What does it really mean to be a Buddhist?

*Note: This piece first appeared on elephant journal, here. More and more what I’m noticing about what it means to me to be a Buddhist is that it is really simply about being human. I am a Buddhist in order to be more fully human. Buddhism is just a word—and a word that has a…

The Simple Technique that Changed My Life

*Note: This piece first appeared on elephantjournal.com here. During meditation instruction I try to convey some importance about the part of the technique that involves letting go of our thoughts and returning to the breath. But, I don’t think that I really do it justice. When Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche visited my dathun (month long retreat)…

Why is the absence of frivolity so important?

We started a new class at the Shambhala Center last Wednesday based on The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma by Chogyam Trungpa. The Profound Treasury is a three volume set of teachings taken and organized from the thirteen three month long seminaries that Trungpa Rinpoche taught in North America from 1973-1986. Described as…

Fruition as Practice: Realizing Threefold Purity

What isn’t basic goodness? Or, an expression of basic goodness? In The Supreme Thought, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche describes ultimate bodhichitta as the experience of threefold purity (seeing the basic goodness of self, other, and action) as being synonymous with Buddhahood. So, if one were embodying the quality of things as they are (basic goodness) they…

Getting to the Source of Social Transformation

I jotted this down after coming home from viewing the excellent Occupy Love documentary with the excellent people at The Roosevelt 2.0 in Ybor. If you’d prefer to hear the message coming from The Dude view the video above.   What is the biggest problem facing this country today? To answer that, it seems, we…

The Treatise on Enlightened Society

In writing the Treatise on Enlightened Society, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche is demonstrating the breadth and depth of Shambhala vision. In its dissemination he is reaching out to an all-inclusive audience to spread the “radical” notion that a society built on the principle of basic goodness is the society that flourishes, and the society that Shambhala…

Why I am Voting for Jill Stein

I saw a disturbing Tweet recently that said that although Congress has a 10% approval rating, 90% will be re-elected.  Even when our government officials are not re-elected, the person chosen as a replacement is often a Coke vs. Pepsi alternative (or as George Carlin aptly put it, “the illusion of a choice”). Our democracy…