My students often ask “I can’t still my mind during meditation class. What should I do?” “It’s what you should NOT do, is more like a solution.” I say. Trying to stop thoughts coming into our meditation practice is counterproductive. For the mind, we notice what we are resisting, is persisting. It is the mind’s [...]
Life is difficult….
Things happen that we do not want. The things that we want do not happen. Life is unsatisfactory. All of us seek peace and harmony, because this is what we lack in our lives. Even if we are free from unhappiness at this moment, we can remember a time when we were miserable, we can [...]
If we have a quantity of fear that we can't bear to examine, we cope by busying ourselves to ensure the unwelcome guest of fear does not set up residence in our mind. We busy ourselves with other "guests" - we turn on the TV that fills our environment with sound and images, we go [...]
Meditation, Genetics, Conditioned Response to Life
Not so long ago modern psychology defined a split between how we perceive our world; between flexible conditioned responses to stress, and our genetic inherited traits, the latter then considered as immobile and concrete. At that time, researchers seemed confidant that our genetic predispositions were locked in genetic codes; that the only route to therapy lay within modifying conditioned responses. But recent evidence from the [...]
"Aversion" is opposite of "craving", but they both spring from sensations of like/dislike as one of three roots of human suffering. Craving and aversion always start with contact with the body's five physical senses- Contact of the eye with sensation of vision, the nose with sense of smell, tongue with sense of taste, body with touch, [...]
My last post examined attachment as a root of suffering. This post examines the role of ignorance, the second of three roots of suffering in the Buddhist philosophy. This concept is simple when explained in 21st century terms. First, the dictionary definition of ignorance is "a lack of information or knowledge". But the ignorance involved [...]