Posted on 2 April 2012 by Buddhism Now
Calligraphy by Tangen Harada Roshi
As a result of impermanence our lives go from unpleasant situations to pleasant situations to neutral ones, on and on—sometimes on a small scale, sometimes in a dramatic way. The point is, we have a choice. Every difficult or unpleasant situation can be used as further training for our aversion, anger and hatred or as training in our dharma practise. Any pleasant situation can be used to further our training in attachment, fantasising and possessiveness or to kindle attention and exercise our capacity to open up and let go. Neutral situations can be used as further training for our boredom and confusion or as training for the practice, as another way of learning and relearning how to kindle the flame of attention. This means that within this painful situation, we have a choice which is very promising in terms of freedom. (more…)
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Posted on 7 May 2011 by Buddhism Now
I would like to consider the words of Buddhadhassa Bhikkhu when he said that many people suffer mental disorders, but a much more common disease is a spiritual disease which goes by the name of ‘me’ or ‘mine’. Most of us, it seems, need to work to be healed from this illness.
What is it, then, that we usually refer to in this way? What is it that we call ‘ego’, ‘me’, or ‘mine’? Ego is the totality of what is classically called ‘afflictions’, the afflictions being attachment, aversion, and ignorance; ego is our deep habit for attachment, aversion and ignorance. In other words, ego is being attached to attachment, being attached to aversion, being attached to ignorance. Unless we taste real peace, we tend to be attached to desire. We see desire as having a value in itself, something energetic, as something which can for a while take us from our boredom and depression, etc. (more…)
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Posted on 3 April 2010 by Buddhism Now
In the Theravada tradition there is something called the five hindrances, the five obstacles — anger, attachment, dullness and sleepiness, restlessness, and doubt or hesitation. And as I am sure many people know, these five characters tend to visit us rather frequently.
Sometimes they take turns; sometimes they all call together; sometimes they go away after a while; sometimes they stay — it varies.
In some deep sense, these five are the five representatives of nonpeace. If we start meeting with them through the practice, especially when we begin the spiritual path, we may realize that there is radical agitation in us and superficial peace. We may also realise that we want the opposite — we want radical peace and superficial agitation. But this takes work. (more…)
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Posted on 20 January 2010 by Buddhism Now
By way of introduction I will start with Krishnamurti’s words: ‘We are boiling with fear all the time.’ Simple and direct. Sometimes, however, this boiling with fear is not evident. I am specifically thinking of a dharma course a few years ago which I gave on fear and practice. After some time a number of students said, ‘I didn’t know I had so much fear. I didn’t know that we could, at least partially, hide fear.’ The point is that this all-pervasive quality of fear is an important piece of truth that is very important for us to become familiar with.
Krishnamurti also said, ‘To find out if there is actually freedom one must be aware of one’s own conditioning, of the problems, and above all one must be aware of fear. The self-interest in our life is the cause of fear—this sense of me and my concerns, my happiness, my success, my failures, my achievements. Where there is self-interest there must be fear and all the consequences of fear.’
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Posted on 1 January 2010 by Buddhism Now
Corrado Pensa teaches vipassana retreats in Europe and in the USA. He is cofounder and guiding teacher of the Association for Mindfulness Meditation in Rome, a professor of Eastern religions at the University of Rome and a former psychotherapist.
Other posts by Corrado Pensa
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