 am
    I just got word of a Kickstarter for an interesting new meditation tool. For many people, sitting cross-legged isn’t comfortable, or even possible! For those who aren’t so flexible, the traditional kneeling, or “seiza” posture is very handy. It provides stability, comfort (once you figure out the right height, angle, and floor cushioning), and a sense of groundedness (certainly compared to being perched on a chair). A good seiza bench, usually made of wood, can cost anything from $60 to $200 for a decent model. The Now Bench is a different approach, using modern foam…
 
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    The Endless Further

  • Cecil the Lion, and the Story of Savari the Hunter and Kuan Yin

    David
    3 Aug 2015 | 12:22 am
    By now you must have heard about Cecil the Lion. But if you haven’t, here is a brief account of the facts: Cecil was a 13 year old lion that roamed Zimbabwe’s Hwange national park. (See him on the left in an undated photo from by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit – click to enlarge). Cecil was a popular cat, a favorite attraction for tourists visiting the park. Reportedly, a dentist from Minnesota paid $50,000 to a professional hunter for the opportunity to kill poor Cecil, killed him. They allegedly lured Cecil was out of the sanctuary, shot and wounded him with an arrow.
  • Soseki’s Gardens

    David
    30 Jul 2015 | 12:10 am
    Wisdom Publications has been publishing books on Buddhism for more than a quarter century. Many of the books in my library were put out by Wisdom. They recently contacted me, and I’m sure other bloggers too, about one of their new books, Dialogues in Dream The Life and Zen Teachings of Muso Soseki by Muso Soseki and Thomas Yuho Kirchner. Before I get to the book, a little background on Soseki: Although his name is barely known in the West, Muso Soseki (1275-1351) was a very important figure in Japanese Buddhism; . I blogged about Soseki in 2011. He was a monk in Rinzai Zen’s Five Mountain…
  • A Woman’s Way

    David
    28 Jul 2015 | 12:16 am
    A woman named Alice Duer Miller was born 141 years ago today.  She was a woman’s suffrage activist and during her time, a very popular poet. Miller was also novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and (with Dorothy Parker) one of the two female members of the famous Algonquin Hotel Round Table, that “Vicious Circle” of writers, critics, actors, wags and gladflies who met for lunch each day at the Algonquin Hotel in the 1920s and ‘30s Her first novel, Come Out of the Kitchen, published in 1916, was a best-seller. Soon afterward, in addition to writing more novels, she became a…
  • Two Pairs of Sandals

    David
    24 Jul 2015 | 12:11 am
    I saw this photo of a man giving his sandals to a homeless girl in Rio de Janeiro on Facebook. It was in black and white with the caption: “The world is full of good people. If you can’t find one . . . be one!” I looked for the original and discovered that it’s been posted all over the Internet for several years, so likely you’ve seen it before. I hadn’t. One reason why I found it so interesting is that it reminded me of this story about Mahatma Gandhi: In India, during those days, rail was the fastest and most affordable way to travel across the country. The British rail…
  • Delight: Thunder over Earth

    David
    22 Jul 2015 | 12:12 am
    Remnants of former Hurricane Dolores off Baja California barreled through our area this past weekend, bringing much needed rain along with a few other things. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works captured 245 million gallons of storm water from the downpours. That much rain is highly unusual for Southern California at this time of year. Normally, we see no rain, I mean nada, from say, May to October. The storm also gave us several days of cloudy skies, severe flooding in some areas that caused a bridge to collapse, washed out part of Interstate 10, closed beaches due to…
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    Meditation Makes Sense

  • Change Your Self, Change Your Life

    rogero
    26 Jul 2015 | 11:15 pm
    A wonderful movie showing how the process arising from Vipassana meditation methods can change the way we are. It’s by Eilona Ariel & Ayelet Menahemi, the story of a strong woman named Kiran Bedi, the former Inspector General of Prisons in New Delhi, who strove to transform the notorious Tihar Prison and turn it into an […]
  • The World of Worry

    rogero
    23 Jul 2015 | 7:08 pm
    In the mid nineteenth century, the word ‘worry’ referred solely to the act of physical harassment, whether of animals or humans – for example, ‘the dog worried at the sheep to herd them into the pen’.  So it was that, in the pre-industrial time, when watches and clocks were rare, worry was relatively rare. It seems […]
  • Making Friends with the Bird

    rogero
    4 Jul 2015 | 7:28 am
    Hi Roger, I have gotten a lot out of your audio course, especially the exercises which I use most days, and I’ve had many peaceful moments meditating. And this is what provokes my question. I’ve noticed in your blog posts you are more like to talk about the bad stuff that happens in meditation than […]
  • Neuroplasticity and Meditation

    rogero
    17 Jun 2015 | 8:37 pm
    Neuroplasticity is a subject very pertinent to meditation – particularly meditation as consistent practice. Because rest assured, for all the difficulties you might experience as you meditate, and no matter how hopeless you might feel sometimes, the very act of sitting and using the meditation methods to coax your mind toward stillness changes the brain […]
  • Facing What Disturbs You

    rogero
    15 Jun 2015 | 1:39 am
    Following is another of the questions that came in, this one concerning an unusual condition that keeps repeating each time Jacques meditates Hi Roger, I liked your online course and your book but I got a big problem meditating. I have given it many tries but every time I meditate I build up tension in […]
 
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    Zen Presence - Ideas for Meaningful Living

  • Why Now?

