Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sleeping Blog

As you may have noticed, I have not contributed to this blog in quite some time. I have been focusing on my newer blog, Truth a Paradox. I haven't been reading as much Alan Watts lately, which is evident by the lack of new material on this site. I'll do my best to put some new material up here. Until then, I invite you to check out my other page.

Thanks to anyone who might still stop by this page every now and then.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Light My Fire

I found a noteworthy passage in the Dammapada this morning...

Like herdsmand driving their cows into
the fields,
Old age and death will drive you
before them.

But the fool is his mischief forgets
And he lights the fire
Wherein one day he must burn.

This second part of this early passage clearly illustrates my own personal view of karma. Meaning, "Action," karma is a way of saying that we often (if not always) create our own problems. Saying to someone, "It's your karma," is just like saying, "It's your own doing." Like the fool who lights the fire that later burns him, so too all of our actions have an equal and opposite reaction.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Interactive Buddha

I just stumbled upon Daniel Ingram's site entitled Interactive Buddha. Ingram is one of the few practitioners/meditation teachers that I know of who claims to be an Arahat. His no-frills approach to Buddhist practice is very appealing to me, as I am also a fan of Stephen Batchelor. I would like to invite you to check out Interactive Buddha and let me know what you think.

Also, I want to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all who will be celebrating tomorrow.


Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Five Remembrances

In Thich Nhat Hanh's book The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, he writes, "The Buddha recommends that we recite the 'Five Remembrances' every day." They are...
(1) I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.

(2) I am of the nature to have ill-health. There is no way to escape having ill-health.

(3) I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.

(4) All that is dear to me and everyone that I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.

(5) My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.
The Five Remembrances are an excellent example of the relative truths taught by the Buddha*. When we read these Five Remembrances they are understood right away. This is true because it is common sense. Any one of us would come to the same conclusions if we looked honestly at our age, bodies, friends, lives and the world around us. But so often we kid ourselves in to forget these truths. Instead of forgetting, which brings suffering to ourselves and others, why not make an effort to remember? When we remember we are less likely to be surprised or disappointed when these truths arise in our lives.

My friendly challenge to all of you is to write the Five Remembrances down and keep them somewhere where they will be seen every day. Read them and take a moment to let it sink in. Examine deeply how it makes you feel and what arises in your mind. You will find that you will become more at ease with your life and world around you.

*Relative truths work as a kind of opening dialogue to the Buddha's teachings. The deeper/universal truths (such as non-self, non-duality, etc...) are realized as one continues in the practice. I can see why the Buddha liked to start with the relative truths, being that they influenced his listeners to put in to practice the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-Fold Noble Path - which will lead to a deeper knowing of the universal truths than one would achieve by simply being told about them.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Updated "About" Post ::: Also, "Do No Harm"

Hello all,

I have updated the post titled, "About this Blog". I am planning on writing some good strong posts in the near future, and I am looking forward to the conversations that ensue.

Also, if you haven't already, visit the Do No Harm website at and get a free wrist-band. This simple message has the capacity to make a serious impact in our communities.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

The 'Yana'

The Buddha, Siddartha Guatama, likened his teaching to a 'yana', or 'vehicle'. The picture that best describes this is that of a boat that is used to get from one riverbank to another. Once one has safely crossed to the other side of the river, they can leave the raft behind them and carry on with their journey. This is much like the way a good Medical Doctor treats his/her patients. The good Doctor hopes to fully heal his patients so that they will not have to continue to receive care from him. In doing so, his/her former patients will say to their friends, "If you need to become well, you should see the doctor that helped me to heal."

Sadly, the majority of spiritual teachers (which happen to be Christian Ministers in my neck of the woods) do everything they can to keep people within the doors of the particular house of worship. They rely on the continual donations, because without them they would go broke. But what if they were to adopt the method of the Buddha? What if they preached the gospel and then said, "Now that you have heard the good news, go and live your life without fear! Tell everyone you know about this good news." This would create, as our old friend Alan Watts puts it, a vacuum effect. People would poor in to churches to be set free, and then send others to do the same. But no one would be bound to the church. People would not have to "work out their salvation", but rather, REALIZE it.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Swirling Illusion

According to Watts, our "ego" - how we define ourselves as a distinct mind-consciousness locked up in a bag of skin - is an illusion. The human ego is like the a firey circle appears when one swirls a lit cigarette in the dark. We know that the circle is an impression left on the memory of the eye. We can also know that the ego - which consists of past memories, future predictions, likes and dislikes, etc... - is also an illusion. Connecting with this reality is essential in discovering who you really are.

Who are you? Well, in the same way that a wave is not a wave in its own right, but something that the entire ocean is doing, YOU are not YOU in your own right, but rather something that the entire universe is doing.