July 15, 2020

Encouraging Positive Emotional States

            This morning, like most mornings, I looked at the sky, the clouds, the trees, and my beautiful dog, breathing and smiling, and letting it all in, sipping my coffee, writing in my journal, reading an inspiring book....

June 22, 2020

Dealing With Arisen Negative Emotional States

            In my last blog, I discussed the first aspect of virya—discouraging negative emotional states from arising.  This time, I will discuss how to deal with the second aspect of this practice—encouraging negative emot...

May 1, 2020

As we all contend with the stress of the coronavirus, one teaching of the Buddha comes to mind as very helpful.  This is the teaching on Right Effort or Right Diligence (virya),

            This teaching concerns emotional regulation.  It has four aspects: 1,/discouragi...

April 4, 2020

            In this strange and horrible time, it is easy for our consciousness to get lost in all the painful news reports.  It goes without saying that this information should be accessed with care: Try not to take in more than you can handle in one day.  Focus on th...

March 3, 2020

Drop by Drop

            Mindfulness and meditation can make a profound difference in your life and in consciousness.  If you approach it correctly, you can enjoy the process right away, and even feel some immediate benefit and relief.  However, if you are expecting pro...

February 11, 2020

The Means are the Ends

            The practice of mindfulness means that we learn to treat every means activity as an ends activity.  When we brush our teeth, we aren’t just brushing to get the tooth brushing over.  We brush to enjoy the brushing, to be present to the...

January 9, 2020

Enjoy Stopping

            Buddhist meditation has two main aspects: stopping (samatha), which can also be translated as calming, and looking deeply (vipassana).  In reality, these are two aspects of the same reality, as inseperable as two sides of a coin.  Once we have...

December 5, 2019

            We normally think of our consciousness as reflecting the world.  Yet, looking at things that way, our consciousness can create the illusion of separation from the world. 

            When you look a...

November 4, 2019

Let the Buddha Do It

            Thich Nhat Hanh taught that, whenever you are overwhelmed, or have to do something you don’t want to do, we should let the Buddha do it.  He adds that this is always effective.


October 2, 2019

The Fifth Hindrance: Doubt

            Doubt can, of course, be a positive word when used in contrast to naïve belief.  It is of course potentially harmful to swallow everything we hear without considering it, and the Buddha warned against this kind of naïveté....

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