my take on Buddhism

I don’t call myself a Buddhist, however I do embrace the essence of Buddhist teachings—I want help waking up, becoming aware, being mindful, empathetic, compassionate, kind and so-on and so-on. Buddhism to me is more a study of the mind and a way of training the mind.

Reasoning, analysis, contemplation, meditation—just some tools to help wake us up, to see life outside of Plato’s dream cave world, outside the box, outside our usual sphere of influence: our culture, our race, family, friends, relationships, gender, job, roles, age,  geographical location, neighborhood, education, beliefs, DNA—all those things that inherently settle down inside of us and make us who we are and that can create a mountain of biases.

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Meditation is about seeing clearly the body that we have, the mind that we have, the domestic situation that we have, the job that we have, and the people who are in our lives. It’s about seeing how we react to all these things. It’s seeing our emotions and thoughts just as they are right now, in this very moment, in this very room, on this very seat. It’s about not trying to make them go away, not trying to become better than we are, but just seeing clearly with precision and gentleness… . [We] work with cultivating gentleness, innate precision, and the ability to let go of small-mindedness, learning how to be open to our thoughts and emotions, to all the people we meet in our world, how to open our minds and hearts.”

Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape