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Tapas, Dharana and Dhyana

Tapas, Dharana and Dhyana

Progress in meditation comes swiftly for those who try their hardest.                                                  – Yoga Sutras Given the sheer impossibility of it, I always find it astonishing how swiftly the transformation of personality can proceed when we are meditating with sustained enthusiasm. It may have taken you thirty years to make yourself insecure, but in much less than thirty years you…

Abhinivesah: “Clinging to life” or “Fear of death”

Abhinivesah: “Clinging to life” or “Fear of death”

Thou shalt understand that it is a science most profitable, and passing all other sciences, for to learn to die.                                                           – Heinrich Suso As long as there is something we want to get out of life before we go – a little more money, a little more pleasure, a chance to get in a parting dig at someone we…

Pratyahara

Pratyahara

  Be vigilant; guard your mind against negative thoughts.                                                            – The Buddha Today, many people are very well informed about nutrition. We worry about “junk food,” which is a legitimate concern, but shouldn’t we be just as worried about the food we feed our minds? There is junk food, yes. But there are also “junk thoughts.” Take a close…

Tapas Anyone?

Tapas Anyone?

Luck is not chance – It’s toil – Fortune’s expensive smile Is earned.             – Emily Dickinson Training the mind is just that – a matter of training. It’s a little like tennis. Championship tennis players have amazing skills and can direct the ball wherever they like: along the sideline two feet from the baseline,…

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…