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Monday, 04 March 2013 18:36

How to Respond to a Dying Pet

Dear Elizabeth,

I am addressing you with my concerns about animal euthanasia since I know you to be a lover and owner of horses.  My dear, 16-year-old dog is ill and dying, and I watch her physical suffering as she gets closer and closer to her end.  The tumors in her nose are bleeding and her breathing is labored.  The weight loss is dramatic, though she still can eat little bits and walk with some difficulty and assistance.

Published in Meditation Blog

Do you ever long for dead silence in your mind?  Do you think this is what meditation really is?

Basic meditation is sometimes called “calm abiding”, “peacefully remaining” or “tranquility meditation.”  

Sounds good, right?  Given the 15,000 to 50,000 thoughts popping about in your brain on any given day, a moment of quiet seems like outright bliss.  I bet you’re wondering, “Where can I sign up?”

Many novice meditators believe that meditation means putting an end to thoughts and emotions.  Well, at least the bothersome ones.  I’ll tell you a little secret.  Even experienced meditators may be hoping for the same isle of peace.

Is it devilish of me to burst the bubble?

Published in Meditation Blog
Friday, 13 January 2012 23:43

The Freedom of an Open Question

I am always looking for books on the Buddhist view on emptiness and that I can give to my non-buddhist friends, or people who are just starting on the path, whenever they asked about the Buddhist view.

Years ago, one of my friends at work, an incredibly intelligent, intellectual former professor, asked me for two books. I  based on what I knew about him, I gave him Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind and a translation of a traditional book on reasoning and philosophy. He liked Suzuki Roshi and couldn’t get past the first few pages of Chandrakirti.  The problem is that traditional texts on emptiness are written for people who are already Buddhist and often assume quite a scholarly education. Even most of the contemporary ones are too.

So I really wanted to read Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyal’s book, "The Power of an Open Question: The Buddha's Path to Freedom". I asked her for a copy, offering to review it here. She agreed. Then I panicked. She’s a friend, what if I hate the book? I don’t know if that is an open question, but that is the one I had when I started to read the book.

But after reading her “personal koan”, I started to forget about my question and ponder hers. Most of us try to ignore the inevitable and spend our lives trying to grasp what cannot be grasped and then suffer the discontentment that follows or worse.

Published in Meditation Blog
Friday, 07 October 2011 12:29

A plea for social responsibility

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche shares a few words with our WhatMeditationReallyIs.com community.


Published in Dzigar Kongtrul

In July, I asked Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche to share a few words with our WhatMeditationReallyIs.com community. The following seven minute video is what he said.


Published in Meditation Blog