Author: Daniel Scharpenburg

Rest in the Openness of Your Mind {Lojong teaching}

  By Daniel Scharpenburg The idea of resting in openness is just being here. It’s what Ram Dass described in “Be Here Now” and what Rob Bell described in “How to Be Here”. It’s what the Buddha was talking about when he said, “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” It’s a description of formless meditation practices, where we aren’t focusing on the breath or repeating a mantra or visualizing some crazy image. These are practices dedicated to just being here. Some of the historical Zen masters...

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Don’t Get Stuck on Peace {Lojong Training}

By Daniel Scharpenburg Sometimes our spiritual practice can make us feel removed, separate from the rest of the world. That’s not the Bodhisattva way. The Bodhisattva way is to be in the world, open and vulnerable; awake in the world, not separate from it. This is sometimes called the Poison of Emptiness. We want to see the impermanent, interconnected, dreamlike nature of things, but even that can become a point of attachment for us very easily. We can’t get excited about the illusory and empty nature of reality. That’s not something we can maintain, even if we try. Getting excited...

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Examine the Nature of Awareness {Lojong Teaching}

By Daniel Scharpenburg The last Lojong teaching we discussed was: “Train in the Preliminaries.” This leads us to the next teaching, “Examine the Nature of Awareness.” That seems really profound, doesn’t it? The implication in this statement is that awareness is what we are. If we dig deep in examining ourselves, all we really find is awareness. Who are you? Who is it that’s paying attention to this right now? Take a moment and think about yourself, look within. How much of what you tell yourself is “you” comes from labels you put on yourself? Or labels others put on you? If...

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See Everything as a Dream {Lojong Training}

  By Daniel Scharpenburg   This is from the mind training teachings called Lojong. See Everything As A Dream This is the Lojong teaching that comes from the section on Bodhicitta, or the mind of awakening and compassion. Slogans 2-10 are considered part of this section, so we will be talking about Bodhicitta for awhile, and the next few slogans will have similar themes. Everything is coming and going all the time. That’s a simple fact of life. We can pretend we don’t know that, we can try to hide from it, but it’s true and it’s unavoidable. Emptiness...

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Resolving to Begin: The Preliminaries {The First Lojong Teaching}

  By Daniel Scharpenburg   This is the first part in a series on the mind training teachings called lojong. “Train in the Preliminaries.” The lojong teachings begin with this simple line. I read about meditation practice for a long time before I actually tried it. I think a lot of people do that. And then I was a practicing Buddhist for years before I went to a temple and met other Buddhists. Beginning is hard. And, actually, going to a Buddhist temple alone when you don’t know anyone there or what to expect can be really intimidating. I know...

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