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Love

Love

There is hunger for ordinary bread, and there is hunger for love, for kindness, for thoughtfulness; and this is the great poverty that makes people suffer so much.                                                            – Mother Teresa of Calcutta Our modern civilization is so physically oriented that when we hear the word hunger, we immediately think of vitamins and minerals and amino acids.  It seldom…

Nonviolence and Training the Mind

Nonviolence and Training the Mind

Nonviolence is the supreme law of life.  – Hindu proverb The Sanskrit word for nonviolence is ahimsa: a means “not” or “without”; himsa is violence. This may sound negative, but in Sanskrit a word constructed in this way stands for a state both perfect and positive. Ahimsa implies that when every trace of violence is removed from the mind, what…

Ahimsa or Love

Ahimsa or Love

True love grows by sacrifice and the more thoroughly the soul rejects natural satisfaction the stronger and more detached its tenderness becomes.  – Saint Therese of Lisieux If somebody is kind to us ninety-nine times and then does one hurtful thing, we are likely to forget the ninety-nine good things and remember the one bad thing. We can watch it…

Developing Discrimination Through Vairagya

Developing Discrimination Through Vairagya

If one who enjoys a lesser happiness beholds a greater one, let him leave aside the lesser to gain the greater. -The Buddha The Buddha, the most practical of teachers, says that wisdom is essentially discrimination – the precious capacity to see what is important in the long run and then choose our course of action accordingly. Most of us…

The Eight Limbs of Yoga

The Eight Limbs of Yoga

The first wealth is health. –Ralph Waldo Emerson When you regard your life as a trust, you realize that the first resource you have to take care of is your own body. This can be startling. Even your body is not really your own. It belongs to life, and it is your responsibility to take care of it. You cannot…

Pratyahara

Pratyahara

He insulted me, he cheated me, he beat me, he robbed me – those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace. -The Buddha Resentment is nothing more than compulsive attachment to a set of memories. If you could peek through the window of the mind when you feel resentful, you would see a production line turning out the…

Patience

Patience

  One who holds back rising anger like a rolling chariot, that one I call a real driver; other people are but holding the reins. -The Buddha It takes two to quarrel: the other person can throw down the gauntlet, but we don’t have to pick it up. When someone criticizes us or contradicts us or speaks in an unpleasant…

Svadhyaya

Svadhyaya

The Buddhas do but tell the way, it is for you to labor at the task.  -The Buddha Spiritual teachers are like signposts pointing the way to immortality, but it is we who must make the journey. This is quite reasonable. After all, when we pass a signpost on the freeway, we don’t expect it to get into the driver’s…

Karma and the Yoga of Action

Karma and the Yoga of Action

Just as there is no loss of basic energy in the universe, so no thought or action is without its effects, present or ultimate, seen or unseen, felt or unfelt.  -Norman Cousins Just as the example of Jesus inspired Francis of Assisi a millennium later, Francis inspired thousands of people during his own lifetime, and continues to do so today.…