So thankful to have a mindfulness practice and to receive this insightful and badly-needed Buddhist perspective from a senior disciple of Thich Nhat Hanh.
Also appreciating the wise tweets of Buddhist teacher and author Ethan Nichtern right now. Among all the fake Buddhist ideas, the idea of maintaining “neutrality” is the most damaging now. It’s about being truthful, not neutral.
Continue reading "Gratitude and mindfulness"
Both adults and children can benefit from mindfulness training, especially in the sometimes-challenging public school environment. Mindfulness is simply the practice of training our brain to be aware of our feelings, our bodies, and our environment in the present moment. Although it is an ancient and sometimes-spiritual practice, it is increasingly being used in everyday settings such as corporate businesses and fitness centers and… schools
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I’ve had several interesting conversations on Twitter and Facebook today about my discomfort with the way we celebrate Veteran’s Day here in the United States. This is exacerbated by the fact that the UNC men’s basketball team is playing their thrilling season opener against Michigan State tonight on an aircraft carrier in honor of Veteran’s Day. I’ve been looking forward to this game for months, and yet so much of the hoopla around it is wrapped in a flag and holding a gun. This really comes home when I think about how it will feel to watch this with Izzy. It’s the first time we’ll really be watching basketball together as a family, something I have anticipated since he was born just days before UNC won the national championship in 2009.
Coach Roy Williams said about this game “To me, it’s a way of honoring our military. That’s what it boils down to.” I’m left wondering if I’m still allowed to enjoy the game even though I’m pacifist. I’m not opposed to their service, but I don’t really want to honor it any more than I do teachers, civil rights activists, peace corps members, doctors without borders, and so many others that also make sacrifices to benefit the global community.
Here are some excerpts of the conversation on Facebook (Twitter has been, well, less productive):
: Trying to balance my excitement about watching UNC basketball tonight with my revulsion at the showbiz celebration of government-trained killers in the “Carrier Classic.”
Let’s just play some good basketball and try to ignore the camo-themed uniforms.
Continue reading "Being a Buddhist on Veteran’s Day"
Right speech is one of the steps on the Eight-fold Path in Buddhism. The path is the way to end suffering, which is one of the Four Noble Truths. While contemplating the new year, I have been thinking about this step and about working to be more conscious of my speech (both verbal and written) …
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I guess I was too busy being cynical last night to notice the Buddhist influence in John Edwards’ speech. Like all of us, I have learned a lot of lessons in my life. Two of the most important are that first, there will always be heartache and struggle–you can’t make it go away. But the …
Continue reading "Fundamental Truth at the DNC"