Have you ever gone to a place and felt like time has stopped and you’ve gone back in time? That’s how my weekend felt like.
We frequently go to this place, the second hand bookstore and get some great buys. Last Saturday was no different. As we left, we got chatting with the owner, a retired Englishman. I learnt so much about him, his family, his life and we even chatted about diet and fitness. I was so intrigued that I didn’t want to leave!read more
Birthdays. What does it really mean? For years I didn’t regard it to be important. If you think about it, it is just another day. Another day or another year that has passed by. And then what? Has it brought more meaning?read more
Recently I attended a Buddhist class and Rabten (my teacher) shared a story which shook me massively. A lady he knows in Australia who is into Buddhism and attends the Kadampa classes is going through a lot in life and he decided to check up on her. I’ll name this lady Ann to make it easier. Ann is going through chemo, she has a tumor.read more
I’m hitting 41 this year and yet I feel like a kid. I feel more alive than ever. I remember when I was in high school, I loved writing. I was one of the editors of the school newsletter and was so proud of my work even though it probably wasn’t all that great! I had the passion and the love for writing. Even though I was not fortunate enough to study writing after graduation, my first Masters was in Creative Writing and now I blog whenever time permits.read more
I’m often reminded in my own practice about the different states of consciousness that the mind can reach. I was doing a Sam Harris meditation with my husband a few days back and it very much stressed the idea of anatta (no self). This is a great meditation for realising that you have no self at all but it slightly ignores the different stages of consciousness that can reach towards this one point. For beginners, this would be an extremely difficult meditation as it doesn’t pin point the necessary conditions that are needed to reach the state of no-mind.read more
A couple of weeks back I bumped into someone I had worked with over 15 years ago. That’s a long time back. Initially I didn’t recognize her. But eventually her eyes seemed like one that I’ve seen before and I said to her, “I know you!” “Are you Sarah?”. We then chatted and the interesting thing is what I learnt from thereon.read more
Samadhi is usually translated as concentration and from my perspective it is an essential meditation practice. The practice of Samadhi envisages a mind that is calm, clear and gentle. It is unattached to anything and let’s go of thoughts as easily as raindrops gently dripping from a leaf during a Summer storm. It is very hard to achieve this state of mind as we have been so conditioned by life. Every form of conditioning must be removed for Samadhi to be achieved. Samadhi can be achieved in short bursts or in a whole lifetime (an example would be the Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh). To obtain longer spans of Samadhi we must look to firstly reconditioning ourselves, and secondly to letting go of conditioning of any state or form. This is much harder than it sounds!read more
“Experience life in all possible ways —
good-bad, bitter-sweet, dark-light,
summer-winter. Experience all the dualities.
Don’t be afraid of experience, because
the more experience you have, the more
mature you become.” – Osho
What I am about to say encapsulates only some of the traditions in Buddhism. Given the fact that there are so many traditions (Nicheren, Chan, Zen, Mahayana, Theraveda, Kadampa etc), there are also many different takes on this. Broadly speaking, the view I will be taking comes from the Mahayana (Greater Vehicle) school, with a mix of Tibetan tradition on top!read more
What is happiness? Today more than ever, there are tons of self help books written by monks, saints, scholars, philosophers etc. on what happiness is. Happiness is different to each person at different times. I like how Abraham Lincoln puts it “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” This is very true. We choose to be happy when we want to and while we are stuck being unhappy what do we do?read more
I have come across a number of different philosophies, theologies and theocracies during my life which address the way we live and the purpose and meaning of our lives. Many of these ideologies have influenced me in a variety of ways but one philosophy/ideology that has really struck a chord in me is the notions and thoughts of Taoism. In all its incarnations, Taoism has come into contact with me in both in its infinite simplicity and its absolute difficulty. It is much more than just a philosophy of life, it is a philosophy of being.read more
Strange title and you’re right. It is strange but it’s so true. When an obstacle occurs, what do most of us do? React! I can guarantee that our reaction to the situation doesn’t make it better. It probably creates more stress, anxiety, bitterness etc. So why react when we know our autopilot response actually backfires? Sadly it’s how we have been programmed through our upbringing and the influence of society. In order to have a different outcome; an outcome that will make the situation better we need a different way of responding. So what’s that? Stop& Breathe!read more
Seems like an odd title for this blog but I feel it’s an apt heading for something I have seen time and time again. How often has a person run away from their “problems” only to realise too late that the problems they face are themselves? How many of our problems are actually created by our own minds and the fractured elements that make up ourselves?read more
Do you ever feel that when the shit hits the roof those that you thought would be there aren’t? It’s interesting that it takes life’s hurdles for us to discover who we can rely on. Lately I’ve been feeling lost not so much on the physical level; and I find it hard to turn to my girlfriends simply because my shit isn’t the usual stuff that we cry over like career, men or family issues that most of us seem concerned with 24/7.read more
The monk shared 3 ideas to work on on forgiving others which was today’s topic.
1) see the bigger picture. Everyone wants to be happy. Whatever they did / said etc is meant to bring them happiness. But more importantly does this resentment help in the long run? Holding onto it? Do you remember a trivial incident your buddy did when you were 7? Holding on is punishing you and not the other person because you are in pain with the negativity. After a period of time our perception towards this painful incident would change so why not forgive now.
Many people think that being ‘spiritual’ is all to do with the act of doing. Going to church, chanting prayers, showing that you are ‘spiritual’. I feel that spirituality has more to do with being than doing. Anyone can do spirituality, but it’s what you say and do every day that counts. If you go to the temple once every week and act with brutish intent, then that’s not spiritual. That’s merely an attempt to alleviate your guilt about the acts that you perform. What’s the point of going to a religious building once a week when you end up acting like an ass?read more