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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2020, The Year of Flowers and Bees:

A Buddhist Environmental Ethic for an Ailing Planet “A noble person walks through the village in the same manner as a bee gathers nectar and moves on––without harming the flower, its color, or its fragrance.” Dhammapada verse 49, translated by Mu Soeng “Noble persons” from the VIMS community gathered on the morning of January 1,…
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2019: Fletching the Arrow

Just as a fletcher shapes an arrow, so the wise develop the heart/mind [Citta], So excitable, uncertain, and difficult to control. Dhammapada, Chapter 3: verse 33 Ever since 2014, the VIMS sangha has gathered on New Year’s morning to welcome the incoming year. We sit in silence, and afterwards we reflect on a few verses…
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In Stillness

Tranquility is an important element of the early Buddhist approach to liberating the mind from its tendency towards reactivity, and, thereby, from the habitual attitude of stressful dissatisfaction. The combination of calming the mind (tranquility) and seeing clearly the nature of our own subjective experience of the world, inside and outside, is both the fruit…
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Resiliency: The Maturing of Mindfulness

Resiliency: The Maturing of Mindfulness Breathing In and Breathing Out, I stop the war.  Many years ago––probably in the early 1990s––I heard a talk by the now-deceased Dharma teacher Stephen Levine in which he spoke of something that had happened at a workshop he taught at the Omega Institute the year before. In the workshop…
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Compassion or Despair

“What Motivated You ?” “It is just like a person who is on an extended journey along a long road. Becoming sick halfway [or perhaps he has had an accident], he is exhausted and suffering extremely. He is alone and without a companion . . . .  Suppose a person comes and, standing to one…
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