Thursday, December 18, 2014


papaƱca: complication, proliferation, objectification. The tendency of the mind to proliferate issues from the sense of "self." This term can also be translated as self-reflexive thinking, reification, falsification, distortion, elaboration, or exaggeration.

~ from A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Right Here, Right There

You shouldn't chase after the past
or place expectations on the future.
What is past is left behind. 
The future is as yet unreached. 
Whatever quality is present 
you clearly see right there, right there. 
Not taken in, unshaken, 
that's how you develop the heart. 
Ardently doing what should be done today, for -- 
who knows? -- tomorrow death. 
There is no bargaining with Mortality 
& his mighty horde. 
Whoever lives thus ardently, 
relentlessly both day & night, 
has truly had an auspicious day: 
so says the Peaceful Sage.

~ from the Bhaddekaratta Sutta translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Things don't disappear

Things appear, and disappear, because they are dependent upon innumerable causes and conditions. Things don't disappear because we label them "empty." They are already empty of permanence and separateness, because they are utterly dependent. Things don't disappear, but our experience of them is transformed when we recognize that emptiness and interdependence are two aspects of the same nature.


Recognizing that experience isn't really solid or permanent is the medicine for taking things too seriously.

Sensitivity to suffering (especially others' suffering) is the medicine for passivity and meaninglessness.

But emptiness is poison if it leads you to ignoring suffering, and suffering is unhelpful if it overwhelms. Falling into one of these ruts is not so good. But if you're lurching back and forth from one rut to the other, you spend at least some time on the road. The middle way is possible. We each have the ability to recognize the nature of experience and to ease the pain of living for ourselves and others.