There is much commonality between religions in urging us to overcome our attachments to money, property and the material, to give generously of ourselves in as many ways as possible, and to realize that nothing is ours. In many ways, it's a call to overcome our selfish nature and to realize our deep interconnectedness with each other and all of creation.
Babies don't have power. Not physical power at least, although being cute does command a lot of attention. When we are born
The more exceptional the individual, the more vulnerable they are to the green-eyed monster. It would be intellectually dishonest to say that I never gossip myself. I succumb to the temptation too. We all do. Because we are human. But I strive to honour the wisdom I have learned from academia and everyday experience about the devastating effects gossip can have.
You may assume that communication between physicians and patients is relatively easy -- which in many ways it is. But no amount of preparation of this connection could have prepared me for the work involved. In primary care, we have a term called "the heart sink patient." This is the patient that dumbfounds you. Nothing you do seems to help them. When you look at your schedule and you see their name on your list, your heart sinks.
Meditation might just offer what the world needs, if only human beings could be gifted with a modicum of mindfulness. And mindfulness is, if you ask me, widely, appallingly underestimated. Not to be confused with self-awareness!
I recognized that I was like a mouse spinning on a wheel -- I was speeding through my day, but not really getting anywhere. I needed to cultivate the awareness to bring my attention back to what was most important. I thought I would share with you my strategies for slowing down the the runaway train that often is my life.
For a Jewish, middle class, Montrealer, I've spent a lot of my life in the company of the Buddha. I have had an 18-year on-again, off-again relationship with the Buddha. He's been by my side during the ups and downs. I never practiced Buddhism, but I have been a student of the religion for half my life.
I've been reading about the war in Burma/Myanmar. It's a conflict between the Buddhist Burmese majority and approximately 800,000 Royhingya Muslims in the Arakan (Rakhine) State. They are among the world's least wanted and most persecuted people.
China does have a tradition of compassion for nonhumans. So the daunting question is: what went so awry that in the name of economic development, both farm and wild animals are now being treated ruthlessly, even as they're being driven to the brink of extinction? What is the root cause of the animal welfare crisis, especially in mainland China?
January is the perfect month to re-calibrate and set intentions for the year ahead. Of course, some help from an internationally renowned Buddhist teacher certainly can't hurt. U.K.-based Buddhist teacher Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong will give a free talk in Toronto on Wednesday, January 30 on Meditation & Modern Buddhism.