This is my blog about meditation, philosophy and awakening. I wear many hats in my life—my living is as a computer geek, but I have been interested in meditation and insight for the past twenty-five years, and studied Buddhism and awakening in several traditions before turning to modern research on the topic. I write quite a bit about this topic in various places around the Internet; this blog is a place for me to gather some of the things I've written and share them with my friends. Welcome! I hope that what I've written here is of some value to you.
The concept of dana, making offerings at teachings, is customary in Buddhist cultures, but a bit fraught in non-Buddhist cultures. This article goes into some detail on my own thoughts about the practice, and how to approach it in a non-Buddhist culture. I don’t claim that I’m right, but I hope that this is at least food for thought.
Until you become an adept meditator, meditation is as much training as it is meditating. Don’t be discouraged—you can have a lot of fun and get a lot of benefit while you are still training. This article talks about a common theme in the training process: the loop of intending to do something, releasing that intention to see if it worked, and then noticing what happened.
Which is more important: leaders, or followers? What makes a good leader? These are questions that are often asked, but it’s hard to get any clarity by asking these questions.
So suppose I allow myself to see things clearly. What do I do with this to help others, to help the world?
Why is the truth so hard to see?
It is important when practicing not simply to go off in a corner and practice, but to rely on community help keep you on track. This is a story about a recent experience I had with community, and the benefits I got from it in my practice.
What is the point of loving our enemies, anyway?
The inner toddler really, really doesn’t want to keep sitting. How do you get it to chill out?
One of the bugaboos of practice is the difference between right and wrong. I say “bugaboo,” because although virtuous behavior is very important to practice, there is no right that can be stated. There is no wrong that can be stated.
If you have read about or studied Buddhism at all, you’ve heard the idea that part of the Buddhist path is to “overcome desire.” This can be a bit off-putting, because it leaves us with the impression that wanting things is bad, and on the one hand this sort of seems true, but on the other hand, if we entirely give up on wanting things, won’t we starve? The confusion actually boils down to the difficulty of translating Pali or Sanskrit to english: “desire” means more than one thing.