Jewel of the Charnel Ground

There’s something hauntingly inspiring about the charnel ground image for me, the place where that which we continuously avoid and cover up is finally revealed, exposed, laid bare. With its half-rotting corpses, partially chewed limbs and sun-bleached bones, the charnel ground is without pretense, raw, unabashed in its display of impermanence. In early Buddhist teachings, … More Jewel of the Charnel Ground

Enough Already! Hungry Ghosts & the Practice of Savoring

There’s a certain time of day when I get the nibbles – usually late afternoon but sometimes at night, right before bed. I open kitchen cabinets, the fridge, the chip drawer scanning what might satisfy me. But there’s something insatiable in my being. In reality I’m not really hungry, I’m not really looking for food. … More Enough Already! Hungry Ghosts & the Practice of Savoring

Vajra Pride: Awakening Primordial Self-Esteem

I’ve always thought of Pride as one of the Seven Deadly Sins, right up there with Lust, Gluttony and Avarice. In the Buddhist tradition, pride is one of the five poisons, accompanied by a similar entourage of desire, jealousy, anger and ignorance. Pride, of course, evokes the image of a puffed-out chest, an overly confident … More Vajra Pride: Awakening Primordial Self-Esteem

The Suffering of Busyness Part II: Poverty Mentality and Dissatisfaction – Reclaiming the All-Accomplished Moment

In Part I I reflected on busyness as a response to a fear of space which we try to cover up through activities and distraction. Another way to look at busyness is as a reaction to an underlying “poverty mentality,” a fundamental sense of dissatisfaction or lack. I think we can probably all identify with … More The Suffering of Busyness Part II: Poverty Mentality and Dissatisfaction – Reclaiming the All-Accomplished Moment

The Suffering of Busyness

I recently heard about a study that found that “busyness” is the new status symbol. I grew up with images of the rich and powerful lounging on a long white beach, drink in-hand and not a care in the world. Now it seems that you prove your social standing by flaunting the number of engagements, commitments and responsibilities you have on any given day. The study showed that this is as true among the working class as it is for the middle and upper-middle classes. I have to admit: too often I find myself commiserating with a friend about my long to-do lists, my numerous and scattered work duties, child care needs, the dirty house, my forever overflowing inbox… It’s an easy – and seemingly always accurate – answer to “how are you?” Busy, busy, busy. Like we all are… … More The Suffering of Busyness