man holding white and black happy birthday signage

How can we act skilfully in the world when our actions will always be tangled up with avidya/delusion?

If our health and well being and that of our family, friends, country and so on are relatively stable and doing okay, then better spend as much time as possible taking advantage of that situation by cultivating right view by listening, reflecting and meditating.  But if duty of care means we need to earn a living, take care of our health, look after family, friends and country and so on – well we have to spend time helping others and try to practise… Continue reading How can we act skilfully in the world when our actions will always be tangled up with avidya/delusion?

Why do I feel so moved by the line ‘Here there is nothing to remove and nothing to add’?

We are enough just as we are – what a relief just to hear that and know we are totally loveable and adequate in ourselves – all we need now is to realise that fully and its full implications – our nature is Buddha – and what does that mean? Continue reading Why do I feel so moved by the line ‘Here there is nothing to remove and nothing to add’?

Photo by Nevil Zaveri, creative commons rights via Flickr

What are we to make of wrathful action being one of the Buddha’s great miracles, given the precept not to kill?

This idea of the Buddha’s wrathful or fierce activity that destroys evil and forces that oppose the Dharma runs throughout the tradition and comes up a lot in the Mahayana sutras and even more in the tantras/Vajrayana. Continue reading What are we to make of wrathful action being one of the Buddha’s great miracles, given the precept not to kill?

silhouette of person raising its hand

When we’ve dropped our delusion, then what? What lies beyond avidya, What would be left to do, to enjoy?

Vidya is not really a point of progress along the path – it is our true nature and so of course there is nothing to do. As long as avidya is not recognised for what it is there is still something to do in a way because we are seeing things wrongly. Continue reading When we’ve dropped our delusion, then what? What lies beyond avidya, What would be left to do, to enjoy?

A conversation about God: Can a Buddhist use the word ‘God’?

Even after fifty five years I still find, like you that my word for that awe-inspiring, all-pervasive sense of benevolent presence is ‘God’, yet like you all my spiritual connections are Buddhist and the Buddha’s teachings are what I live by. The majority of western Buddhists are not from that camp I think – their experiences with God and God language are not positive and often never were. It is a very interesting area isn’t it? Continue reading A conversation about God: Can a Buddhist use the word ‘God’?

Can I listen to music when I meditate? Or use an object to focus on?

Some people are not able to engage properly with vipashyana because they just haven’t enough Shamata [calm abiding], and sometimes the reason is that they are too tense and so relaxation needs to be their first step.
Others are too loose so focusing on a single object helps to bring the focus back to a single point in order to settle and integrate the mind and body enough to be able to develop vipashyana. Continue reading Can I listen to music when I meditate? Or use an object to focus on?