wood bead mala

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  1. I’m just digging into the Noble Truths now, and it’s wonderful to encounter others who are working on parsing Buddhist thought. Thanks for sharing!

  2. It’s neat being an almost Buddhist, when a Jehova witness comes to your door note the look on their face when you tell them you don’t believe in god because you are a Buddhist

  3. Meditation changed my life completely and after years of studying and consistent surrender it keeps me through the grieving of my child and taps me into him so I can feel his presence when I’m just deeply saddd..and when im joyfully abundant, he shows up for me and often tells me ..mom breathe and do your meditations.

  4. I enjoyed how you explained the 5 Aggregates. It helps to be reminded of the difference between feelings and emotions. Neutral feelings tend to be ignored, but they’re important.

    1. Thank you. This is something I am looking to more of… sharing the things that made me, me. This almost didn’t get published. After a push from the right person I’m doing it!

  5. Thank you, J Martin. I’m very happy, and relieved, to find ‘The Unusual Buddha’, it’s very helpful to me, they way it’s written, especially the above article about the ‘two’ major schools. Making ‘my way’ easier to proceed – appreciated.

  6. I like to call the oldest teachings “First Turning Buddhism” instead of “Hinayana”. It’s said that there were originally 18 original schools before the rise of Mahayana Buddhism and of those only Theravada survived.

    1. Theravada was first hence the name(the school of the elders) the others arise from there. But yeah “the lesser vehicle” can evoke feelings…

  7. Thank you for this post. I lost my son 3 years ago and continue to struggle with understanding…and finding peace. I guess a more accurate term would be “finding my center”. My universe was thrown off balance in a way that is difficult to describe.

  8. Thanks so much for this! This really resonated with me! Depression is something I’ve dealt with for probably as long as I can remember. Meditation has helped tremendously but I still go through bouts of being depressed. I find myself in something of a very ‘down’ place right now, so this piece hit home and I took some comfort in it. Thanks.

  9. Very important …check in meansactive not passive. I spent holidays close to home with siblings planning intervention w my brother who lives alone now in AA . empathy is great but stepping up and taking action is needed , not after the fact post a hotline #.

  10. I SOO get where you are coming from. I spent some time in Nepal in 2011. Before the earthquake. I spent a week in a hotel a block away from the Bodhanath Stupa. It is good to see that it is getting repaired.
    I also spent 2 weeks in the Gopan Monastery just north of Bodhanath.

    Kathmandu in General, and Thamal in particular can be ordeals to be endured as well as experiences to have. I was so tired of the pollution of Kathmandu – the dirt filled town and smoke filled air (from burning trash). Combine that with the aggressive attitude of beggars and the general pushiness of everyone you deal with as a westerner and you have a recipe for frustration. I wouldn’t trade my experience for the world, but I would not likely seek it out again. I went there after spending a month in Thailand – which is a totally different Buddhism and a totally different attitude. I’ve been back to Thailand 3 more times. I likely won’t be back to Nepal soon.

    I consider myself a western Theravada Buddhist. Vajrayana just wasn’t my cup of tea after hearing the lama’s lectures in the Monastery.

    I think Kathmandu will forever be my experience out of my comfort zone. If it weren’t for some of the friends I made on my bus trip to Lhasa in Tibet, it would have been bad. I reconnected with my friends in Kathmandu after the trip and after my time in the Monastery and that was wonderful.

    Anyway thanks for sharing your experience. It resonates with mine and I’m sure we’d have much to talk about over yak butter tea some time. 🙂

    1. Thanks Rich, for sharing your experience! Vajrayana Buddhism is definitely a challenging path; I don’t think it is for the faint of heart. I’m pretty thick-headed though, and tend to thrive on challenge, so I love it (even when I hate it). I learned from James, an American who lives in Kathmandu, that Nepal does not have public services or programs to support mental and physical health the way other countries do, and families will cast out/disown people with deformities and illness so begging is the only way the people who beg survive. It’s a pretty painful life when you think of it that way. I grew up in NY, where you are trained from an early age to not see beggars at all, because they are drug addicts who will only spend what you give them on the next high. So, it was hard to reconcile the vastly different narratives at first, and the sheer number of people who beg is definitely overwhelming. I haven’t made it to Thailand yet. So many of my teachers are from Nepal and Bhutan, I’m willing to bet I’ll get back to Nepal one day. Thanks again for your thoughts!

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