Working Through Grief

Wednesday, 07 October 2015
When my wife Valerie died in 2013, I entered a hidden world coiled up tight inside the ordinary life-space of supermarkets and highways. And I stumbled there for a while, blind and raw. I was alienated from everyone who seemed not to have been, or would not acknowledge being, in this world of utter loss.

A Tribute to Mothers

Wednesday, 07 October 2015
My dear kind mother got away on May 23, 2015. She was 100 years old.

Dying, Death, and Living Again

Wednesday, 07 October 2015
I lost my mother in April 2013, when I was 23. It's an experience that I continue to process to this day: the experience of losing not only a parent, but what I assumed to be the purest source of love in my life. As anyone can imagine or as they have gone through it themselves, her death was a source of deep heartbreak that I assumed could never…

In Defense of Altruism

Saturday, 05 September 2015
None of us need feel power-less or hope-less. There is a power in the world that can save the planet. And that is, argues Matthieu Ricard in his latest book, altruism. Translated from French, the original title is ‘Plaidoyer Pour l’Altruisme’ or, literally translated, ‘In Defense of Altruism’. I mention this because its English title, Altruism, somehow misses the passionate verve of its French equivalent.

Reaching Out to Benefit Others

Monday, 31 August 2015
The homeless situation, and, more importantly, the way the homeless are treated today, often blamed for their circumstances, jailed and fined for doing what human beings must do, sleep and relieve themselves is a crisis for our communities. Often people are forced onto the streets by circumstances out of their control but we as Buddhists can have a positive effect on their lives.
We all know what it is like to feel overwhelmed by the news. Global warming, overpopulation, pollution, war, crime, poverty, homelessness, and natural disasters all touch our hearts and cry out for attention. So often it feels like the only solution is to send some money and hope for the best. We have our own lives to care for and can't give the time it would really require to…
This is an excerpt from a teaching given by Ven. Rene Feusi during a recent retreat here at Vajrapani Institute. Nowadays calm abiding is taught in a secular context. Also, love and compassion are taught in a secular context. It is very good. It is very nice for people whose mind is not bent on accepting a spiritual tradition. It benefits them greatly to be taught these things.

Creating Space for Dharma

Friday, 07 August 2015
An excerpt from teachings given by Lama Yeshe at Tushita Mahayana Meditation Centre, New Delhi, India, October, 1979. Dharma practice does not depend on cultural conditions. Whether we travel by train, plane or automobile we can still practice Dharma. However, in order to completely destroy the root of the dualistic mind, a partial understanding of the reality of our own mind is not sufficient. Dharma practice requires continual, sustained…

Learning to Be with Feelings

Thursday, 06 August 2015
When I was younger, as someone with painful and often strong feelings and emotions, my tendency to be caught in my head would not shift my emotional state. I would think about my feelings and become caught up in a great amount of angst about them, but not often resolve them. When I had strong feelings or emotions I would often find myself overwhelmed by them and no amount…

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