Going Through the Motions

My focus this week remains on wholesome intention, this time inspired by reading about how the Buddha challenged the mainstream beliefs of his time by stating that what dictated the outcome of an action wasn’t the action itself, but the intention that was behind it. The opposite of the Buddha’s view can manifest in practice … Continue reading Going Through the Motions

Buddhism and Imagination

Last week’s post about dreaming and awakening lead me to wonder if there was much evidence of the use of imagination in Buddhist practice. This might seem like a curious proposition, given that the general idea that many people have about Buddhism is that it is as far removed from imagination as possible. This is … Continue reading Buddhism and Imagination

The Mind in the Mirror

Last week I was exploring the possibility that many of us may inadvertently self-therapize in our meditation sessions by not realising that we are focusing on the contents of our thoughts instead of treating thoughts as merely another phenomenon in our sensory experience. This week I continue exploring the theme that this opens up, this … Continue reading The Mind in the Mirror

Are You Really Meditating?

Do you ever have moments when you wonder if you are actually meditating ‘properly’? It certainly isn't uncommon for people to occasionally speculate about their own technique; after all there is no way for anyone else to give you a second opinion on what is going on inside your own head, being a meditator requires … Continue reading Are You Really Meditating?

For Ourselves, For Others

Following on From last week’s post about balance in our practice, this week I have been inspired by a sutta about acrobats. But the balance this time isn’t about being on a high wire, it is about striking the right balance between personal practice and practice aimed at helping others. There’s no doubt that this … Continue reading For Ourselves, For Others

Present (not) Tense

Present moment awareness, being present, being in the moment, all of these are pretty common mindfulness buzzwords, and it is so easy to habituate to hearing them that we can lose all sense of what they actually mean. We can even become so tired of hearing them that our minds can associate them with a … Continue reading Present (not) Tense

Watching the body is watching the mind

The interplay between the mind and the body is one of the most fascinating and fruitful areas of practice. One spurs the other in an endless loop; one moment you feel that the body is driving the mind, the next the mind is driving the body. I spent a lot of my practice feeling like … Continue reading Watching the body is watching the mind

The Tides of Conceiving

In the time that I have been exploring the role of choice as a crucial element of practice, it has given me a new perspective and understanding of the various skills that we develop as part of the path. As well as coming to appreciate how important it is to be able to let go … Continue reading The Tides of Conceiving

Making Friends With Kilesas

In my blog post a couple of weeks ago I was exploring the role of habit in our sense of personality, and I have been thinking a lot about Maha Boowa’s idea that our feelings of self comes from attaching to the kilesas. The kilesas are usually translated as mental defilements, and can be as … Continue reading Making Friends With Kilesas

Uncovering the Cancel Mind

After writing last week's blog post I decided to do a little research into Seung Sahn, the Zen teacher who I quoted a conversation between himself and a student. He certainly seemed to have a few unusual elements in his biography, such as spending five years in the army after his ordination (even monks were … Continue reading Uncovering the Cancel Mind