Showing posts from July, 2009

Complementing Meditation with Mindfulness

In the realm of spirituality, Truth is evident to the self-realized individual. For the rest of us, however, the quest for Truth sometimes seems to be a multiple-choice test in which every question has several equally appealing answers. Of course each of us wants to encourage within ourselves thoughts and actions that will guide our footsteps along the way of Truth. But how are we to know which of the infinitely branching paths before us will take us in that direction?

As I blogged yesterday, meditation is one tool we can employ to help us make choices that are consistent with our highest aspirations. However, we can't always take time out to meditate over every decision that life presents us with. Fortunately, we can complement our meditation practice with other practices that are equally conducive to "right action".

The main complement to meditation is mindfulness. Mindfulness is awareness; awareness of one's surroundings, including one's physical body, of the th…

Where Does This Stuff Come From?

If you asked me where my blog postings come from, I would be hard pressed to give you a satisfying answer. Usually I will have been turning over in my mind some everyday problem or situation that I have faced, or observed in someone close to me. These tend to be issues involving social interactions, the give and take among individuals. I put myself in the place of a student asking a question of his Teacher: What is the right action in this situation? Not "right" in a moral sense, but "right" as the Buddha used the term -- What action will lessen suffering, and bring me closer to the dharma? A Christian might ask the very same question this way: "What would Jesus do?" (I do not consider myself either a Buddhist or a Christian, nor do I identify with any particular set of religious beliefs, believing rather that what is true in any of them arises from a single source and is the same in all.)

I know that when I have formulated a question like this, and then s…