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Monks Need Soldiers

Monks Need Soldiers

Right at the beginning I want to say that this is an article in support of fairness and inclusivity. Please bear that in mind. I am fully in favor of fairness. I am fully in favor of inclusivity. Fairness and inclusivity are not natural, however. They are artificial human constructs. Nature is not fair and […]

Achieving a Positive Mindset

Achieving a Positive Mindset

Someone asked me: Based on your experience, what is the most effective way to achieve a positive mindset? My life became much better after I stopped trying to achieve a positive mindset. I teach Zen meditation. One of the most difficult parts of this practice for people to understand is that we are not trying […]

Identity Politics and Zen

Identity Politics and Zen

A Zen Master once said, “When you eat breakfast you become a breakfast eater, when you take a shit you become a shitter.” Identity is a topic of great concern in Zen Buddhist philosophy. One way of understanding the Zen take on things is that it often boils all of our problems in life down […]

Do You Want to Solve the Problem or Do You Want to Be Right ?

Do You Want to Solve the Problem or Do You Want to Be Right ?

Often when I look at politics, and in particular the way people argue about political matters on social media or in YouTube videos and suchlike, I think, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to solve the problem?” The folks I’m looking at are usually deeply concerned with some issue — like […]

Life is Analog, not Digital

Life is Analog, not Digital

  We have a strong tendency to try to eliminate nuance. Things are one way or they are the other. There is no in between. This is a real problem right now in Western society, particularly in the United States. I’ve been reading Stephen Batchelor’s excellent new book After Buddhism and I came across this […]