Siddhartha, the Buddha-to-be, had a particular and extreme upbringing. What can we learn from comparing his life with our own?
Our underlying nature is fearlessness - having nothing to defend, being nothing vulnerable. How can we offer others this peace?
Is sacredness something real? What is holy in a person, place or object? Can we find this in the pragmatic and experiential sphere of Dharma?
Who inspired your Path to Awakening? It's a trail of helping hands...
Is praying a denial of karma? Results without a cause?
What is, and what is not, enlightenment? Don't get off at the wrong stop!
Be careful about equating the ability to calm thinking with being a Buddhist master. How much freedom from thinking do we need, to reach the jewel of understanding which then makes thinking not a problem? We could spend years manipulating our mind into thought-free states unnecessarily.
In our own lives we can easily find things we thought were true which we subsequently think not to be true. So our pursuit of the truth about self can not depend upon thinking. We need another way of knowing, one more direct than our thinking.
Traditionally the path is seen as the overcoming of ignorance, not-seeing, 'avidya', where seeing means seeing our True Nature. I propose an additional way of understanding how the path consists of overcoming avidya: what is not seen is the path itself.
We spend our precious lives hopping from temporary, dependent, partial happiness to the next temporary, dependent, partial happiness. Meditation has the potential to show us the workings of this process of seeking 'satisfaction'... It is possible to see beyond that and to open towards real fulfilment which is not dependent upon temporary conditions.