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Showing posts from January, 2014

Clinging verus Love

The Buddha recommended five daily recollections as a catalyst for spiritual practice: “I am of the nature to grow old, sick and die; I will be separated from all that I love; my peace of mind rests dependent on the quality of my actions."

While these reflections may at first appear grim, it is important to note that they do place happiness within our control. Furthermore, it is necessary and foundational for any serious spiritual inquiry to remind us of the fragility of the human condition, as the delusion that “there’ll always be another day” needlessly delays the efforts required to develop lasting inner peace; skillful attributes such as forgiveness, gratitude or acceptance are not easy to sustain. And so day in and out we must return to the bedrock: we live in bodies without guarantees for endurance or health, and we live dependent on conditions that are constantly in flux.

Now, it is not uncommon to misinterpret this and other teachings as an instruction to detach and distance…
It has long been established that the transformation from the vulnerable and fragile states of childhood to the relative independence and self-navigating states of adult life is profoundly influenced by the early relationships we experienced with our core caretakers. The nature of these influential experiences—whether or not we felt securely connected to and emotionally tolerated by our parents—establishes a set of unconscious 'internal working models,’ or road maps, to the world (note the work of Bowlby, Ainsworth, Masterson, Kohut, Shore, Fonagy, etc). These internal maps guide our behavior in relationship to others—friends, romantic partners, etc—and establish our expectations of what others can provide. These models are what motivate our wise and startlingly self-sabotaging choices for romantic partners. The sturdiness of our early relationships in essence affects all our important, subsequent relationships, even our deepest views of human nature, to positive or negative degre…

A New Year Message (december 31, 2013)

The following is what I wrote for, and read at, last night's Dharma Punx New Year's Eve celebration, which had a full house throughout the evening. Practitioners asked me to make this available; it's a long, and may or may not be of interest. Metta, j
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It is both human nature and culturally instilled behavior to seek lasting security, happiness and transcendent meaning amidst the roller coaster ride of fleeting conditions: sexy pleasures followed by gastric discomforts, financial gains followed by losses, approval one day, criticism the next; our 15 minutes of fame giving way to insignificance. Just as the youth of today may respond with blank expressions when The Clash is mentioned (this has already happened), so too will Miley Cyrus’ ascendance prove ephemeral. In hunting down and latching onto what feels good, we inevitably experience the disappointment that arises when day gives way to night or, fas…