    Dan Garner
    2 Aug 2015 | 7:09 am
    "Do not ruin today with mourning tomorrow." ~ Catherynne M. ValenteI began my 30 Days of Now experiment on July 15th.  For thirty days I wanted to focus on living in the present moment without planning or worrying about the future.  "Why now?", many of you may ask.  I was asking the same thing a few weeks ago, which is why I wanted to try the experiment.  I wondered why the spiritual masters - Eckhart Tolle, Thich Nhat Hanh, Adyashanti, etc.. - stress the importance of living in the present moment to such an extent.  Two and a half weeks into my experiment I've had…
  • My Weather

    Dan Garner
    26 Jul 2015 | 11:39 am
    Istay up late at nightarguingwith myself and othersclarifying who I am.I feel strong some daysbaskingin the sunlightwarm in how I feel.I crumble some daysconfusedin the rainquestioning who I am.The adiabatic proccess -weather comes and goes.I watch it from above.sometimes with fascinationsometimes with terror.Your opinionor my delusion?Subject and object are incoherentI'm weary of thunder,I need Shuurai.Zen Presence - Ideas for Meaningful LivingYou may notice that there are NO ADVERTISING BANNERS on Zen Presence.  Mainstream advertising and consumerism go against my…
  • Today

    Dan Garner
    23 Jul 2015 | 7:42 am
    I am a new day risingI'm a brand new skyto hang the stars upon tonightI'm a little divideddo I stay or run awayand leave it all behind?It's times like these you learn to live againIt's times like these you give and give againIt's times like these you learn to love againIt's times like these time and time again.~ Grohl, Taylor, Mendel, & ShiflettI'm a week into my 30 days of now experiment.  It hasn't been easy staying focused in the moment, but like anything else it seems to be getting easier with practice.  Meditation and mindfulness are skills. When I'm successful it's like a…
  • 30 Days of Now

    Dan Garner
    22 Jul 2015 | 12:03 pm
    A few days ago I began an experiment.  I decided that I would spend thirty days living in the present moment.  For thirty days I will not dwell in the past or worry about the future.I've read Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (several times), read Thich Nhat Han and other Zen masters who insist we should live each moment here and now, but never have I been able to comprehend truly living only in the present.  It seems we all look back at our past with fondness or regret and towards the future with anticipation or fear. How can we live without…
  • The Cost of Freedom - Sunday Morning Reading

    Dan Garner
    19 Jul 2015 | 8:08 am
    “If you’re only okay in certain circumstances, you’re already fucked.” — Godfrey DevereuxAll living beings desire freedom but few of us really feel free from the pressures and restrictions life places upon us.  What if I told you that it was you and not life or someone "out there" placing these limits upon you? We spend most of our lives avoiding discomfort.  Whether we are willing to admit it or not, fear dominates our lives. We are three to five times more likely to avoid discomfort than to seek pleasure.  We build fences around ourselves within which we feel safe,…
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    Full Contact Enlightenment

  • Anxious and Angry and Helping Others so Very Much

    Tanya McGinnity
    11 Jul 2015 | 10:22 am
    I am a voracious consumer of podcasts. Zillions of podcasts are just waiting to tickle my earbuds on a daily basis. I use Downcast to manage them all as it’s a pretty full feature “podcatcher” (I guess that’s what those in the know are calling this kind of tool). I listen to a whole bunch of stuff. From comedy shows to psychology lectures and of course, the obligatory Buddhist podcasts to stay sharp. There’s one podcast that has really stood out for me lately in this bottomless feed and that’s one called Anxious and Angry. Yeah. Doesn’t sound very…
  • Confessions….

    Tanya McGinnity
    22 Jun 2015 | 4:35 pm
    I like a Dave Matthews Band song. I have been crying more in the past 6 months in my entire lifetime and it feels amazing. Really. I’ve been doing a lot of self massage with tennis balls on my upper shoulders. Can’t recommend this enough. I am quite adept at keeping bamboo alive. My first boyfriend’s name was Praveen and he was awesome. We played with Hot Wheels during recess. Remember the cool little car suitcase for carrying dinky cars? I often have nightmares about flooding. Since my older dog passed, my younger pug has now been licking me all the time. Legs. Arms. Feet.
  • Random Linkage: Is it June Already?

