by Dylan Charles, Editor Waking Times “No society can understand itself without looking at its shadow side.” ― Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction Something wicked bubbles just beneath the surface of the collective conscience. Our society is rife with corruption, predation, perversion, over-consumption, violence, addiction and so much more. Somehow enough is never enough, as if the driving force behind human existence is pure want. This is not true, though, for we know that spiritually well beings are content beings, looking no further than the present moment’s blessings for satisfaction. We don’t have an inherent need for want. Want … Continue reading IN THE CULTURE OF HUNGRY GHOSTS

You Are Already Here

Photo by Roman Kraft | Life is very difficult to understand through ideas alone, wrote Dainin Katagiri, the late abbot of the Minnesota Zen Center. But there is one thing that you can trust in: you are fully alive right now. By Dainin Katagiri Roshi In daily human life we are always encountering some problem, contradiction, or confusion. So very naturally we want to escape from problems and find a better way of living. Seeking a calm mind, we study philosophy, psychology, religion, even physics and mathematics, believing they can show us who we are and what the meaning of … Continue reading You Are Already Here

We are in Training to Be Nobody Special

Photo by Rodrigo Soldon | A writer and Buddhist teacher reflects on the lessons she’s learned about not insisting on her specialness. By Sandy Boucher In the dining room of the meditation hall where I first encountered Buddhist practice, a stuffed green and scarlet parrot hung from the ceiling. It gripped a sign in its beak that read, “We are in training to be nobody special.” I was taken aback. Hmmmm, I thought, isn’t that counterintuitive? Isn’t it kind of special to have found the dharma, to have the chance to learn how to meditate and encounter the Buddhist teachings? And out … Continue reading We are in Training to Be Nobody Special

If the Buddha Were Called to Jury Duty

Gallerystock When a therapist tries to beat the system, he’s given a taste of his own medicine—and a lesson about right speech. By Mark Epstein He speaks the truth, is devoted to the truth, reliable, worthy of confidence . . . . He never knowingly speaks a lie, neither for the sake of his own advantage, nor for the sake of another person’s advantage, nor for the sake of any advantage whatsoever. What he has heard here, he does not repeat there, so as to cause dissension there. . . . Thus he unites those who are divided, and those who … Continue reading If the Buddha Were Called to Jury Duty

What Did the Buddha Say About Lying?

Photo by Hans Splinter | Always tell the truth, even when you’re not. By Matthew Gindin The Buddha took a hard line on truth.“One who feels no shame at telling a deliberate lie,” the Buddha told a monk after dramatically pouring out the contents of a dish, “has as much of a contemplative in them as this empty bowl” (MN 61, The Instructions to Rahula at Mango Stone). (The monk he was lecturing, by the way, was said to be his son, Rahula.)“In the same way, Rahula,” the Buddha continued, “when anyone feels no shame in telling a deliberate lie, … Continue reading What Did the Buddha Say About Lying?


by Christina Sarich, Healers of the Light Waking Times We’ve all got to learn the lessons of our karma, but at some point we also need to let go. If we aren’t careful, the lessons which were meant to teach us about higher levels of consciousness can keep us from achieving them. Here’s how not to get stuck processing your karma. Karma isn’t what most people believe it is. As defined by its Sanskrit root, karma is a neutral phenomenon. The word simply means effect from a cause. Karma isn’t a punishment. It is simply information in, and information out. If you let go of … Continue reading WHAT KARMA REALLY MEANS

The Power of the Third Moment

Photograph by Seth Miranda The look you gave the driver who cut you off. The email you shouldn’t have sent. There’s an effective way to avoid acting on your worst emotions. By Trungram Gyalwa Rinpoche Another driver cuts you off, and you feel a surge of rage. A coworker gets the promotion you think you deserve, and waves of jealousy wash over you. The pastry display in the grocery store beckons, and you sense your willpower dissolving. Anger. Impatience. Shock. Desire. Frustration. You spend your days bombarded by emotions. These emotions are often negative—and if you act on them, they can … Continue reading The Power of the Third Moment