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Coronavirus - How To Cope With Social Distancing, Working From Home And Other Anxieties

Coronavirus has changed everything. Most of us are now working from home. We are all experiencing the effects of “social distancing” and other impacts

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Awakening My Heart: On Retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh

Andrea Miller attends a transformational six-day retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh.

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Practicing Equanimity in a State of Emergency

In the face of the COVID-19 crisis, Gary Gach shares how we can soothe our feelings of denial, anger, and fear with a helpful dose of equanimity.

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3 Small Practices for Living in the Coronavirus Era

From Bonnie Myotai Treace of Hermitage Heart Zen come these three “small” (but powerful!) reflections and practices to help us stay open-hearted and connected as we reckon with the fear and uncertainty that the coronavirus has brought so suddenly into our lives.

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WEEKEND READING: Love’s Garden

Compassion resides in each of us naturally, but we need to create space in our heart and mind for it to be nurtured and to allow it to flower.

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Living in This Strange Moment Together

As the COVID-19 outbreak shakes the world, Lama Willa Miller offers a personal reflection on what it means to exist in this strange moment together.

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In Times of Crisis, Draw Upon the Strength of Peace

When we are called upon to help in a crisis, it’s not a question of whether or not to respond — we must respond. But the way we do is crucial.

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Take a Mindful Approach to COVID-19

Dr. Christiane Wolf on how to mindfully curtail the spread of coronavirus — and keep a cool head about it, too.

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Living in This Strange Moment Together

As the COVID-19 outbreak shakes the world, Lama Willa Miller offers a personal reflection on what it means to exist in this strange moment together.

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The One Conversation You Should Never Have

Think before you speak, especially when you speak to yourself.

Here are 4 tips that will help you get better at it:

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How Not to Freak Out

It’s not as if times of fear and despair are anything new. People have fought wars, struggled to survive, faced injustice, experienced loss, dealt with violence and greed, and been caught up in historical movements beyond their control pretty much forever.

Life has never been that easy.

In Buddhist practice, you learn never to shy away from facing the pain of the human condition. At the same time, you also learn not to shy away from the beauty and value of life in all its forms.

By clearly seeing the extremes of experience, you learn to scout a middle way.

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The Insight That Brings Us to the Other Shore

The insight of prajñaparamita, the perfection of wisdom as taught in the Heart Sutra, is the ultimate truth, transcending of all conventional truths. It is the highest vision of the Buddha.

Prajñaparamita is the liberating insight that helps us to overcome all pairs of opposites, such as birth and death, being and non-being, defilement and immaculacy, increasing and decreasing, subject and object, and so on.

This helps us to get in touch with the true nature of no birth/no death, no being/no non-being, etc., which is the true nature of all phenomena.

This is a state of coolness, peace, and non-fear that can be experienced in this very life, in your own body and in your own five skandhas. It is nirvana.

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WEEKEND READING: The Final Truth

She gave birth to twins, but only one survived. Kate Inglis on how, when a body dies, love is the final truth it leaves behind.

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Gone, Gone, Everything Gone

I discovered a mantra by a lake in the woods. We were on our way to the family cabin but, as someone who regularly copes with a panic disorder, I was paralyzed, as usual, by compulsive negative thoughts and anxiety. It just wouldn’t stop...

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The Heart Sutra Will Change You Forever

"How does our mind feel when we are not grasping at anything, when we are not trying to entertain ourselves, and when our mind is not going outside (or not going anywhere at all), when there is no place left to go?"

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The Sorrow of an All-male Lineage

The most profound awakening I have ever experienced happened when I was abbot at Green Gulch Zen Center.

One dark morning a young woman came to see me. I asked her what was the matter. She told me she was weeping because she had just come from the service where the Zen lineage was being chanted.

I was confused by her reply. I said, “Why would chanting the lineage make you cry?”

“Because every name is a man’s name,” she said...

