Category: Buddhism

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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Thoughts on Christmas from a Grumpy Buddhist

  By Gerald “Strib” Stribling I don’t like Christmas, never did like Christmas. My kids used to get me drunk to get me to help put up the Christmas tree. When I was young, Christmas used to make me feel lonely, and after I got married in 1972, Christmas was full of relatives. I couldn’t get away from them. Lots and lots of relatives—mostly relatives by marriage. My parents and sister and I, in the olden time, were a tight little group. Presents were purchased at the PX wherever dad was stationed, unless he was in Korea or Vietnam....

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Santa Claus and the Cycle of Suffering

By John Lee Pendall   I have some huge issues with ol’ Kris Kringle. I loved the legend when I was a kid, but now that I’m older, I see it for what it really is: conditioning. On a side note, you may have noticed that I bring up conditioning a lot. One of these days, I’ll sit down and hash it out in detail, but not right now. Right now, I’m talking about Santa Claus. Santa pretty much represents everything I find terrible about the human race. My main criticism is that he’s a symbol of patriarchy and fear-based...

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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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The Path of Celtic Buddhism {Book Review}

  By Ty H. Phillips Andrew Peers new book, The Path of Celtic Buddhism is a much needed work on a path both beautiful and controversial. It is a unique glimpse into a road little known and mostly obscured by myth and distortion by a true wordsmith and master of the craft. His imagery is awe inspiring and the story is both humorous and touching. It is an open look at the naked soul of a man, a friend, a questioner and a teacher; and oddly it is the perfect addition to the crazy wisdom tradition as Andrew (Dru) is...

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