Author: Daniel Scharpenburg

A More Simple Practice

  By Daniel Scharpenburg   I went to St. Louis to sight-see with my girlfriend last year. It’s only a few hours away, really, on the other side of Missouri. It was the city my father came from and the city where I was born. We moved when I was still very young, before I was old enough to start school. I went there to try to visit my dad’s favorite places, and also to see a few things around the city, like the giant eyeball in the sculpture park (totally awesome). We tried to go to my dad’s...

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How Do I Tell Them I’m Buddhist?

  By Daniel Scharpenburg   A Reader Says: My family is fundamentalist Christian and I’ve embraced Buddhism. I’ve been practicing for a couple years now. I’m afraid of telling them, but I want to be who I am, I don’t want to hide. What can I do? How do I tell them?   Whew. This is a tough question. But it is also a really important one. I live in the United States, where approximately 70% of the population is Christian—although it certainly ranges from deeply devout to casual. In plenty of places in this country the idea of...

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About A Buddha: Gautama’s Journey to Enlightenment

  By Daniel Scharpenburg Sometimes we just come to the Buddha’s story over and over, telling it in different ways. Gautama was the son of a wealthy king, and he lived a sheltered life. It’s said that he didn’t even know about suffering, sickness, and death but that’s almost certainly not true. The story is that his father did everything he possibly could to prevent his son from knowing that life is hard. We should all be so lucky. I think even people today that are born into incredible wealth still know something about suffering: we all get older,...

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How Do I Avoid Being Aggressive in My Practice?

  By Daniel Scharpenburg A reader says: “I recognize a habitual pattern, not to be aggressive about eliminating it. But then the self aggression in “I should be more patient, kinder, better organized, etc…” can turn into “You/they should be more….” So I guess the question is where to interrupt that cycle?” So, there’s this thing I always say when I lead meditations. I’ll say it even when I know the person I’m speaking to has been meditating for a long time. I’ll say it even when I know for certain I’ve said it to this person in particular...

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The Passing of Buddhist Teacher Michael Stone & The Reason We Need to Talk More About It

  By Daniel Scharpenburg Michael Stone was a pretty famous Buddhist teacher from Canada. I’m not going to lie to you and say I was a fan, as people often do when celebrities die. I had heard his name, but I didn’t really know anything about him, to be quite honest. I know that he taught Buddhism and Yoga. He was a non-traditional Buddhist teacher. He studied with Zen and Insight meditation teachers. He believed Buddhism didn’t have to be held back by tradition. He famously said on his website “I don’t wear robes.” From his website: “And I believe...

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Buddhism For Dudes