Therapy, at first glance, appears to be like going to the doctor: I have pain in my elbow (or emotions) and I don’t want to cope with it on my own, so I head to a specialist in such things who can give me a remedy. But emotions aren’t like elbows — they don’t get… Continue reading The Role of the Therapist
Living in community can be challenging, since we need to balance the demands of many different relationships and personalities. Spiritual community can be attending teachings or church events as part of an urban lifestyle, or as deep as living in a rural residential spiritual center. It’s likely that some conflict will emerge, or we will… Continue reading Life in Community
Spirituality is inclusive of all parts of a person’s life. A spiritual lifestyle is about cultivating the inner dimensions of deep meaning in everything we do. Physical health, career and livelihood, family and relationships, are all part of wellbeing and fulfillment. There must be a sense of connected wholeness between who we believe we are,… Continue reading What is a Spiritual Lifestyle?
The Lotus Sūtra is a magical place, filled with wonders beyond conception. There are infinite bodhisattvas of various sorts, countless worlds illuminated by Buddha’s wisdom (Kubo and Yuyama 15), and a primordial Buddha materializing in a giant flying stūpa temple (Kubo and Yuyama 175), among other extraordinary occurrences. While the stated location for the teaching is Vulture Peak (Kubo… Continue reading Accessing the Lotus Sūtra
I studied and practiced Daoism seriously for several years before I encountered Buddhism. I did a two-year immersive (meaning I lived at a rural community with cultivators, teachers, and students, where we practiced and studied every day) training in classical Chinese medicine, Qigong and Taiji, Internal Alchemy, and Daoist meditation practices. Although I have since… Continue reading What made you believe in Traditional Chinese Medicine?
In studying Buddhism, I’m struck by the apparent friction between Siddhartha Gautama the man, and Shakyamuni Buddha who has conquered birth and death. Was Gautama a normal human who, through dedication and persistence, made the discovery of Enlightenment? Or was he a supernatural Being who incarnated in a human form merely for the purpose of… Continue reading Gautama: Man vs. Cosmic Being
The core of the buddhist disciplines is putting it into practice. There are many approaches to buddhist philosophy and science: the eightfold path, the seven-step method for developing radical compassion, the six perfectionizers, the five yogic stages, the four noble truths, the three principal paths, the two collections, and developing single-pointed concentration, to name but… Continue reading Reflections on Guanyin
The Direct Teaching described by Master Huìnéng (638–713 c.e.), the founder of Zen, is at once immediate and elusive. In his teachings, compiled in the Dharma Jewel Platform Sutra (citations below refer to page numbers in this text), he describes his realization of the Original Mind in ways that are simple and profound: he begins… Continue reading Affliction is Awakening – Reflections on the Platform Sutra
I feel yet again that I’m finally starting to understand how to do spit ritual practice. The various varied teachings I’ve received over the many years, the various teachers who have attempted to guide me, none of that can be said to be superfluous, although clarity has not been a result of all my studies.… Continue reading Struggling with the Guru