Is Life a Labyrinth or a Maze?

Do you think life is a labyrinth or a maze? I’ve recently been thinking more and more about this age-old philosophical question. Interestingly enough, I find that my answer is gradually changing from maze to labyrinth. Have you ever tried walking ... Read more

Be Open to Wander and Wonder

Growing up in Japan where Buddhism was one of the primary religions, I had both affinity and aversion to certain traditions and rituals. Interestingly, most of my memories associated with Buddhism are funerals when we all had to sit on our knees for a... Read more

Faith, Trust, Confidence

The Pali word for faith is Saddha and is also translated as trust or confidence. It is one of the five powers in Buddhism, along with energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom. When you practice mindfulness, you are developing all of these powers... Read more

The Meaning of Vesak

Many years ago when I was a resident teacher at the Cambridge Buddhist Association, I led a traditional celebration of Buddha’s birthday called Bathing the Buddha. A small statue of the Buddha stands in a bowl of sweet tea and everyone takes turns lad... Read more

The Key Benefits of Retreats

Retreat practice is the marrow of meditation. The precious privilege we sometimes have when the stars align and all the right causes and conditions of our intentions and efforts to go on retreat all seem to come to fruition. Retreat practice for m... Read more

Find Sanctuary in Community

“The sangha is an island of peace.”  Thich Nhat Hanh We cannot walk this path alone. As the famous story goes, the Buddha and his devoted attendant, Ananda, were sitting alone on a hill together, overlooking the plains of the Ganges. Feeling i... Read more

Genuine Loving-Kindness

Before we can cultivate genuine loving-kindness and compassion for ourselves and others, we need to be aware of what qualities are actually present in the mind. How can we cultivate loving-kindness and compassion if hatred is present in the mind? If w... Read more

Moment by Moment We Can Find Our Way Through

I started this post by lighting my Quan Yin candle. Quan Yin is known as “She who hears the sounds or cries of the world.” I put her above my computer so we could join forces in compassion. I facilitate the Chronic Pain and Illness Practice and Affin... Read more

Create Value From This Existence

Why are we born? Why must we die? What value can we create from this fleeting existence? What do the teachings of the dharma, of mindfulness and compassion, have to offer in a time of tragedy? It was from the search for answers to these questions that... Read more