Author: The Tattooed Buddha

Want to Create a New Habit? Change Your Story

  By Leo Babauta If you want to create a new habit, you need to tell a good story. Suppose you want to create a new exercise habit (for example), you might tell yourself something like this: “This is going to be amazing; I’m going to get fit and look incredible and be super healthy!” This is a story you’re telling yourself. It’s not real, but it has tremendous power to affect your feelings about your habit, and to change your action. You have a positive story about the habit, and it motivates you to take action. But perhaps the exercise...

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What Type of Meditation Did Bodhidharma Practice?

  By Robert Epstein What is the actual practice that Bodhidharma brought to China? Somewhere around 500 AD, Bodhidharma was sent by his teacher—the female sage Prajnatara—to bring the practice of Buddhist Dhyana (Jhana/Ch’an/Zen) to China, thus starting the school of Ch’an Buddhism which became Zen in Japan. Prajnatara and Bodhidharma belonged to the Indian Sarvastivadin school of Mahayana Buddhism. Bodhidharma’s overall practice had two main aspects: study of the Lankavatara Sutra and Dhyana meditation. In both Yoga and past Buddhist traditions, Dhyana was about deep internal absorption on the breath and subtle mental factors such as joy and...

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A Guide to Equanimity: Creating a More Flexible Mind

  By Leo Babauta It’s my belief that a flexible mind helps us to deal with chaos, loss, big life changes, small frustrations, and all that life throws our way. A flexible mind leads to more peace. You’re not as stuck in your ways, and can adapt to change. You don’t always think you’re right but are curious about other people. You can take on new challenges with a smile. I don’t always have such a flexible mind, to be honest. I’m working on it. When I’m not flexible, I can feel it: my mind starts to feel rigid, I...

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Gratitude, Even After Food Poisoning

  By Michael Grey This weekend, I jumped into bed early, tired, feeling gross. Sooner than later, the tiredness did not diminish, but the grossness accelerated. No need to go into specifics, but needless to say, I slept little that night, and it felt like everything left my body. I remember when I was a kid I would often puke and feel great afterwards, an endorphin rush I presume. This did not occur. Not even close and I could keep nothing down to assist in the trouble. Eventually my wife found an old Zofran and I dissolved it under my...

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Can We Find a Sangha Built around an American Buddhist Practice? (Part 2)

  By Joe Lamport This year marks the bicentennial of Thoreau’s birth, which explains in part why I ended up with a copy of Walden Pond in my lap this summer. Even in this advanced age, it turns out that Thoreau has something very important to teach us about the successful integration of the spiritual traditions of East and West. Thoreau provides us with still fresh insight about the cultivation of Buddha-awareness within the framework of our familiar western ways of thinking; he points us down a path where we can discover a homegrown Dharma of our own. I should...

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Buddhism For Dudes