Category: Striding Through The Universe

Awake in the City

  By Daniel Scharpenburg I guess I’m changing things a bit around here. When I started writing a column here I was an ambitious zen mystic. I thought I’d write about crazy obscure Buddhist teachings all the time. I thought I’d become known as a master—maybe even start my own zen order. The truth is that the world needs another zen order like I need a hole in my head. I’ve said from the beginning that I’m on the Bodhisattva path, not on the monk/priest path. My purpose isn’t to be a role model or to establish a temple....

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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 You Find Time to Meditate When You are Too Busy to Meditate?

  By Daniel Scharpenburg There are a few things people often say in casual conversation when they find out that I meditate. I want to be very clear, this is what gets said in general conversation, not in a teaching context. “That’s so cool. I wish I could calm my mind down, but I can’t,” or some other version of wishing they could do it (because they think it’s easy for me, of course). I find that question very weird, but there’s one I find weirder, and that one is some version of, “I wish I had the time. I’m...

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Buddhism For Dudes