Category Archives: buddhism

Who’s the beggar, really?

The old man showed up one day on my street, out of the blue. Hunched, a wispy beard reaching down his chin, he carefully laid out his wares on the footpath. A few bottles, a big box, a smaller box, … Continue reading

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“Give” ideas for Diwali, Christmas and other festivals

It’s festival season all over the world, with some of the most commercial festivals cropping up soon. I love this season because it encourages us to think of our friends and families; in a world that is increasingly shrinking inwards … Continue reading

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Giving, not gifting

These days I am reading “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” by Shunryu Suzuki. It’s considered a classic. I can believe it, even though I’m probably understanding only a minuscule fraction of it. Still, what we understand is a good place to … Continue reading

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Reality, through a pinhole

That’s what my zen meditation teacher, Reverend Takafumi Kawakami, said today. “We think we know reality, but the fact is, we know our reality, which is very limited. We think we are seeing everything, but our view is all that … Continue reading

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Grace in a breakfast

In the ryokan (traditional Kyoto inn) where I’m staying, grace comes through even in breakfast. Consider the kind of breakfast you have typically when traveling. There is a large and noisy dining hall, usually the hotel cafe, with an array … Continue reading

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Kyoto: a balm for the world

Why has no one ever told me about Kyoto? If I had to be reborn, I would ask for it to be here, a million times over. Kyoto is serenity. (Run, don’t walk, here if you’re craving some calm.) The … Continue reading

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The boring delight of discipline

Yesterday, I wrote about how the secret sauce to success is discipline, not motivation. It’s a surprising insight. After all, we’re schooled to believe that you have to have a crazed fit of inspiration to achieve outstanding, jaw-dropping outcomes. This … Continue reading

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