The Buddha

For the past five or six weeks, I have been watching episodes of The Buddha on Netflix. The series was produced by the famous Indian producer B. K. Modi. In truth, it is a Bollywood movie in 54 episodes. The costumes and jewelry are extraordinarily beautiful, but I can’t same the same thing about the […]

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 […]

Changing the Object

If you are a meditator, it is important to learn about changing the object of meditation from the story you are stuck in back to you body and feelings. Mark Epstein writes about the Tibetan slogan of “Stopping the wind,” i. e., the stuck story blowing through your mind. Using meditation or therapy to try […]

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 […]

Take Refuge in Yourself

The Buddha teaches us to take refuge in yourself. Taking refuge in yourself gives you the strength to be just as you are, without having to impress anyone else or kowtow to anyone else. You become an island unto yourself. Oneself is one’s own protector (refuge) indeed, What other protector (refuge) can there be? With […]

Gratitude is Passive Energy

These words of wisdom from Masaru Emoto teach us that gratitude is passive energy, while love tends to be more active energy. While gratitude is one of the cornerstones of our practice, love is the foundation. We experience love for the Buddha – the one who shows us the way in this life. We experience […]

How to Visualize Uncle Monk

On Saturday night, I returned home from a short trip to New York to celebrate my son’s engagement and attend his last cabaret performance before he and his fiance move back to the Bay Area at the end of December. While meditating on the plane, I figured out how to visualize Uncle Monk, Zen Master […]

The Raft is Not the Shore

These words of wisdom spoken by the Buddha are still as valid today as they were 2600 years ago. He is telling us that “the raft is not the shore”. What does this have to do with our lives? The Buddha is saying that we must study the dharma, i. e., the teachings, and they should […]

The Fertile Soil Of Sangha

These words of wisdom are taught by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (known as Thay by his followers). I have heard Thay teach about the fertile soil of sangha many times. He also teaches that the next Buddha, Maitreya, might well be a sangha. The sangha is one of the three precious jewels of Buddhism. […]

19 Reasons Why Pope Francis Is Time Magazine Person Of The Year

This is the text of an email I received from a friend of mine in the dharma. I am reproducing it here because I was so moved by the actions of Pope Francis. There are 19 reasons why Pope Francis is Time Magazine Person of the Year: I hope this Pope lives forever !!! Pope […]