Author: Alex Chong Do Thompson

How Do We (as Buddhists) Respond to Violence?

  By Alex Chong Do Thompson I entered my first full-contact karate tournament when I was 13 years old. I’d been training for several years at that point, and after watching Enter The Dragon one to many times, I decided that I wanted to test myself against a real opponent. It took some convincing, but eventually my dad packed up the family car, and drove me to a tournament in Chicago, Illinois That’s how I found myself standing across from the child version of Ivan Drago, from Rocky IV. My opponent was 6 inches taller than me with biceps...

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Nothing is Permanent—Not Even a Tattoo

  By Alex Chong Do Thompson Everything changes. These two words seem simple on the surface. But Buddhist teachers have spent the last 2,500 years explaining them to students. It’s almost so obvious as to be laughable. Day turns to night, winter changes to spring, and people grow older with every passing year. One is tempted to respond with a sarcastic, “Thanks, Captain Obvious” when they’re told by 100 different teachers in 100 different ways that everything changes. And yet, it’s a lesson that needs to be taught over and over again. Why is that? Personally, I think it’s...

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All Coming Together as One: Join us on August 5

  By Alex Chong Do Thompson A few months ago, I was meditating at my local Zen center, and I did something that I almost never do during practice. I opened my eyes, and I looked around at my fellow practitioners. What I saw shocked me. The guy sitting directly across from me was wearing black from head to toe. The sides of his head were shaved, which helped to accentuate his eyeliner. To my right, there was a young woman sitting in the lotus-position. Her brown hair fell to just below her shoulders, and her tattoo-covered hands rested...

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Do Buddhists Eat Meat? My Story {Part 1}

  By Alex Chong Do Thompson One of the beautiful (and frustrating) things about Buddhist practice is that there aren’t any hard and fast rules for practitioners to follow outside of the monastic order. In his wisdom, Buddha chose to give general guidelines (the precepts) and a tool (meditation) which allow us to make decisions for ourselves in terms of how best to walk the path. As a result, there are many debates within Buddhist circles that have literally been going on sense the founding of this tradition. “Should Buddhists eat meat” is one of those debates, and after...

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Using Buddhism to Deal with Anxiety: All Suffering Comes from the Mind

  By Alex Chong Do Thompson Having anxiety means that my brain always jumps to the worst-case scenario in any situation. If I lose my keys, I’m convinced that a sociopath is going to find them, come into the house, and kill me in my sleep. If I text someone and they don’t reply back right away, I wonder if I’ve offended them and start thinking of ways to make amends. These types of thoughts run through my head from the moment I wake up in the morning until the moment I go to sleep at night, and they’re...

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