Dat Darn Dukkha

I always enjoy including this Uncle Remus tale when teaching and exploring the concept of dukkha. Now remember how Brer Fox was always out to catch Brer Rabbit? Well, this one day Brer Fox figured a sure way to get ‘em. He knew Brer Rabbit had a sociable nature and would always stop to talk […]

Exploring the First Noble Truth: Delving into Dukkha

In learning meditation, we focus heavily on direct experience. It really doesn’t matter what Buddhism is or if you’ve studied the Buddha’s teaching extensively. You can still benefit from simply sitting and paying attention to your breath.But we would be foolish not to draw from the teachings that give us guidance through the fog of […]

Cultivating with the core insights

In exploring the question What am I cultivating here? we have been working with a gardening analogy. In this analogy we haven’t yet looked at what is represented by the soil, the rain and the sunshine. This seems a pretty big oversight! So let’s look at these most important aspects now: The Buddha identified three […]

Are you asking yourself toxic questions?

FIRST OF A SERIES ON INQUIRY Inquiry is an intrinsic part of the Insight Meditation tradition. After a meditation session, we are usually more relaxed and mindful. It can be a fruitful time to do a some self-inquiry. As we develop a regular meditation practice, the mind becomes more spacious, resilient, compassionate and wise, and […]

How does happiness happen?

My granddaughters are seven and five years old. Their definition of happiness is getting what they want when they want it. If things go their way then it’s the ‘best day ever’ and if they are denied anything, then it’s the ‘worst day ever’. There are plenty of adults who concur with this definition of […]

It’s not the road that’s bumpy!

We’ve been looking at the three characteristics of awakening as clues to what wisdom might be. We looked at anatta (no separate self) and anicca (impermanence), and now we will look at the third, dukkha, and how it relates to the other two. The word dukkha has no exact English translation. In Pali, the language […]


There are about 500 schools of Buddhism. Although there is general agreement about Buddhist concepts, there are different names for concepts. So before sharing the concepts, it is useful to know that the following terms are from the Theravada tradition. Theravada means ‘teaching of the elders.’ The kind of meditation I teach is called Insight […]

What does Wise View do for you?

In our review of the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path we come to Wise View. You might fairly ask, ‘What is this ‘wise’ view and what makes it wise? Am I expected to be lock-step in line with some prefabricated view of things?’ Not at all. Wise View arises out of our own experience when we […]

The Buddha’s Eight Worldly Winds

It’s been really windy lately. I notice that I get anxious in high wind, imagining how it is sucking the moisture out of the already dry landscape. I notice worry that the wind will topple a tree. Indeed the oak across the street just fell so my worry finds reason and grows stronger. I see […]