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How to Make a Spectacular Mistake

Mistakes are easy. As soon as we’re born, they begin. And without fail, they mark our inevitable rite of passage in the long, drawn out business of growing up. Hot stoves hurt. Hitting your brother is not nice. What we make up in our own minds is mistaken, over and over again, for reality.

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Meditation is the Key to Knowing Yourself

Meditation practice awakens our trust that the wisdom and compassion that we need are already within us.

It helps us to know ourselves: our rough parts and our smooth parts, our passion, aggression, ignorance and wisdom.

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How to Work With Fear and Pain in a Moment of Crisis

As I watched the snow fall on the mountains outside my hospital room, where I was undergoing treatment for an illness that had progressively worsened over the previous months, I was reminded once again that this life moves and changes with each breath — we can not know what will happen in the future.

Here are a few suggestions to help come back to your center during experiences of fear or pain.

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WEEKEND READING: Energy Wants to Flow

One mental shift that helped me a lot was thinking of goals, plans, projects, and desires in terms of energy flows that are in motion. My previous tendency was to think in terms of end points and static states.

So instead of fussing over where I am and where I want to be (the end points), I prefer to observe where energy seems to be flowing well in my life and where it’s getting stuck and becoming stagnant. Then I work on getting the stagnant energy unstuck and getting it flowing again.

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A 15-Minute Morning Meditation To Start Your Day With Intention

In this 15-minute practice, we're going to stimulate wakefulness while staying relaxed. You'll also work with an intention of your choice, so you can attract whatever it is you may be hoping to receive today.

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An Exploration Of Boredom

Why exactly is boredom so unpleasant?

The 19th-century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer argued that, if life were intrinsically meaningful or fulfilling, there could be no such thing as boredom.

Boredom, then, is evidence of the meaninglessness of life, opening the shutters on some very uncomfortable feelings that we normally block out with a flurry of activity or with the opposite feelings.

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How to Create a Meditation Practice so You Can Thrive as a Mom

Discover simple ways to create and incorporate your meditation practice into motherhood so you can feel calm and thrive as a mom.

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A Meditation on Self Confidence

Struggling with self-confidence?

Here's one woman's twenty-minute cure.

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Entropy: Why Life Seems So Hard and Complicated

No matter how hard we try to get our lives together, things seem to get more complicated.

Why do we often feel trapped in life?

Why does life sometimes seem so hard and complicated?

The answer to these questions can be found in an important concept in physics and chemistry.

It’s called entropy.

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Narrow Your Focus: The Magic Dust of Many Things

Why simply and intentionally narrowing our focus can improve every facet of our lives

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Enlightenment Is a Male Fantasy

I used to hate Zen.

In fact, sometimes I still don’t really like Zen. My ex-boyfriend introduced me to Zen, and this is probably why I hated it so much.

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WEEKEND READING: For International Women's Day - Women in Buddhism: Profiles, Conversations, and Teachings

For International Women’s Day, we present a collection of our best teachings from, profiles on, and conversations with women in Buddhism.

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A Short Meditation Could Help With Pain Management Even if You've Never Tried It Before

Mindfulness and meditation have long been associated with positive health benefits.

Now, a small new study suggests such benefits can emerge even after just a short period of meditation - and even if you've never tried it before.

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Even A Brief Introduction To Meditation Can Ease Pain

Medical News Today have covered studies showcasing the many benefits of mindfulness, from lowering blood pressure to coping with phobias.

There are two other areas that mindfulness can be helpful with: pain and emotion regulation.

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A Lama Answers Meditation FAQs

Khondung Avikrita Vajra Sakya Rinpoche addresses some of the most frequently asked questions by new Buddhist practitioners.

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WEEKEND READING: Your Liberation Is on the Line

I think we are finally at a place where we can accept the truth that no one escapes from oppression, not one of us. Everyone is deeply wounded.

It’s true, some people seem to be in a position of what we call privilege, but we have to rethink that word. We get stuck on this notion of white privilege, or dominant privilege, as if the marginalized people want what the people with privilege have.

But I want no part of it. I want no part of any illness that renders people unable to see the beauty of all of our differences.

