Did you think all the Buddha taught was meditation? Here is some practical advice from the Anguttara Nikaya. There are 5 Good Reasons to Brush your teeth. Failing to brush… …is bad for your eyes. …isbad for your breath. …means you don’t clean your taste … Continue reading Buddha Says to Brush Your Teeth
After Spanish invaders conquered the Mayans and Incas in the 16th century, a huge flood of gold started flowing from the new world into Europe. But Europe did not face massive inflation, as you would expect. Instead, there was actually a persistent shortage of gold. … Continue reading An Economic Mystery
First, understand, this is not about worshipping the Buddha. We respect, admire, are even in awe of what the Buddha accomplished and the great gift of his teachings. But it doesn’t do him or anyone else any good to just sit and praise him. Remember, … Continue reading Meditation on the Buddha
What does it mean?
The oppressive sense of shock, dismay, and alienation that comes with realizing the futility and meaninglessness of life as it’s normally lived; a chastening sense of one’s own complacency and foolishness in having let oneself live so blindly; and an anxious sense of urgency in trying to find a way out of the meaningless cycle.”
-from Access to Insight
Why does it matter?
This is one of those terms that initially seems really depressing but is actually quite inspiring. I think everyone has had the experience, in large or small ways, of looking around and thinking, “What the hell am I doing with my life? Does any of this matter? Am I just wasting my life working at this lousy job and watching tv?”
Sadly, when most people have this realization, there is not much to be done. The answer for most people in this country is: “Have a positive attitude!” All that really translates to is, “Suck it up and suffer for the next few decades.”
Buddhism offers an alternative! In a way, that initial realization is exactly what’s needed to go down the spiritual path. If working 9 to 5 and then kicking back and watching TV with a beer is enough, why strive for more?
Ajahn Thanissaro has a really beautiful article on this term.
This meditation is useful for fighting drowsiness. Here’s how the Buddha describes it: “But if by doing this you don’t shake off your drowsiness, then attend to the perception of light, resolve on the perception of daytime, [dwelling] by night as by day, and by … Continue reading Meditation on the Perception of Light