31 12, 2012

11. Buddhism & Suffering

By | December 31st, 2012|Post|

Each of us will experience some form of physical pain whether it be from injury, sickness, disease, fatigue or hunger.  And we will experience some form of emotional pain whether it be from loneliness, rejection, stress, poverty, unfulfilled desires, injustice, the death of someone we love.  For most of us, pain begets suffering. By suffering, [...]

24 12, 2012

Buddhism & Transformation

By | December 24th, 2012|Post|

Growing up in the First Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, no one ever mentioned the possibility that the goal of Christian practice is personally to actually become a Jesus. It would have been considered absolutely delusional to have such an ambition!  People in our culture have been scoffed at for far less lofty visions of [...]

23 12, 2012

Buddhism & the Way of Wisdom

By | December 23rd, 2012|Post|

The Perfection of Wisdom (Prajnaparamita) is the founding scripture of Mahayana Buddhism.  This scripture describes an extensive practice of meditation that removes all the obstacles and impediments to enlightened wisdom.  This scripture was the topic of my Ph.D. dissertation and the primary focus for three years of study and practice with my Tibetan Buddhist teachers.  [...]

23 12, 2012

Buddhism & the Way of Relationships

By | December 23rd, 2012|Post|

When I began my Buddhist practice four decades ago, I was attracted to the Buddhist  notion of non-attachment.  It was a healthy, athletic, fun time of life so the dour Buddhist “Truth of Suffering” seemed to be a dramatic overstatement.  It seemed to me that my occasional unhappiness and dissatisfaction simply came from my attachment [...]

23 12, 2012

Buddhism & the Way of Reason

By | December 23rd, 2012|Post|

A seeker who harnesses the Way of Reason strives to use logical inference and empirical observation as the basis for determining the realities that lie beyond cognitive and sensory perceptions.  He/she seeks certainty about a reality that transcends our transient world – a reality that is the foundation for being – a reality that interconnects [...]

23 12, 2012

Buddhism & the Way of Prayer

By | December 23rd, 2012|Post|

During my years of Buddhist study and practice, I have discovered the central importance of prayer in a fully developed practice.  Buddhists are devoted to the Buddha as a doctor, the Buddhist community as the nurses, and to the Buddha’s teachings as the medicine.  They pray to the unseen spiritual presence of the Buddha and [...]

23 12, 2012

Buddhism & the Way of the Mystic

By | December 23rd, 2012|Post|

......Buddhist Meditation is said to open up our capacity to intuitively interact with non-human beings.  These beings might include other earthly animal species, but also spirit beings whose presence among us cannot be seen through normal modes of perception.  These types of beings might include earth spirits, ghosts, protector deities, devas, dakinis, ancestors and emanations [...]

23 12, 2012

Buddhism & the Way of Nature

By | December 23rd, 2012|Post|

The Buddhist Path of Nature begins within the mind of each person, for it is through this mind that we relate to all things, including nature.  Therefore, sustainable happiness and equanimity in nature must begin within each of us.  Nature alone cannot be the cause of our happiness and enlightenment.  In my experience, this is [...]

23 12, 2012

Buddhism & the Way of Love

By | December 23rd, 2012|Post|

In Buddhism, the archetypal spiritual style of Love and Compassion is the foundation for all Buddhist practices and a necessary condition for long-term, sustainable health and happiness.  The image most commonly associated with this archetypal style is that of Kuan Yin (Sanskrit - Avalokiteshvara, Tibetan – Chenrezig) who is often depicted with a tear in [...]

23 12, 2012

Buddhism & the Way of Imagination

By | December 23rd, 2012|Post|

Tibetan traditions, including the earlier Bon religion that influenced Buddhism, make the most out of human imagination.  Its monasteries are filled with sculptures and paintings depicting the life of the Buddha, Buddhist saints and Buddhist deities whose physical forms symbolize virtuous qualities like love, compassion, wisdom, magical power, protection and enlightenment.  There are also images [...]