The Jewel in the Lotus

This morning my partner and I practiced with Slogan 46: Observe these two, even at the risk of your life. The slogan refers to the Refuge and Bodhisattva vows one takes as part of the Mahayana Buddhist path. This slogan led me to recall my experience of taking these vows. I took the refuge vow …

Update to Commentary

This morning when I listened to the commentary for Slogan 45, This time, practice the main points, I found it a bit sparse! So I have added a bit of explanation and updated the commentary page.

Just Enjoy the Show

Earlier this week I watched the Brad Pitt film Moneyball for the first time. While I liked the movie well enough, what really touched me was the song “The Show” performed by Kerris Dorsey, a young actor playing Pitt’s 12-year-old daughter. I loved the sweetness of her voice and the poignant lyrics. Today in our …

III.19.

19. Don’t seek others’ pain as the limbs of your own happiness. This final first difficulty slogan points to another familiar habitual pattern: deriving pleasure from the mishaps and suffering of others. The German word schadenfreude (literally “too bad joy”) pithily reminds us of this conditioning. I want to remember that joy based on the …

I.1.

1. First, train in the preliminaries. In this case there are two “preliminaries:” First, maintaining an awareness of the Four Reminders; second, practicing shamatha-vipasyana (mindfulness -awareness) meditation. They are preliminaries in the sense that they are the ongoing basis of all that follows, not that they are ever finally completed. The Four Reminders is a …

III.20.

20. Drive all blames into one. The “one” in this slogan is ego clinging, which is painful because being uptight all the time about myself makes me very vulnerable to suffering. Whenever I notice I am acting habitually – whether it’s blaming, wallowing in self-pity, pondering others, or any of the many other patterns described …

II.2.

2. Regard all dharmas as dreams. This slogan, the first of the five absolute bodhicitta slogans, invites us to begin to experience the open, spacious quality of the mind. The word “dharmas” means our mental and physical experiences. We are encouraged to notice this paradox: despite being vivid and clear and seemingly solid, when we …