The Four Modes of Meditation that I’ve developed (see Four Modes of Meditation post) can be collapsed into the two principles described in The Awakening of Faith: Calming (cessation, stopping, samadhi, etc.) and Clear Observation (prajna insight, vipassana, etc.). While it would be best not to get caught up too much in the terminology, it is certainly useful to see that there is a more passive aspect and a more active aspect of meditation, and that these two need to work together. Without letting go of addictive patterns of thinking and feeling (the passive aspect), we can’t appreciate and really engage in our life asRead More →

1) Harmonizing body and mind through identification with the breath; allowing the whole body to breathe. Absolutely essential first step (first gear). Our life cannot effectively be navigated by the mind (as we know it), the heart (as our emotional center) or by our natural bodily functions only; we desperately need to have all faculties involved and work together. Only then can we rebel against the dictatorship of our own self-centered mind and activate the master. A well balanced posture that is relaxed and yet alert at the same time, with the center of gravity located in the lower abdomen, serves as an indispensable support.Read More →

As you may know, according to Mahayana teaching, the Buddha has turned the wheel of the dharma three times. The first turning is his proclamation of the four noble truths, which address the samsaric nature of conditioned existence. We are invited to look at our life, to observe directly how suffering comes about, and to apply the suggested remedies. Although these truths are invaluable as expedient means, they are not really considered to present the full scope of the buddhadharma. The second turning of the wheel was facilitated by Nagarjuna in the second century AD and points to the inherent emptiness of all conditioned phenomena.Read More →