Let me say, right at the start, that I am not going to be diplomatic. The extent to which the notion of forgiveness has insinuated itself into contemporary Buddhist thinking disturbs me deeply. Although many may disagree with me, I feel that current interpretations of forgiveness in the Buddhist community undermine the teachings of karma, … [Read more...] about Forgiveness Is Not Buddhist
On (Not) Being Special
One of the fundamental teachings of Mahayana Buddhism is that every being has the potential for awakening—buddhanature. Yet out of the billions of people on this planet, the overwhelming majority are locked by necessity or by choice into a materialistic approach to life. In all probability, no more than a few million have even a possibility of … [Read more...] about On (Not) Being Special
Freedom and Choice
A few years ago, I was teaching a workshop on the Heart Sutra. We had just finished that long list of negations and everyone was a bit off balance, having had the rug pulled out from under them four or five different ways. The next lines were, "Because for bodhisattvas there is no attainment, they rest, trusting the perfection of wisdom." "When he … [Read more...] about Freedom and Choice
What Are You Looking For In A Teacher?
Teacher, guru, or spiritual friend, what are you looking for? The spiritual path has many challenges. There are many things we need to learn or develop. A short list would probably include motivation, skills in meditation and prayer, contemplation, etc. Like music and painting, most of us learn spiritual practice better with someone, rather, than, … [Read more...] about What Are You Looking For In A Teacher?
Forget About Being A Buddhist. Be A Human.
Originally published on Tricycle.Over the last few weeks, I’ve received a few emails with questions about a Buddhist response to the 2016 election. Here is one:What does Buddhism have to say about how to respond to the behavior and rhetoric of Donald Trump? And just as important, what does it say about how to respond to his enthusiastic supporters? … [Read more...] about Forget About Being A Buddhist. Be A Human.
Difficult Feelings In a Changing World
I've spoken to more than a few people who say that the results of the election have brought up difficult feelings of a kind they have not encountered before. That's understandable. It's not every day that we experience the world we have known crumbling and collapsing around us. After the election, it became very clear that here, in one of the more … [Read more...] about Difficult Feelings In a Changing World