The Three Poisons

The three poisons or the three roots (of suffering) were the subject of Brother Phap Vu‘s dharma talk on Saturday, April 30, 2016 at the Earth Holder Retreat in the Deer Park Monastery. The three poisons are variously translated as shown in the following table (reading down) desire greed attraction hatred ill-will aversion ignorance illusion […]

The Importance of Sangha

Tomorrow, I’m going to the Earth Holder Retreat at the Deer Park Monastery where the importance of sangha in Buddhist practice is realized. The Practicing Pamphlet which I received clearly states, We have come to practice together as a community. We do not encourage isolated practices or solo retreats. We are part of a body […]

Hope, Faith and Love

This lovely poem on the subject of hope, faith and love came to me from Lama Surya Das and I am truly grateful. It embeds some wonderful teachings about what we can accomplish in our lives, what is true and beautiful and how we are interdependent on others for our happiness. Nothing worth doing is […]

Guided Meditation for Loving Kindness

This guided meditation for loving kindness was created by Michael Sealey and is quite good for learning how to give and receive loving kindness, compassion, happiness, abundance and healing and eliminating stress and anxiety. Michael begins with a soothing body scan that takes about 7 minutes. Then he asks us to bring into mind an […]

Release and Let Go

This exercise to release and let go is part of a 21-day Happiness Challenge from Luminita Saviuc, also known as the Purpose Ferry. According to Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (if my memory servers me :)), the Buddha taught that the third and fourth elements of the first foundation of mindfulness in the Satipatthana Sutra […]

The Path of Awakening…

The path of awakening is not an easy path, as I have been finding out over the past 40 years. Truly, there have been wonderful moments of awakening, but then I would fall back into the pursuit of money for the support of myself and my family. After a while, I caught myself and began […]

Teachings of the Buddha

In today’s lesson, we learn some of the teachings of the Buddha that have come to me from generous dharma teachers, Zen masters, and other resources. The first is from Roshi Joan Halifax: What the Buddha Taught The Buddha taught that we should practice helping others while cultivating deep concentration, compassion, and wisdom. He further […]

Faith in Buddhism

The idea of faith in Buddhism was very confusing for me until I realized that it was faith in my own ability to awaken. This is the faith that we all have inherent Buddha nature (bodhicitta) – the compassion for ourselves and other beings to live in happiness and avoid suffering. The Buddha, himself, never […]

What is Dharma?

A lot of people new to the teaching of mindfulness ask the question, “What is dharma?” They hear it mentioned in so many different contexts that they become confused. But, like many words in English, dharma has many meanings. Buddhists all over the world talk about the Three Jewels: the Buddha, the dharma, and the […]

Words of Wisdom from Lao Tzu Part 2

Here is part 2 of the words of wisdom from Lao Tzu are from his famous book, Tao Te Ching. We are taught that “The tao that can be told of is not the absolute tao,” so please take this to heart as you explore these teachings. On being soft and slow: “The soft overcomes […]