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Eyes wide open! It’s time for our latest “Seeing Fresh” contemplative photo

From author and contemplative photographer Andy Karr comes the latest “Seeing Fresh” contemplative photo of the week, submitted by Marc Flament. Andy’s comment: “It’s amazing what you can find reflected in the water if you open your eyes wide enough. It’s a nice example of fresh seeing.” (Click the photo to see a larger version.) Contemplative photography […]

Loving-Kindness Supports the World

A Thai monk I know once taught me the phrase lokopatthambhika metta or “loving-kindness supports the world.” But how? It is difficult to imagine, for the world seems supported, or certainly permeated, by darkness, evil, hatred, violence. You might think it must be a optimist/pessimist kind of thing, you know, where the glass is either [...]

Too many skeptics?

The Buddha criticized skeptics or ajñâninah who were those who believed not knowing is best if not the suspension of the effort to know. This implies that perhaps there is no one intelligent enough, or one who is an authority,...

Invitation to the People's Climate March, Sept. 21

6 days agoReligion / Buddhism : IDP Blog

Earlier this month, I wrote about why you might choose to take your meditation practice off the cushion and into the streets this coming September for the historic People's Climate March march to address climate change. Now, with the...Show More Summary

Check out The Melanthium Band, featuring the piano stylings of Zen teacher Lewis Richmond

The work of Lewis Richmond has been featured a number of times here, but now we’re looking at a different kind of work from the author and Zen teacher. “I have recently become part of a new music group called The Melanthium Band,” he writes. “Many people who know my books and teaching may not […]

A different kind of zero

The film, The Zero Theorem (2013) which was directed by Terry Gilliam is for me a Buddhist film. The main character Qohen is asked by management to solve the "Zero Theorem" which management hopes will prove that life is essentially....

Is Buddhism like a western religion?

If the "essence of religion" turns out to be indistinguishable from morality or moral perfectionism then Buddhism, including its Zen sect, cannot be put under the rubric of religion—Wester religion that is. As the dictionary defines it, such a religion...

Metta Month: I Can't Make You Be Happy

The happiness or suffering of others is the result of their actions and not my wishes for them. read more

Why I Took the Global Forgiveness Challenge

In June I participated in the Tutu Global Forgiveness Challenge in an effort to revitalize my practice. The Forgiveness Challenge is a 30-day interactive program that integrates videos, recordings, thought exercises, meditations and a personal diary exploring daily themes on forgiveness. read more

Inner Waves

If you like ambient music, you know, music that meanders, doesn’t really go anywhere... then you’ll love some of the music I make.  I call it ambient music, ala Brian Eno, mainly because I figure if pointless music is good enough for him, then it’s good enough for me.  I’m being a [...]

“Abandon Hope and Other Surprising Slogans to Help You Handle Anger”

In the September 2014 Shambhala Sun magazine, Zen teacher Norman Fischer applies five lojong, or mind-training, slogans to anger and other strong emotions. “These slogans,” Norman explains, “are memorable, often humorous aphorisms that...Show More Summary

Are you trying to “settle the score”? Try Pema Chödrön’s advice for “Choosing Peace” instead.

There is a key moment, says Pema Chödrön, when we make the choice between peace and conflict. In this teaching from her program Practicing Peace, she describes the practice we can do at that very moment to bring peace for ourselves, for others, and for the world. If we want to make peace, with ourselves […]

Reacting to Tragedy

My daughter, at water's edge on River St. in Sea Bright, NJ read more

The Happiness Equation

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences recently published a study titled “A computational and neural model of momentary subjective well-being.” In other words, researchers have developed a mathematical model for happiness. Yes, this is an instance of happiness. The study says, “Using computational modeling, we show that emotional reactivity in the form of [...]

For very serious beginners

As much as some contemporary Zennists might not like this, Zen is really an introduction to the Bodhisattva’s world—not its actualization (not yet at least). Zen is, rightfully, an efficient and faster way to reach bodhicittotpada (generating the mind that...

The Myanmar Muslims Genocide Awareness Convention 2014

As I mentioned in a past post, I was one of the speakers at this year’s Myanmar Muslims Genocide Awareness Convention 2014, which was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center this past Saturday. (As regular readers may remember, I wrote a special report for this blog about the Myanmar Muslims Genocide Awareness Convention 2013. You can…

“Beyond Thought”: Ram Dass on how we arrive at spiritual understanding

In his book Polishing the Mirror, bestselling author, spiritual teacher, cultural icon, and consciously aging elder Ram Dass shares his essential teachings for living in the here and now. In this excerpt from the book, which comes out in paperback this September, he recalls a lesson he learned at one of his own teachings. I […]

Funeral for a Friendship

May you be happy. May you be safe. May you have ease. May you be loved. read more

The end of duality

Duality is eventually acknowledged by us when we confront a world outside of ourselves. It can sometimes be you and I, or it can just be myself facing nature alone. It can even be the thoughts in front of me...

Is There No Balm In Gilead?

I'm posting this on behalf of Thia Reggio, the Pastor of the Astoria First Presbyterian Church. The church has been generously allowing us local Queens residents to use their space for meditation. read more

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