    Tanya McGinnity
    17 Jun 2015 | 4:35 pm
    Holy heck it’s June already! Are you feeling it? I hope wherever you are that the sun is shining on your pretty face and you have a nice cold drink chilling beside you. May you all be free from harm. Let it be known that long ago I once almost killed my cousin and I by impaling us on a metal fence post by driving an ATV into a wire fence. This image above really resonates with me. I do hope nobody was harmed in the making of it and think that some videos should come with a disclaimer saying the person only merely suffered a bit of mild anxiety over motorbikes and fences since the…
  • “A Puppy’s Path to Nirvana” by Deke, The Dharma Dog

    Tanya McGinnity
    31 May 2015 | 2:19 pm
    As a self-professed dog person (nothing against cats over here folks), I’m quite excited to hear about the new book A Puppy’s Path to Nirvana from Deke, The Dharma Dog. It’s a 29-lesson ebook, with Deke speaking throughout, explaining Buddha’s view of the world, his basic doctrines and practices, Buddhism’s early growth, and its development into a world religion. All of this is done in a fun and engaging way. This sweet golden retriever will in his words – speak to, and with, and about, many of the major figures in American Buddhism. I speak continually about my…
  • Resting…. Resting… 1-2-3

    Tanya McGinnity
    25 May 2015 | 8:00 am
    I had a mindblowingly glorious weekend friends. My dear, beloved teacher, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche gave teachings in my adopted home of Montreal this past Friday and Saturday. We were all thrilled to have him back on the East Coast! It was the first time I as able to see him IRL so I was filled with all the emotions. Excitement. Fear. Joy. Panic. Peace. Awe. Goofiness. Dread. Regret. Did I say joy? It was all in there. It’s funny how the mind can get caught up in all of the story lines. Expectations. Fears. And then – poof – the letting go happens and we realize we’re…
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    Cross River Meditation Center

  • The Pali Canon – What The Buddha Taught

    John Haspel
    27 Jul 2015 | 1:32 am
    Content Copyright 2014 John Haspel CrossRiverMeditation.com A related Podcast is here: The Pali Canon Podcast The Pali Canon consists of three distinct collections. It is often referred to as "The Tipitaka" or the three baskets. The first collection is the Vinaya Pitaka. The vinaya is a collection of rules for monastics. It is valuable in understanding the political and cultural climate within which the Buddhadhamma developed. The second collection is the Sutta Pitaka and it contains all the discourses, or suttas, of the Buddha. There are over 10,000 suttas in the five "nikayas" or smaller…
  • Pariyesanna Sutta – Noble and Ignoble Searches

    John Haspel
    20 Jul 2015 | 9:17 am
    Content Copyright 2014 John Haspel CrossRiverMeditation.com There is a very old joke, I heard it first from an uncle over 45 years ago, and many times since: I was walking down a street at night and noticed an old man walking back and forth under a street light, head down and mumbling to himself. I asked if I could help him. The old man told me had dropped his wallet about a half-block back. When I asked why he was looking here if he lost his wallet down the street, he replied “the light is better here!” In the Pariyesanna Sutta, The Sutta on noble and ignoble searches, the Buddha…
  • Mara & Metaphor

    John Haspel
    12 Jul 2015 | 5:02 pm
    Content Copyright 2014 John Haspel CrossRiverMeditation.com In the ancient language of the Pali Canon, distracting thoughts arising from clinging conditioned mind are often portrayed as actions of the malevolent god Mara. The Buddha, (and the recorders of the Canon) often used metaphor when referring to thoughts and thought-constructs (fabrications). While referring to a particular individual being, Mara is metaphor for reactive, distracting, and clinging conditioned mind. The Buddha taught that what is commonly thought of as a self is “anatta,” not-a-self. Anatta is the result of an…
  • Resolve To Awaken

    John Haspel
    6 Jul 2015 | 12:20 am
    Content Copyright 2014 John Haspel CrossRiverMeditation.com The first two factors of the Eightfold Path, are known as the wisdom factors of the path. As the entry point into a path developing a life of lasting peace and happiness, it is an expression of wisdom to engage in the Eightfold Path. The simple recognition that life is, at times, disappointing, unsatisfactory, and confusing can generate the initial wisdom to develop understanding. As the path is developed wisdom deepens. The Buddha “awakened” to the understanding that from ignorance, or a lack of clear wisdom, all manner of…
  • The Lakkhana Sutta Talk

    John Haspel
    3 Jul 2015 | 8:28 am
    Content Copyright 2014 John Haspel CrossRiverMeditation.com This a recording of a Dhamma talk on the Lakkhana Sutta from our Tuesday evening Dhamma class in Frenchtown New jersey on June 30, 2015. The Lakkhana Sutta is a short but powerfulSutta. it is a teaching on the importance of Right Action, the fourth factor of the Eightfold Path. By extension, Right Speech and Right Livelihood are aspects of Right Action. The three virtuous aspects of the Eightfold Path are informed and supported by the other 5 factors. In this sutta the Buddha teaches that actions are the outward expression of either…
 
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