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The great Taoist master Chuang Tzu once dreamed he was a butterfly fluttering here and there. He had no awareness of his individuality as a person. Suddenly, he awoke and found himself lying there. He thought to himself, “Was I before a man who dreamed about being a butterfly? Or am I now a butterfly who dreams about being a man?”


A meditation for today

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May all beings everywhere, with whom we are inseparably interconnected, be fulfilled, awakened, and free. May there be peace in this world and throughout the entire universe, and may we all together complete the spiritual journey.


How do you measure your love for your mother?

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If there’s one generality that one can say about every human being it’s this: We all came from a mother. How do you measure your love for your mother? Thich Nhat Hanh may have set the standard for mother love, as he explains in his essay: “A Rose for Every Pocket.” We quote that beautiful work of art here, in toto. …


Why the American Indian sees life as a circle

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In this culture we look at life as though it were a straight line. The longer the line the more we imagine we have lived, the wholer we suppose ourselves to be, and the less horrendous we imagine the end point. The death of the young is seen as tragic and shakes the faith of many. But in the American …


7 Ways Zen Buddhism Can Change Your Life

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Zen Buddhism caused me to have a mental breakdown of sorts. I understand how that sounds, but let me explain. It wasn’t quite the crazy eyed, hair pulling, stress-induced brain collapse you might envision when hearing the phrase “mental breakdown”, but it was a mental breakdown in the sense that I felt like my entire mind was broken down. Zen …


Zen things I learned from my dog

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“My dog doesn’t worry about the meaning of life.” So begins Charlotte Joko Beck’s classic book Everyday Zen. This simple statement began my fascination with Zen. I had already had direct experience of what Joko was talking about. For roughly 10 years I walked, day and night, with our dog, Bo. During that  period I had suffered a series of setbacks, …


Our mind is like a cluttered garage

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Our subconscious is like that garage or that closet or that basement in our house that has become the unspoken storage centre for our life’s possessions: the things that we’ve put away in boxes or that we still haven’t unpacked from a previous move; the stuff that we’ve tucked away until we have the space or the time to open …


We celebrate Zen Easter every day

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Zen practitioners know a bit about the concept of Easter. Every day we rise–or attempt to rise–if not exactly from the dead, then from the unconsciousness of everyday life. We try to elevate our minds from the rabble of everyday thoughts, from the musty archives of the past and the steamy fantasy of the future, into the present. So, you might say …


What pool do you live in?

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BY JOKO BECK Let’s picture if we can two landscapes. The first has a deep clear quiet pool, and the second also has a deep clear quiet pool. The first one is surrounded by garbage. The second one, also surrounded by garbage, has an odd characteristic – everyone who jumps into the pool takes a little pile of garbage in …


The Dalai Lama in his 80th year

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On the occasion of the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday it is good to go back and read about his busy life from the viewpoint of a man who has followed the world’s most celebrated Buddhist for 35 years, off and on. Read Pico Iyer’s account of what the famous Buddhist leader does every day of his life, as he serves as leader …