Free Your Pen

Buddhist Writing Prompt: Your Problems Are Your Gifts

Your problems are your gifts is about working with your problems rather than trying to get rid of them or avoid them. It builds on the previous slogan and the practice of tonglen in order to transform suffering into happiness. The original lojong slogan is: Three objects, three poisons, and three seeds of virtue, which… Continue reading Buddhist Writing Prompt: Your Problems Are Your Gifts

Psychology

Mental Health Awareness Week wants to know why you’re not thriving

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and this year the focus is on why people struggle to thrive with good mental health. Instead of looking at why people get ill, the Mental Health Foundation is asking how we can cultivate good mental health and thrive rather than just survive. They’ll be publishing a report on why… Continue reading Mental Health Awareness Week wants to know why you’re not thriving

Buddhism

The Eightfold Path: Right Livelihood

Right Livelihood is the final practice in Ethical Conduct on the Eightfold Path and is about how you earn a living and take responsibility for your choices. The ideal is to earn a living without going against the principles of love and compassion, and to do work that expresses the truth of your deepest Self.… Continue reading The Eightfold Path: Right Livelihood

Buddhism

The Eightfold Path: Right Understanding

Right Understanding is the first practice of the Eightfold Path, and is also known as Right View. It provides context and perspective for the whole path, and is the foundation for all the other practices because it’s about perception. Right Understanding is about seeing yourself and the world as they really are. Sounds simple, right?… Continue reading The Eightfold Path: Right Understanding

Buddhism

The foundational teachings of Buddhism and the Eightfold Path

If you want to understand the ideas that underpin any belief system, it’s best to start at the beginning. With Buddhism that means going back to the Four Noble Truths which was the Buddha’s very first teaching. The Four Noble Truths of the Middle Way include the teachings on the Eightfold Path, which is a… Continue reading The foundational teachings of Buddhism and the Eightfold Path

Dark Night of the Soul · Dharma Diary

The Difference Between Pain and Suffering

Everyone knows that pain is inevitable and suffering is optional. It’s not always easy to remember, but recently I had a surprising breakthrough just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse – which may be the point. Six years ago my health collapsed and I began collecting auto-immune disorders as a hobby. It’s basically… Continue reading The Difference Between Pain and Suffering

Spirituality

Yoga Pants: A Day of Yoga (and swearing!)

I dream of being a flexible yogini. To balance with poise and grace, and wrap my feet around my neck. Such strength, such self-mastery. I can’t even touch my toes! There are many kinds of yoga, but my kind involves a lot of swearing – not exactly the spirit of the thing. Years of bad… Continue reading Yoga Pants: A Day of Yoga (and swearing!)