anonymous asked:

I've always had concentration problems,and I find it really difficult to stop my mind from wandering when meditating. This makes meditation really frustrating, rather than calming, because I can't concentrate for more than a few seconds. I know it'll get better the more I practice it but, until then, any tips, tricks or remedies that could help? Also,how are you suposed to concentrate on the present moment if the present moment is the past as soon as you think of it? I hope I'm making sense.

Contrary to popular belief, meditation is not just about calming our mind, which is obviously nearly impossible. Not even the highest ranking monks can all simply sit down thoughtless and blissful, there is always a wandering thought somewhere.

So, meditating is about observing our mind. It’s about watching what goes by. Just like laying outside watching the clouds go by and trying to make images out of the cloud’s shapes, likewise we just need to sit down and watch our thoughts go by and put titles to the images. 

Vipassana meditation is the meditation where all we do is watch our breath, body and thoughts/feelings. For every breath we take, we note to ourselves, “breathing in, breathing out” or simply counting our breath. For every movement we make with our body, we note to ourselves “moving” or “adjusting,” or whatever it is you’re doing. And for every thought, we note to ourselves, “thinking.” Or we can be more specific, “food,” “hunger,” “happy,” “angry,” etc. 

By mindfully watching everything we do while in meditation, we’re telling ourselves, “hey, I know what you’re doing and I’m watching you.” The more mindful we become, especially with our thoughts, the less distractions will arise. 

The present movement doesn’t necessarily mean RIGHT NOW in this VERY millisecond of a moment. It just means being mindful and observant of yourself and your surroundings. If we regularly go outside, we might have a routine; walk the dog around the neighborhood, get coffee at a local shop, chat with some neighbors, etc. But if we sit and meditate outside and be mindful of the present moment, we might hear and realize things we’ve never known or noticed, like the sound and smell of the wind, birds, the rattling of a house or building, and of course our own body. That’s what being present really means.

Smile and be well!

haunteddvx asked:

I took a huge interest in buddhism a year and a half ago. I was reading the Art of Happiness when I decided to look more into it. I was wondering where I could start from or what books i should read to learn and begin practicing. I was also wondering if you could tell me the difference between Taoism and Buddhism. Can someone practice both?

These are some of my favorite books. Also, the FAQ page comes in handy.

I guess you could practice Taoism and Buddhism. A lot of Chinese Buddhism has some Taoist flavor in it. I don’t know enough about Taoism to do it justice and explain it, so that might have to be something you’ll have to Google :/

Smile and be well!

The twelfth commandment is, ‘Thou shalt make thy light shine.’
That is not your personal light, not your name, opinion, point of view, belief, thought, idea, attachments. It is your light. That light is Christ. It is not your country, religion, education, schooling, the clothes you wear, nothing terrestrial. It is the light of your own Osiris. This is a commandment. That is the light of your own inner Buddha. The light of Chokmah. The light of Shekinah.
This is a commandment for you. It does not say, “Go follow somebody who has light.” It does not say, “go believe in this other light,” or “go think about it.” It says “make your light shine.”
That light does not shine through your mind, body, or words unless it shines in your heart first. Your heart needs to be inflamed, burning, with the light of prajna.

anonymous asked:

How do you find inner peace with all the horrible things that happen in this world like terrorism, war, starvation, etc.? It brings me down and I want to know how you cope with it.

It’s saddening and depressing, yes. But it’s also something we can’t do anything about. Life is full of things we cannot control; our birth, getting sick, aging and eventually dying. Life and everything in it, including war, terrorism, starvation, etc. are impermanent. There will be moments and times of liberation and there will also be moments and times of suffering.

The best we can do is advocate and pray for the world. We meditate on compassion and loving-kindness and pray that all beings’ suffering will end and that they will live happily. We cultivate an altruistic mind to help all sentient beings and transfer the merit to that their suffering lessens.

Of course we want to those that are suffering. We want to end their suffering, but we must also realize our limitations and that we cannot save and help everyone and everything in our current form and life. It’s important to do what we can and help ourselves first, then once we have enough wisdom and understanding from our own experiences, then we can go out and help others. Help those in your own community. Every community has suffering, so help locally first where and with what you can, then you can focus on expanding.

Smile and be well! 

anonymous asked:

How do you feel about zen?

Zen is great! My tradition/lineage is Tendai, so it’s a little bit Zen, a little bit Pure Land.

Some might see Zen as “radical,” which can be at times, but I guess it depends on how you would approach it. 

Everything is a little zen, don’t you think? :)

Smile and be well!