Buddhist Studies

Meditation is Difficult Because Waking Up Hurts

Meditation is Difficult Because Waking Up Hurts

Meditation is difficult because waking up hurts. And if we don’t understand why, we will run from the pain and abandon the path. There are countless people who have become spiritual dropouts, or who are lost in detours because they have not understood that hardship is...

The Four Reminders

The Four Reminders

The four reminders, or four thoughts that turn the mind, are an important preparation for death because they turn the mind from constantly looking outward to finally looking within. As with mindfulness, they provide another way to work with distraction. They bring the...

How Meditation Affects the Brain

How Meditation Affects the Brain

The world of neuroscience is revealing exactly how meditation affects the brain. I had the great honor to be invited to be subject on one of a series of studies being conducted on meditation. I was invited to the University of Wisconsin in Madison where the most...

The Value of Three-Year Retreat

The Value of Three-Year Retreat

The three-year retreat at Söpa Chöling is a living experiment, resonant with the fearless spirit of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche who conceived it. The three year retreat was founded and overseen after Trungpa's death by Thrangu Rinpoche in 1990. Söpa Chöling lies nestled...

Renunciation on the Spiritual Path

Renunciation on the Spiritual Path

What is the role of renunciation on the spiritual path or in Buddhist practice? To most of us, what drove us to spiritual seeking in the first place is some level of realization that our obsession with self fulfillment and worldly pleasures can only give us so much...

Is There a Dark Side to Meditation?

Is There a Dark Side to Meditation?

The recent article in The Atlantic by Tomas Rocha, “The Dark Knight of the Soul,” brings up a much neglected but very important topic around a dark side to meditation. With hundreds of studies (over 500 a year) coming out showing the benefits of meditation, there are...

The Power of Mindfulness

The Power of Mindfulness

Everyday it seems there is another article about how mindfulness meditation is being embraced by people and institutions everywhere. From Silicon Valley to pro football to the Marine Corps , the power of mindfulness seems to be gaining some very real traction these...

Repetition is Key to Developing a Meditation Practice

Repetition is Key to Developing a Meditation Practice

Accomplishment in any discipline involves repetition.  If we want to build muscles, we don’t lift 10,000 pounds one time, we lift a few pounds thousands of times.  Just as repetition is the source of necessary hardship for a piano student aspiring to be a concert...

The Power and The Pain

Anyone engaged in genuine spiritual practice will face many challenges along the path. Whether it’s the frustration of feeling that you are unable to meditate, the physical aches and pains of sitting still, the sense of inadequacy or failure, or simply not having...

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