Compassion as Fundamental Warmth

Without compassion, meditation cannot be transferred into action at all. We have a tendency, which almost feels automatic, to freeze up, to keep things frozen within ourselves. We preserve things in ourselves because we are afraid of losing them, afraid of losing our wealth. When we begin to experience fundamental warmth in our practice of … Read more

Compassion: The Grin of Joy

Compassion is not logical. It’s basically spacious and generous. A compassionate person might not be sure whether they are being compassionate to you or whether you are being compassionate to them, because compassion creates a total environment of generosity. Generosity is implied; it just happens, rather than you making it happen. It’s just there, without … Read more

The Bridge of Compassion

Practically speaking, how do we link our meditation with the everyday challenges that we face all the time? How do we build a bridge between the sitting practice of meditation and meditation in action, or the post-meditation practice of mindfulness in everyday life? In order to communicate from one side of the bridge to the … Read more

In the Magical Realm

The world is filled with magical energy. We, on the other hand, are filled with unmagical properties. We do not understand who or what we are, and we think there’s something to understand, which makes us unmagical. We think everything has to be manual, and dependent on pure karmic debt, as though you have to … Read more

Real Magic

The most important point about magic is that it cannot happen in the realm of spiritual materialism. Magic can only take place when you begin to transcend your potential for egomania. It can only take place when there’s no ground and no security. According to the Buddha, the highest magic–real, definite magic–can only develop from … Read more

Cutting Down the Fortress of Spiritual Materialism

As students and teachers, we can cut down the fortress of spiritual materialism through how we work with situations. We don’t combat spiritual materialism through warfare, street fighting, or sending bombs in the mail, but by developing intelligence within ourselves. Then we can work with spiritual materialism so that our tactics can be transmuted and … Read more

Simple Thoughts

In the beginning, a person uses the technique of meditation as a kind of game, because they are still imagining that they are meditating. But the techniques—physical feeling, sensations, and breathing, for instance—are very earthy and tend to ground a person. And the proper attitude toward technique is not to regard it as magical, a … Read more

Simplicity and Nonduality in Meditation

The attitude one brings to meditation practice should be very simple, not based upon trying to collect pleasure or avoid pain. Rather meditation is a natural process, working on the material of pain and pleasure as the path. You do not try to use meditation techniques—prayer, mantra, visualization, rituals, breathing technique—to create pleasure or to … Read more

Actual Freedom

The Buddhist view of freedom is misinterpreted a great deal. According to an encyclopedia from 1937, “nirvana” is freedom from all pain, all suffering, and the total extinction of emotions. (It is very interesting they had the word “nirvana” in the encyclopedia at all!) According to this view, the Buddhist version of freedom is to … Read more

When You Execute a Work of Art

When a person is executing a work of art, there is a sense of contact, concentration, and a sense of mindlessness. At the time you are writing poetry you don’t think, you just do it. Or at the time when you are painting, or composing music, you have no mind,you just don’t think. You are … Read more