by Anna Hunt, Staff Writer Waking Times The combination of meditation and music may be one of the simplest ways to fend off depression. The two have no unpleasant side-effects. Nearly everyone can enjoy them, and the cost is negligible. They can be used together or stand-alone to reduce stress, regulate mood and reconnect with one’s soul. They are an easy way to actively nurture our mood. As well, they can help mitigate the stressed-out and overwhelmed human condition that has become all too common. Forces of Modern Life that Lead to Depression It’s truly no surprise that depression is so prevalent … Continue reading MEDITATION AND MUSIC MAY BE THE IDEAL COMBO TO FEND OFF DEPRESSION

Old Age Is Not Guaranteed

Photo by Greg Ortega | Zen training talks a lot about death. But one practitioner found that it doesn’t necessarily prepare you to face your own. By Natalie Goldberg On a Wednesday morning, sitting in my old blue Volvo in a parking lot after just getting a facial—my cheeks redolent with cream, all pores clean—I called the Cancer Center in Santa Fe, persuaded an oncologist to look up my chart. The oncologist I was assigned to was on vacation, and no one else was willing to give me the results of my blood tests. “Sure, I can do that,” he … Continue reading Old Age Is Not Guaranteed

The Far Shore

Panther Media GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo Want to free yourself from suffering? Make sure to put the four noble truths first, says a Theravada monk. By Thanissaro Bhikkhu If you were to ask people familiar with Buddhism to identify its two most important wisdom teachings, they’d probably say emptiness and the four noble truths. If you were to ask them further which of the two teachings was more fundamental, they might hesitate, but most of them would probably put emptiness first, on the grounds that the four noble truths deal with a mental problem, while emptiness describes the way things in … Continue reading The Far Shore

Buddhists in love

Photo by Ilya Naymushin/Reuters Lovers crave intensity, Buddhists say craving causes suffering. Is it possible to be deeply in love yet truly detached? Lisa Feldman Barrett is professor of psychology at Northeastern University in Boston and the author of How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain (2017). John Dunne is a professor of contemplative humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Edited by Pam Weintraub Humans are social animals. We live in groups. We care for our offspring for years. We cooperate with each other (the United States Congress notwithstanding). Most of all, we have lasting relationships with other individual humans – what … Continue reading Buddhists in love

Living Lighter with Less

Photo by Thomas Martinsen | Matthieu Ricard explains how to let go of attachments and be content with what you have. By Matthieu Ricard We all need to have roofs over our heads and enough food and comfort to stay in good health. And we should do whatever is necessary to come to the aid of all the people on earth, numerous indeed, who are still deprived of these things. Remedying the inequalities and the poverty in the world is an essential duty. Being content with simplicity is the need of getting rid of what is superfluous. I have to … Continue reading Living Lighter with Less

The Freedom of No Recipe

Photo by Todd Quackenbush | Rather than force reality to bend to will, a Zen chef cooks—and lives—with what is. By Edward Espe Brown Take up a blade of grass and construct a treasure king’s land; enter into a particle of dust and turn the great dharma wheel. —Zen master Dogen Enlightened by the ingredients, you follow your nose. When we are captivated by the everyday, we often look for the recipe: how shall I cook so that the food comes out the way it should, no one criticizes my efforts, and I do not risk being seen as less than … Continue reading The Freedom of No Recipe

Escaping the Cycle of Binge and Purge

Photo by Vince Fleming | How Buddhist teachings on mindfulness and self-acceptance helped me with my struggle with bulimia. By Anastasia Selby For a long time, I was sure I’d never recover from my eating disorder. I’d carried it with me for so long; as a little girl I began overeating as a way to protect myself from the neglect and abuse I experienced from my mom, who raised me by herself. I don’t have many childhood memories, but I do remember the feeling of panic that would overtake me when I heard her keys in the door. The first … Continue reading Escaping the Cycle of Binge and Purge