August 31, 2015

We’ve been having discussions in the Order about what defines Buddhist ethics.  Unlike many other religions Buddhism doesn’t have a set of commandments - a set of “thou shalt not’s”.  While there are the Precepts - 5, 8 or 10 depending on your lineage and level of comm...

August 27, 2015

We’re often told that zazen is “just sitting”, but with caveats.  In an article in the Winter 2014 “Tricycle” journal author Barry Magrid says:


’Sitting’ means sitting, walking, working, eating, speaking and being silent {and I would add playing with our children, mowi...

August 25, 2015

Scientists are now saying that the Universe is running down, heading toward its inevitable passing away.  Buddhists aren’t surprised.  What’s going to happen when all this goes away?  No one knows; and does it matter anyway?  Does it affect the way you live your life t...

August 17, 2015

 I don't claim to be a poet, but here you go.


I sit and watch but flies buzz around my head.  I let them. Knees creak and moan and I hear their complaint, but still I sit.  Hunger sidelines some and thirst makes other rise up but Mara approaches me though my television...

August 13, 2015

A member of my sangha said she was talking to a friend of hers and he said that he was a bad Buddhist since he “couldn’t believe life was all suffering”, that he’d “get punched in the gut every time he left the house”.  This is a common misunderstanding of the First No...

August 11, 2015

I’ve been thinking about vanity a lot lately…does that mean that I’ve been vainly contemplating vanity? {Smile} What is vain and how is vanity dealt with in Buddhism?  Can we define vanity as a certain way of dressing or looking?  What did the Buddha say about vanity?...

August 10, 2015

A Dharma Talk for Ordinations


So what is it to be a Pragmatic Buddhist Monk?  We don’t shave our heads - well, we’re not required to - we don’t normally wear robes.  We’re not celibate, nor do we live in monasteries or beg for our daily meals.  We don’t even have to do...

August 5, 2015

These meditations will be on Discourses from the Atthakavagga.


Discourse I - On Sense Desires

1.  If a person attains the sense pleasures they desire they will be happy, having attained what they desire.

2.  If those sense pleasures slip away, however; they will feel pai...

August 3, 2015

Is Mindfulness Supposed to be Focused or Detached?

A while ago I went to a talk on Mindfulness here in Columbus.  The presenter was a well-known mindfulness instructor in the area and I wanted to hear what he had to say.  The talk also included 3 short sessions of pract...

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