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Suññatā 

By | 12/31/2022
but, still left of self
idle penetralia  
empty, harmony

Wisdom Leaf

By | 12/31/2022

The Tathāgata

By | 12/31/2022
The famous American Nineteenth Century writer, Henry David Thoreau, said: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Thoreau described an exemplary alternative, by filling his moments and days with a sense of purpose. For several years he lived by himself in a small, hand-built cabin in the woods on the shore of Walden Pond, where he contemplated nature, read classic texts, and communed with local poets, writers, and woodsmen, and in general tried to elevate his thoughts, expand his feelings, and live the philosopher’s life.

No FOMO

By | 12/31/2022

No Fear of Missing Out,

be aware of what’s happening within,

a constant flow of changing cells,

and morphing of the skin.

Nurturing and Supporting Our Practice

By | 12/7/2022
The following is an edited transcript of a talk given at the Annual Old Student Meeting at Dhamma Patapa, Georgia by Center Teacher, Bruce Stewart on November 12, 2022.

Good morning all…it's a joy and pleasure to be sharing this precious space with you. As we look around, we can see and feel that we are in “good company.” Dhamma friends walking on a path together!

My intent is not to talk “at you,” and load you with information. Rather, I look at it like a sharing among friends. And like any good conversation, my motivation here is to stimulate thought and reflection.

Using Fear

By | 11/23/2022
All people feel fear.
Even the Buddha, before his enlightenment, had to struggle.

Golden Buddha

By | 11/23/2022

Tripod of Life

By | 11/23/2022
Through years and years of near incessant effort in progressing my life journey on the basis of academic and professional achievement, I had come to the simple-minded conclusion that my ability and focused effort were the sole determinants enabling my life’s outcomes. Applying a Newtonian approach to the life journey, I believed that the force and energy I apply directly and proportionally propel me forward and thus the greater my effort, so shall the output be.

Removing Fetters

By | 11/23/2022
All arises and passes away
nothing stays the same way,
with this you don’t play
there’s no way to stay.

Why I serve

By | 11/23/2022
I have once again returned home after serving on a 10-day Vipassana meditation course. I arrived at the course a few days after it had begun. On this course I was washing dishes. Doing the dishes for 80 students whom you don’t know, without being paid, probably doesn’t sound very appealing. The task also included waking up at 5:30 am to make their breakfast, working closely with other servers whom I likewise didn’t know, cleaning toilets, and a list of other chores that most people wouldn’t ordinarily find very motivating.

Be Kind

By | 11/7/2022
Watching and reading about the extensive damage from hurricane Ian on the southwest coast of Florida, I admire the compassionate people selflessly helping the residents recover. I also can’t help remembering an incident in 2020 when wisdom gained from Dhamma helped me while on vacation on the very pleasant Sanibel Island.

Contemplating in the Woods

By | 11/7/2022

The Quadrants of Life: Learning, Earning, Returning, Renouncing

By | 11/6/2022
Let me add a fourth phase to the frequently cited – learning, earning, returning – cycle amongst the entrepreneurial world and also thus connect this analog to a concept popular in defining the optimal lifespan in the traditional context of living a life that comes full circle.

Renouncing this Gift

By | 11/6/2022
I breathe in I breath out It’s what I have left With all my effort purpose of my stay I surpass obstacles like that of self-importance Lastly I renounce All the pleasures of my existence They never managed to give me a step with

The Path

By | 10/8/2022

When the student is ready, the teacher appears

By | 10/8/2022
Whether one has the kernel of future development on the inner spiritual path of not, let alone future liberation or self-realization, I have become convinced that the journey towards the final goal simply cannot begin until the “student is ready”. What do I mean by that statement?

Right Effort

By | 10/8/2022
Viriya, effort, is an essential quality for anyone who sincerely seeks liberation. It is one of the Five Friends, one of the seven Factors of Enlightenment, and one of the Ten Paramis which have to be developed by every meditator. However, it must be right effort, otherwise, we may work very hard but without any benefits.

Loka

By | 9/17/2022

With the fire eyes of samādhi

By | 9/17/2022

With the fire eyes of samādhi,

I feel my body on every part.

With the warm glow of anicca,

I melt the darkness from my heart.

Still Meditating in Troubled Times, Part 3 of 3

By | 9/17/2022
Today there is a burgeoning field of research called positive psychology, defining an optimal life. The most popular course ever taught at Yale University was given by the psychologist, Dr. Laurie Santos, “Psychology and the Good Life.” Half the university signed up for this one course, which had to be given by video transmission into numerous overflow halls. Its online edition has had one hundred seventy thousand people from one hundred and seventy countries enrolled. It is interesting for a Vipassana meditator to notice how much of positive psychology was already available 2500 years ago in the teaching of the Buddha. Let’s look at a few features of the Buddha’s dispensation which have now been trumpeted as important discoveries of positive psychology, and which might help us as we meditate in troubled times.

Musical Jhāna

By | 9/3/2022

Still Meditating in Troubled Times, Part 2 of 3

By | 9/3/2022
Noble Truths: We are always in danger but usually we find ways to keep this unsettling truth at bay. In the legend of the Buddha, he ran away from home to seek wisdom when he understood the pervasive reality of illness, old age, and death, the very factors that compound to make our coronavirus pandemic so powerful. We are current members of all the generations who have had to come to grips with the recognition that illness is intrinsic to existence, and can be perceived either grimly, or can be taken as a provocation to promote the kind of insightful living that life actually demands of us.

Still Meditating in Troubled Times, Part 1 of 3

By | 8/20/2022
We are all feeling the pressure bearing down on us due to the war in Europe. A Vipassana talk on any other topic might seem as if he were ignoring the elephant in the room. Because of its relevancy, the presentation below is a revision of my 2017 lecture “Meditating in Troubled Times”.

Parenting and Practicing Vipassana

By | 8/20/2022

There are two days in my life that have left a bigger impact on me than any other days: the day I learned Vipassana and the day my son was born.

When asked when one should first sit a course, Goenka answered in the mother’s womb, before birth. My son was fortunate to experience this. The course was quite late in the pregnancy, and he was already a little wild. Placing my hand on his mother’s belly, I would often feel him moving about, kicking his little legs. But during the course he calmed down completely, and it continued like that until he was born. Even after he was born, he seemed calmly aware of his surroundings, always looking around with curiosity.

3 haikus

By | 8/10/2022

Perfectly present,
In sync with a metronome—
it’s time to let go.

Cause and effect rules:
All actions are subject to
concentric circles.

A spawn of nature
thrusted into existence,
hence the momentum.

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