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.
You may have encountered the Buddhist idea that all suffering comes from the three poisons: desire, hatred and ignorance. Honestly, this sounds kind of judgy. Am I supposed to never want anything? But more importantly, I’m not a hateful person, so why am I suffering from that? Actually, “hatred” isn’t the best translation.
Helen asked how meditation provides comfort and validation. This is an attempt at an answer.
One of the problems that I have when I get into arguments on Twitter is that eventually the person I’m arguing with tends to say “okay, fine, if we don’t pay take care of each other, we have to see people around us suffering, but why should I care?” This is my attempt to answer that question. It’s too long for a tweet, unfortunately.
What does a superficial discussion about brands have to do with the real disagreements that people have? How can seeing this help to bring about a more harmonious discourse? And what does this have to do with meditation, anyway?
The world is broken. We want to fix it. But most of the time, what we do to satisfy that desire actually makes things worse, not better. How can we really fix the world when our actions are really just about trying to heal the pain we feel? Is it possible to treat these as separate activities? Could we be more effective if we did?
Pain is inevitable. But is all pain inevitable? And is there any way to have a healthier relationship to pain?
Anxiety comes not so much from knowing that something could go wrong, but imagining that there is something I can do to control that. Social anxiety is no different. Learning to let go of this idea of control can lead to a profound reduction in the anxiety the desire for control normally produces.
Tamara asked for some clarification on the different ways that inner conflicts that come up in meditation can find resolution. In this post I go into a bit more detail about that.
Is there such a thing as awakening? Is it worth doing? How? Someone asked this today, and I felt like it was worth writing this brief answer. TL;DR: “yes, probably, and you have to read the post for the rest.”
In stage four, we have to learn to develop introspective awareness. But how do we actually do that? Do we think “now I will be introspectively aware?” Not so much.