Tea House

Daily Perspectives and Stories on Buddhist Trends, People, and Ideas

Month: May 2016

Destination Unknown

Sherri Maxwell

Dark eerie forest scene with fog and twin trees on halloween

Dark eerie forest scene with fog and twin trees on halloween

When starting on the path, you have the guardrails up, the training wheels on, you are on track, and everybody is there to support you. How wonderful. We are headed towards “Enlightenment.”

Your Sangha is heavenly, your Guru is amazing—you are all set.

That is, until life events punch holes in your conviction and your emotions take you to a place you never thought you would be, and the very Sangha that is there to support you . . . judges you, and even talks behind your back.

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Dark Night of the Sentient Being

Raymond Lam


A while ago I read a post on Facebook, titled Dark Night, which was sharing a passage written by the pristine Pure Land master Ven. Jingzong. “In the silent wilds of the mountains, where there is a light from a window, there is vitality, even if the place is surrounded by abandoned graves. In our benighted world, if someone recites Namo Amitabha Buddha, the lamp in her heart lights up and glistens through its own window,” he wrote.

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Steve Braff

From en.wikipedia.org

From en.wikipedia.org

The left wing tips down
into a lazy bank
right above the bilious white cloud
skyscrape to the horizon –
an immensity that almost eclipses
the jagged profile of distant range
that Everesting place
of the so many aspirants fallen.

I stare into that expanse
and try to take my measure.
Humbled, we fall through the nimbus,
we sink down beneath that virginal blanket,
we drift into the thick and yellow and languid haze-
down into the dust, the fuming, the utter exhaust
of Kathmandu.

Giving to charity and the trouble with empathy

Graham Lock


I recently realized that, assuming I do not live too long beyond the age at which statistics say I ought to depart, I can enjoy a perfectly comfortable retirement on less money than I had originally budgeted for. There was therefore no reason why I should not be a bit more generous with what I have. But somehow I kept putting off doing much about it. So Sister Ocean’s recent feature on Buddhistdoor* on the parami/paramita of dana (“generosity,” “giving,” or “charity”) was a timely reminder.

Probably like a lot of people, I regularly made small donations to a couple of charities that for some reason I had formed a good impression of, and I now and again responded to disaster appeals. But I had never spent much time exploring in depth how effective giving to charity as a form of dana really is, or which charities would be best to donate to. So before increasing my current paltry donations I thought I should do some research.

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