When we give a dharma talk and fall into ‘the ego trap,’ the focus is one’s self and making sure the ego is gratified. Alex Carr confronts the key question: How could I be fostering a sense of equanimity and non-reactivity if my sangha was becoming a place where I would inflame my own craving for praise and admiration and my aversion to failure?
In meditation, we cultivate an inner space of openness and acceptance free of judgement. But this space should not remain private: sooner or later we have to extend it, and before we try to cover the entire world with an enlightened society, let’s start with smaller circles.
One of the most valuable sources for Buddhist insights and teachings – from both secular as well traditional perspectives – is the plethora of dharma talks available to practitioners on the web.
Something that goes by the name ‘mindfulness meditation’ is a hot commodity these days. You can find many models on the market, some are more or less expensive, and of varying quality (like cars and dishwashers). The brands that are on the market either claim claiming origins in the Buddhist tradition, which lends them the kudos and the aura of ancient wisdom, or studiously avoid doing so.
Using the koan ‘Good snowflakes: they don’t fall anywhere else’, Stephen Batchelor goes on to expand on it – trying to resist attempts at explaining it – using examples from modern, Western culture, specifically from the natural sciences.
In a talk given in 2015 Ramsey MargoIis offers a few thoughts today on the practice of translating Asian texts, and how we discern that inadequately translated texts are misleading us, as dharma practitioners, in Aotearoa New Zealand today.
Here’s a suggestion – dedicate a couple of weekends to a study retreat in the comfort of your own home, practicing meditation and going in depth into a secular approach to Buddhism.