Fear saved our ancestor’s lives many times over. But in our world (safe and sanitized) it often does more harm than good. After a lifetime squandered fleeing our fears of perils (accurate or distorted) we could have a moment of clarity: weary of our running and perhaps no longer certain of that from which have fled. What would the Buddha advise? Terrors could be like splinters. It is often far more harmful to dig after them with needle, tweezers, or blade than to simply allow
When asked “Is donating one’s body to science bad karma?” I was tempted to explain that fifty-percent of the eight-fold path pertains to loving-kindness, and how using one’s body to prevent others’ suffering is a very good thing. But that is like being so preoccupied with TIE fighters that one forgets about the Death Star’s thermal exhaust port. Buddha’s references to karma were less punitive than they were insightful explorations of interdependence and the body-mind complex.
How do we overcome fear? Shall we blind our mindfulness to fear’s perception? Do henchmen tie us to a gurney, rendering us immobile that their boss (a mad scientist) could cauterize the part of our under-brain that emotes fear? No, No, and oh God; get thee to a psychiatrist! Buddha never offered us freedom from the sensation of fear, but rather liberation from its tyranny, that it might no longer control our choices, utterances, or deeds. That is why we notice and relax in ha
My Ukrainian brothers and sisters, there are people whose job is to make your life as difficult as possible, if not murder you. Our brains have evolved to face such peril by literally going into survival mode where kill or be killed is the rule of the day. The terror and rage that supports this mentality, while uncomfortable, is NOT pathological. It would be odd if you did not feel this. The Buddha taught meditation NOT to undermine our ability to perceive the full spectrum o
DAMNATION: what an excellent tool to frighten those bereft of critical thinking skills making them oh so easy to manipulate. For there is a demograph who (like the Buddha’s cousin Devadatta) are rigid, fearful, controlling, elitist, competitive and cruel; and for those villains and their minions fear is a favorite tool. Found on every populated continent, in every culture, and within each religion these are the purveyors of fear, guilt, and are the authors of hell in all its
What is the kerfuffle with tantric empowerment? Is it a necessary means of preparing the mind stream of a student for the potentially dangerous practice of highest yoga tantra, or merely another, in a long line, of patriarchy’s techniques intended to control others? I am a big fan of Dza Patrul Rinpoche Jigme Choky Wangpo. As a very young man I could be rigid, fearful, controlling, elitist, and competitive. Many of us went through that phase, including Dza Patrul Rinpoche as