The war and peace within

Going home, we are afraid of touching our pain, touching the war within. Sometimes we find ourselves at war with another person. Maybe with our family, with our society, with our tradition. But we may learn that, when we are at war with someone else, it may be a war within us. And that is […]

How to see

Water reflecting The clear still water of a mountain lake reflects the mountain and the sky with pristine clarity. You can do the same. If you are calm and still enough, you can reflect the mountain, the blue sky, and the moon exactly as they are. You reflect whatever you see just as it is, […]

How to transform despair into compassion and peace 

This transcript is an excerpt from a Dharma talk on turning despair into compassion and peace. It relates to advice Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh gave after the 9/11 attacks.  I was in America when September 11 took place. That day, I was going from Deer Park Monastery to Northern California to organize retreats and […]

How to fight

Where the fight begins When someone says something unkind to you, you may want to retaliate right away. That is where the fight begins. This habitual way of reacting creates a well-worn pathway in your brain. When you travel a neural pathway over and over again, it becomes a habit. Very often that pathway leads […]

Dharma body, Sangha body

If you have a Christian background, you can say that this flower belongs to the Kingdom of God. In the Buddhist tradition, we say this flower is a manifestation from the dharmakaya.  The word “dharma” means “things”, “phenomena” – like a flower, a cloud. And “Dharma”, written with a capital letter, means “teaching”; the teaching […]