Tag Archives: buddhism

The Space Between

What do you do when you are between things? When you are waiting for the elevator, do you fiddle with your phone? When sitting in traffic, do you keep changing radio stations until the traffic signal turns green? Or, when … Continue reading

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Learning acceptance from a mangy dog

The skinny dog limped onto the road. Her ribs stuck out, a thin fur hanging unevenly over them. There was no one on the road at this time of the day; every sane soul was taking shelter from the sharp … Continue reading

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Kind or Smart?

Many years ago, I stumbled on one of Jeff Bezos’ commencement addresses. He described an early childhood experience, where he was in a car with his grandparents. His grandmother was a heavy smoker, and Bezos, in an attempt to show … Continue reading

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Stillness in Kyoto

The ultimate zen aspiration is stillness. This appeals to me. When I am still, I see things as they are. When I am churned, everything is confused. In such a state, how is it possible to take the right action? … Continue reading

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Quiet As A Still Pond

A few days ago, I wrote about How To Calm Down when we feel agitated. It’s a tough task, to say the least. At the moment of aggravation, giving in to the hot flush of self-righteous indignation is so tempting. And … Continue reading

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Seeing is Believing

“See things as they are, and all your suffering will end.” So says the Buddha. This same message is given by Krishnamurti, Alan Watts, and the Bhagavad Gita. My favourite American Zen Buddhist nun, Charlotte Joko-Beck, says it too. I … Continue reading

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My experiences with Vipassana meditation: Mindful eating

Recently, I went on a 10-day meditation retreat to learn Vipassana meditation. Vipassana means insight and the whole ten days were spent in silence, with no distractions of phones, reading, writing or conversations. No exchanges with the external world, not … Continue reading

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The moment between

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, there is a moment between an action and its reaction. A small moment, but a distinct, pristine, unique moment nonetheless. Like a pause. The pause after an inhaled breath and before its exhalation. Nothing … 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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