The Ultimate Rx

You can now download for free on The Ultimate Rx: Cutting through the delusion of self-cherishing, the chapter I authored for the newly published Handbook of Mindfulness: Culture, Context and Social Engagement.

Chapter Abstract:
Western and Buddhist psychologies acknowledge the significant role distorted self-narratives play in poor mental health. But these two disciplines hold divergent views on the utility of ‘cherishing the self’. Western psychology claims high self-esteem is a requirement for self-confidence, happiness, and success. Buddhist psychology asserts wisdom and compassion are the forerunners of genuine confidence and sustainable personal and collective well-being. It further states that endemic self-cherishing—the habitual reification of distorted hyper-egoic self-narratives—is a primary source of mental and emotional affliction. Yet, Buddhist psychology also affirms the innate capacity of all human beings to end the mental suffering of self-cherishing. This chapter explicates Western and Buddhist psychological models of self, Buddhist theories of not-self and conventional and ultimate self-cherishing, and outlines a somatopsychotherapeutic clinical approach for helping individuals struggling with depressive, anxious, trauma-related symptoms and addictions, to recognize self-cherishing mentation and lessen its deleterious effects.

Posted in anxiety treatment, avidya, Buddhism and science, Buddhist philosophy, Buddhist psychology, clinical mindfulness, compassion, depression treatment, meditation, mindfulness interventions, mindfulness psychotherapy, nature of mind, non-delusion, nondual awareness, not-self, trauma healing, wisdom | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Aligment of Buddhism and Activism


Listen to a dharma talk I gave at Marin Sangha on November 27, 2016. In these turbulent times it is important to understand how effective social action and the Buddhist practices of wise speech, embodied awareness and right action complement one another. Virtuous conduct, sīla, depends upon a Buddhist practitioner’s ability to comprehend and enact right view: impermanence, not-self and the causes of suffering and non-suffering. This talk clarifies how to hold the precepts while boldly, fearlessly engaging in social action.

Free mp3 download      or        iTunes Podcast

Posted in awareness, Buddhist philosophy, Buddhist practice, Buddhist Teachings, dharma in daily life, Ecobuddism, embodied presence, engaged Buddhism, impermanence, interdependence, mindfulness, not-self, Uncategorized, virtue, wisdom, wise sppech | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hamilton Cast Challenges Pence

Fearless truth-telling by this diverse America!

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Be fearless in the face of horror

Many of us are in shock and devastated, fearful of what the next 4 years of Republican leadership with no checks and balances means for our country, our world and our planet. The possibility of complete devolution is a sad reality.

Lest we practitioners forget: meditation is not an intoxicant. Don’t close your eyes and remain deluded. Stand up, fully awake, fully aware of the multitude of suffering, fearlessly knowing the interdependence of all phenomena, all events. None of us are free of culpability for the ignorance, hatred and greed that besets our species. We can be the liberation we are all waiting for.



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Michelle Obama tells it like it actually is

No words can express my gratitude for Michelle Obama, her wisdom and deep care will be deeply missed. Her courage and strong voice for girls and women empowerment fills my heart.

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Watch the Power and Care conference Talks

Watch the Mind and Life Power and Care Conference taking place in Brussels.
The schedule of talks (Brussels Timezone) for Saturday and Sunday is:
Session 3: Perspectives from spiritual and religious traditions
Time: 9:30-11:30am
Religious and spiritual institutions are influential forces that promote peace and compassion and are concerned with the cultivation of an ethical existence. Yet at the same time they wield vast power that has often been used for divisive and destructive purposes and are profoundly implicated in the economics and government of societies, past and present. How can the world’s religions transform themselves and channel their immense power in order to remain viable agents of positive change?Speakers: H.H. the Dalai Lama; Thupten Jinpa, Ph.D. (interpreter); Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D. (moderator); Pauline Tangiora, J.P., Q.S.O., Q.S.M.; Matthieu Ricard, Ph.D.; Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp; Brother Thierry-Marie Courau, o.p.; Alaa Murabit, M.D.

Session 4: Perspectives from economics and society
Time: 1:00-3:00pm
Politics and economics are the quintessential arenas for the expression of power in the social realm. Since political-economic reasoning dominates our social and cultural lives how can motivations belonging to the “care constellation” be introduced into economic thinking and therefore into the societal structures that regulate human relations? Indeed, there are other models and behaviors that can create equilibrium between these elements that determine so much of our daily existence.

Speakers: H.H. the Dalai Lama; Thupten Jinpa, Ph.D. (interpreter); Dr Uwe Jean Heuser (moderator); Prof. Dennis James Snower, Ph.D.; Prof. Sir Paul Collier; Dr Vandana Shiva; Theo Sowa; Jody Williams

Session 5: Personal commitment and global responsibility
Time: 9:30-11:30am
The issue of “empowerment” as a component of personal and collective engagement, and the concept of care as an expression of responsibility for our planet and its civilizations in times of strife, forced migration and homelessness, and distress at the individual and societal levels, will provide the focus for our final session. Power and care are two primary elements that may not, finally, be opposed but rather coexist as a condition of dynamic and constructive equilibrium.

Speakers: H.H. the Dalai Lama; Thupten Jinpa, Ph.D. (interpreter); Theo Sowa (moderator); Olafur Eliasson; Dr Scilla Elworthy; Frédéric Laloux; Prof. Dr Tania Singer

Posted in Buddhist psychology, Buddhist Teachings, climate change, compassion research, compassion training, Dalai Lama, emotional intelligence, mental health, mental suffering, mindfulness interventions, mindfulness psychotherapy, PTSD, wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NASA Ames climate researcher’s dharma talk on climate change


Global Warming 2

Here is the link to an excellent dharma talk on climate change given by Jennifer Dungan, a longtime NASA Ames scientist/researcher on climate change.
Her description of the talk is, “We are facing global warming and drastic global climate change. The resulting disruption in the seasonal patterns and the extreme weather events pose threats to all living beings. Jennifer Dungan explores how the concept of non-harming, right action, Brahma Vihara, and the three marks of existence can help a world in which activities that involve fossil fuel perpetuate or worsen climate disruption.”

Posted in Buddhist ethics, Buddhist Teachings, cessation of suffering, climate change, dhamma, dharma in daily life, global warming, right action, right conduct, right intention, right view, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment