Upcoming Day-long Retreat in Marin

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Winter 2013 Day-long Intensive No Such Thing As A Mistake Saturday, February 9th, 2013 GREEN GULCH  FARM ZEN CENTER We only have a few spots left! This one-day sitting will involve sitting and walking meditation, Dharma talks, Q & A and, by request, private interviews with Michael. Confirmation will be sent to you when your $80 payment is received. Click the link below and …

A New Bodhisattva Path?

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How might a Buddhist most effectively respond to the many pressing (often scary) issues facing humanity today? It’s not very bodhisattva-like, for example, to merely cloak oneself in “non-attachment” when an “appropriate response” is to be helpful to all beings. So how might one best walk this tightrope? How might a practitioner of today most effectively regard the cries of …

Getting Back to the Great Matter

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Barbara O’Brien offers us an interesting take on how contemporary Buddhism runs the risk of getting watered-down. In Zen monasteries, a flat board is hung near the meditation hall, next to a mallet. This is the “han.”  Striking the han with the mallet calls everyone to meditation. Traditionally, these words are inscribed on the han: Great is the matter of birth and …

Christianity Enriched by Buddhism

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Susan Stabile offers us an interesting read over at the HuffingtonPost: … Buddhism has helped me understand in a richer way some of the truths of Christianity. Although expressed in different terms, many of the truths of Buddhism have resonance in Christianity (another subject I explore in some detail in “Growing in Love and Wisdom”). The Buddhist teachings on cherishing others …

Blasphemy laws have no basis in the Quran

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This is from the “Do Not Become The Unconsciousness You Seek To Avoid” file. Regardless of our tradition (and yes, this includes Buddhism), clinging to scripture or practice can distort sacred teachings. Ali Khan Mahmudabad’sexplores the blasphemy laws of both Pakistan and Indonesia in this morning’s Guardian. Believers are urged in the sixth chapter of the Quran to “not revile …

The Buddha Between the Sheets

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Interesting piece from Darren Littlejohn: Many people still see Buddhists only as robe-wearing monastics who have given up worldly things like sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. But there are different kinds of Buddhists. Some are celibate renunciates like the Dalai Lama. When asked on a recent TV interview if he ever thought about women, he said he doesn’t because …

Dialogs With My Teacher #64

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Here’s another installment in a series of emails that took place between Michael and one of his senior students beginning the Summer of 2009. May you find the exchange interesting and enriching. ___ February 15, 2011 Student: Is there ever any leaning from one person on another in a deeply conscious relationship? Michael: Relationships that are truly conscious turn the leans and …

Bangladeshi Muslims Attack Buddhists

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May all beings be compassionate and wise in the face of clinging… COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh — Thousands of Bangladeshi Muslims angry over an alleged derogatory photo of the Islamic holy book Quran on Facebook set fires in at least 10 Buddhist temples and 40 homes near the southern border with Myanmar, authorities said Sunday. The violence began late Saturday and …

Wellbeing and Neuroscience

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Thought this was interesting. Perhaps obvious, but interesting. Jock Gilchrist, The Review: Meditation has been a central component of religious traditions for millennia. Various methods exist, but it generally consists of quieting the mind to achieve a state of relaxation and clarity. Buddhists use it to cultivate virtuous qualities like compassion and equanimity because in the meditative state, the mind …