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The Work

Unlike [physical] pain, suffering is optional.  The question is: ‘What’s the best way to reduce or eliminate suffering?’ There’s no one way that works best for everyone.  There are a number of methods and the one that is most effective…

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How Does Consciousness Relate to Living Well?

Getting past form consciousness is the secret to living well. The terminological confusion surrounding the idea of getting beyond form consciousness is regrettable.  Frankly, in large part because of the confusing welter of different words and phrases, it took me…

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Rising Above Thought

Rising above thought is all about liberation from thought prison. Are you living in thought prison? Almost certainly, the answer is ‘Yes.’ How can you tell? Are you addicted to thoughts? Are you compelled always to be thinking? Are you…

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Your Life Story

Your life story will end with decline and death. That’s not being morbid; it’s being truthful. It’s the same for me and everyone else. The relevant question is: “How should we respond?” We instinctively react with fear. We fear death….

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Expectancy

Living well is living without expectancy. This means living without psychological waiting, without thinking about (imagining, hoping for) a better future. In other words, living well is sometimes characterized as living without depending upon thought (“no-thought”). We often miss life…

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Kinds of buddha

According to the Buddhist tradition, there several kinds of buddha. Surprised? As a child, the sage [saint] we today think of as the founder of Buddhism was named “Siddhartha,” which means “he whose purpose is accomplished.” His name was “Siddhartha…

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The Eightfold Path

According to the Buddha, following the Eightfold Path is following the way to liberation.  It’s the way [Sanskrit:  marga; Pali: magga] to replacing life’s three poisons of greed, hatred, and delusion with their opposites of nonattachment, loving kindness, and wisdom….

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Spiritual Intention

What are the kinds of spiritual intention that motivate practices such as meditation?  How should we think about them? The Buddhist tradition provides an interesting classification. The Indian scholar Atisa (982-1054) suggests a division of practitioners into three classes depending…

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Svabhava

Understanding svabhava (Pali: sabhava) is critical for understanding the Buddha’s project. Failing to understand it can make the Buddhist understanding of living well seem incoherent. The word means, literally, “own-being” or “own-becoming.” It can be translated as “self-nature,” “self-essence” or simply “essence.” Such translations,…

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The Buddha’s Footsteps

Why might you be at all interested in walking in the Buddha’s footsteps? It’s not just that living is difficult, it’s that living well is very difficult. Few succeed. The way to living well is like a journey across a…

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