Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Simple Truth

Here's a new dharma song by Eve Decker, who some time ago, came to our little sangha in Sebastopol, Society of Friends of the Buddha.

Eve has since moved back to Berkeley and I miss her....


Thank you, Marc, for letting me know about this!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cultivating Metta as a Path of Awakening

I have found a number of interesting audio podcasts On the Secular Buddhist Association's website.

One podcast has left a particularly strong impression on me. This is the one by John Peacock on the cultivation of friendliness, Metta. 

Peacock puts the cultivation of friendliness on an equal footing with the cultivation of wisdom. I have found in my own experience that the cultivation of Metta is as effective and as powerful as the cultivation of wisdom. My world has transformed with Metta practice. It's a much happier place.

Peacock recommends practicing Metta as an insight practice—not as a concentration practice as I had been taught at Spirit Rock. This small shift from concentration meditation to insight (listening) practice made quite a difference for me.

Peacock's talks presume some familiarity with Buddhism, but I hope that even relative newcomers might find these talks well worth listening to.

Here's the introduction to the talks on the Secular Buddhist Association's website:

In much contemporary Buddhist teachings, the paths of the heart are often relegated to second place behind the primacy of Wisdom on the path to awakening.  
In the earliest texts, however, the Buddha appears to consider the cultivation of kindness and compassion as a fully viable and equal path to awakening, to enlightenment, to Nibbana. This will be the premise of the morning’s discussion.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Monk & Tiger

On meditation retreats I've noticed that animals are much less skittish around humans. I've gotten very close to deer and wild turkeys. Lizards seem to know that you won't step on them and don't scurry away when you walk near. I actually was watchful so I would not step on them.

Meditation can result in the ability to acquire a calm mind and a cultivate a remarkable spirit of generosity.

In Thailand, a monk shared his meal with a tiger. Look:

Photo credit:

Wojciech Kalka  Thank you!