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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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See Being

Is it possible to see Being? It’s an important question. Even just taking it seriously can lead to better understanding. Being is nirvana, the domain of divine unity; Becoming is samsara, the domain of secular duality [see the post referenced…

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Revulsion

According to the Buddha, revulsion about oneself can be valuable. This teaching comes from the Samyutta Nikaya, “The Connected Discourses of the Buddha,” which is the third major collection in the “basket of Discourses” that make up the Pali Canon….

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Spiritual Materialism

Spiritual materialism is a common obstacle that undermines trainings that promote ego attrition. Because spirit and matter seem antithetical, the name itself seems self-contradictory. After all, extreme materialist doctrines claim that to be real is to be matter, in other words,…

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Creative Work

Creative work is over-rated. There are two reasons for this. First, an emphasis on it tends to diminish the value of both maintaining what is good and useful and destroying what bad and harmful. A balanced account should value all three. When…

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Corners

Corners are as ubiquitous as they are unnatural. They symbolize what’s wrong with our civilization, namely, that we have disconnected ourselves from the other-than-human world. However, surprisingly, there’s a way to use them to live better. I live in a box,…

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Spiritual Progress

Am I making spiritual progress? I’m reminded of an old New Yorker cartoon. Two robed practitioners are seated in meditation. The younger one turns to the bearded man next to him and asks, “Now what happens?” Many beginning meditators and other…

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No-Thought

Since it is required for compassion and genuine love, no-thought is a necessary condition for living well.  Why?  What is it? It’s the cure for most of the normal state of human consciousness that Roshi Philip Kapleau calls “thoughting.” The…

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The Fundamental

The fundamental is the great matter of birth and death. There is a lot that everyone values: air, water, food, shelter, protection, health, relationships, productive work, political freedom, economic freedom, and so on. However much valued, everything else is of…

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Meditation Techniques

Mostly, meditation techniques fail.  Surprised? Another name for them is “spiritual methods.” The English word “spiritual” comes from the Latin word “spiritus,” which meant a breath or a wind. Spiritual methods are breathing practices that emphasize awareness of breathing. All…

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