The Eightfold Path as Practice: The Hard Work of Stopping

“Just as a man walking fast might consider: ‘Why am I walking fast? What if I walk slowly?’ and he would walk slowly; then he might consider: ‘Why am I walking slowly? What if I stand?’ and he would stand; then he might consider: ‘Why am I standing? What if I sit?’ and he would…
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THE EMERGENCE OF A PATH

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here, And you must treat it as a powerful stranger, Must ask permission to know it and be known. –– from “Lost” by David Wagoner Once many years ago, I was hiking by myself in the White Mountains…
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A Large, Old Branch Falling Quietly from a Mighty Hardwood Tree

A Gentle Passing Jane Mitchell Ross (1925-2020) died on April 23, 2020. Jane had been an invaluable part of the early, formative years of Valley Insight Meditation Society. Ready to help, she was an active board member and a wonderfully dependable, all-around support in every step we took towards making the early Buddhist teachings readily…
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Three Bright Jewels in the Midst of a Pandemic

I take refuge in the Buddha; I take refuge in the Dharma, I take refuge in the Sangha. –– Buddhist Going-for-Refuge Chant I once heard a scholar of comparative religion say that the above words are the closest thing in Buddhism to a “statement of faith.” So, I have worked to understand them in that…
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Internally, Externally, and Both

As a beautiful flower without fragrance is disappointing, So are wise words without right action. –– Dhammapada, “Flowers,” verse 51   An important set of four instructions is given by the Buddha in his basic teaching on Mindfulness, the Satipatthana Sutta. This set is referred to as the Refrain, and it occurs thirteen different times within the…
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