How Do We Create Our Reality?

According to Yogacara, or “mind-only” teachings, everything we experience is a construct of consciousness. Guo Gu explains how it all works. Photo by Kseniia Zaitseva. We’ve never truly experienced things as they are. We’ve only ever experienced things as we imagine them to be. In short, we live in a simulated world, and our perceptions are basically invalid, stuck in […]

How to Practice Tonglen

Pema Chödrön teaches us “sending and taking,” an ancient Buddhist practice to awaken compassion. With each in-breath, we take in others’ pain. With each out-breath, we send them relief. Illustration by Carole Henaff. Tonglen practice, also known as “taking and sending,” reverses our usual logic of avoiding suffering and seeking pleasure. In tonglen practice, we visualize taking in the pain of […]

The Mirror of Practice

In last month’s post, I wrote: “Spiritual practice acts like a mirror, and sooner or later, you find yourself looking in that mirror. For me, the only question that counts at that point is ‘Do I work with what I see, or do I turn away?’”  One person tweeted, “How do you work with what you see in the mirror?”  […]

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