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Coping with Loss

It’s impossible to live well without learning about coping with loss. The ultimate purpose of such learning is healing, but, initially, that can seem impossible. This is an important topic for the simple reason that we all endure losses. The…

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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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Disappointment

Is there an optimific way to deal with disappointment?  Perhaps. Let’s consider a concrete example. This past summer was the hottest one on record and throughout it I had been anticipating going camping up north this fall. I was scheduled…

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Population

In terms of human population, it is not obvious why we are so lucky. There are about 7 billion humans alive today. Although that may seem like far too many for the limited resources available, the future should not get…

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Overpowering Thought

Each thought is an overpowering thought — or so it appears. It’s important to notice and counteract this rather odd fact about our lives. As usual, it’s often easier to notice this in others than in ourselves. Yesterday, I was paying…

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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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