I want no part of an illness that renders me unable to connect to love. That is not a privilege...

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Are You Stuck In Seeking?

Being stuck in seeking is the single biggest stumbling block to "enlightenment"/awareness.

It is often the most sincere, the most devout, the most dedicated who are the most stuck in seeking – in many cases almost as a badge of honour (and I say this respectfully and lovingly) – seeking truth, seeking God, seeking enlightenment, seeking nirvana, seeking deeper understanding and growth, seeking...

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Big Mind Experiences - Working With The Selves

We have many minds, and what we conventionally think of as the "self" is many selves...

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Relax And Trust In Your Higher Self

When things are tough and you are starting to think that no one else get this much hassle, when you have difficulty sleeping ‘cos your mind keeps going over things looking for an answer, when you know the answer’s there …but no matter how hard you try or how often you ask for help, you just can’t find it - then know this:

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"Night Vision" - How To Make Decisions Based On Intuition

How to make decisions based on intuition when you are experiencing testing times, when there is a conflict between your intuition and your conscious mind, and especially when this is because of adverse external circumstances?

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How to stop thinking?

At the most basic level, the state and quality of your mind has a very large bearing on the quality of your experience of life, and very specifically on your capacity for managing personal change. So how to stop thinking?

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Finding Your Zen on Public Transport: A Five-Minute Meditation

Ever take the train, tram or bus – or maybe a combination of all three – and you arrive at work more tense than when you rushed out the door? Follow these steps to see the beauty in banality, and ultimately find calm on the go:

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WEEKEND READING: Buddhism for Beginners

What do Buddhists believe?
Is Buddhism a religion?
Is it okay if I’m not religious?
Is there an eternal soul in Buddhism?
What is dharma?
How do you become a Buddhist?
How do I study without a teacher or community?
What Buddhist books should I read?
How can I get started with meditation?

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Life Beyond Your Thinking Mind - Part Two

Life beyond your thinking mind part two focuses on the limitations of time, foreground and background, duality and "stuckness".

Have you got the time?

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Life Beyond Your Thinking Mind - Part One

Our real problem is that we confuse the "world as-it-is" with the "world as-it-is-thought-about and described":

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The Filtering Mechanism in Why We Think The Way We Do

Here’s how the filtering mechanisms affect how your internal map of reality operates to generate your feelings, thoughts, and behaviours:

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Why We Think The Way We Do

Why we think the way we do? Here’s the big picture of how your internal map of reality operates to generate your feelings, thoughts, and behaviours:

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WEEKEND READING: The Mind Cure?

Three scholars on the mindfulness movement: what it gets right, what it gets wrong, and its surprising history.

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The Story Of The Ever Ready Knight

Spiritual teachers tell us that heaven is to be found right here, in this moment. “Be here now” is all we need to remember.

In my experience I've always found this to be difficult.

So what does it take for us to fully enjoy the life we have now? To bring ourselves so completely to this moment that it might contain everything we could want?

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The Zen Master And The Water Trough

So what do I do? How on earth do I learn to think and learn to stop thinking? Well firstly, you have got to want to! Reading this will not change you.

Doing as I have done, and spending years and $1000’s on books and course and materials won’t change you. Being informed ABOUT something is not the same as EXPERIENCING it.

Let's take a lesson from the zen master and the water trough:

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Fooled By The Illusion - "The Matrix" Today!

Like the characters in "The Matrix" most of the time most of us are fooled by the illusion, that what we see is how things really are.

We are fooled by our thoughts, we are trapped in our thoughts and we can’t think this one through - there really is no way out via the conventional functioning of the human mind.

There is an alternative...

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WEEKEND READING: Congressman Tim Ryan Wants to Heal America’s Trauma with Mindfulness

The Democratic primary contender is the leading proponent of mindfulness in American politics.

In this interview, he talks about how to address the trauma in the heart of America.

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Personal Change - The 4 Big Reasons Why We Get Stuck

Getting stuck in our attempts at personal change is a common experience.

We get stuck for at least 4 reasons:

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