Buddhism Explained via Space-Time (Teaching)

Space-time. Buddhism. Why not? We can easily take the Three Marks (Suffering, impermanence, not-self) and adapt them to that model. Whenever we view something as separate from space-time, there's suffering. When we view things as isolated from space-time, we make them into something very small and fragile. A person is tiny and short-lived. But space-time … Continue reading Buddhism Explained via Space-Time (Teaching)

That Time I Met a Bodhisattva in God’s Country Restaurant

I live in LaSalle County, Illinois. It's a land dominated by cows, cornfields, American Legions and giant churches. There's a bar for every corner, two churches for every bar, and 20 banks for every church.  My neighbor's rooster sometimes wakes me up in the morning, and last week my mom had to usher a small … Continue reading That Time I Met a Bodhisattva in God’s Country Restaurant

Balancing the Scales: Guanyin, Meditation, & Bipolar Disorder

Sometimes, I forget that I have bipolar disorder. Sometimes the shifts and swings are so gradual and nuanced, so smoothed out by practice that I don't even notice them. Other times, well, they're front and center. They rampage, they grip me like a vice. Monday night was great. I was up, I felt so energized … Continue reading Balancing the Scales: Guanyin, Meditation, & Bipolar Disorder

If the I is Just A Thought, Then Who’s the Thinker?

If the mind is like a cloth, and all experiences (including the experience of self) are folds and wrinkles in it, then who's folding the cloth? This is what we identify with, ya know? If we just identified as a fold---a product of the mind---from the get-go, then there'd be no problem. Instead, this fold … Continue reading If the I is Just A Thought, Then Who’s the Thinker?

Should Enlightenment Be a Goal?

No. That's all. Have a nice day. Alright, so I guess it's unskillful to just leave it at that. There's been a long debate in Buddhism, especially Zen, about sudden vs. gradual enlightenment. Sudden enlightenment means that "good works" like meritorious actions, meditating, keeping the precepts, or even holding Right Views are beside the point. … Continue reading Should Enlightenment Be a Goal?

Buddha Was A Liar

Upaya is an old ass word that means skillful deception, and it's one of my all-time favorite things about Buddhism. In fact, it's pretty much what sets Buddhism apart from every other religious/philosophical/metaphysical/psychological school I've encountered. Unlike most teachers, prophets, and sages, the B-Man didn't formulate one static truth, view, or method and belch it out … Continue reading Buddha Was A Liar