Inquiry as practice

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.–Albert Einstein

→Ask questions.

I’d like to say this is the first present I received when visiting the Gimme Presence site to partake in its creator Kristen’s challenge. But I can’t.

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Awareness for daily life

Awareness is your refuge:
Awareness of the changingness of feelings,
of attitudes, of moods, of material change
and emotional change:
Stay with that, because it’s a refuge that is
indestructible.
It’s not something that changes.
It’s a refuge you can trust in.
This refuge is not something that you create.
It’s not a creation. It’s not an ideal.
It’s very practical and very simple, but
easily overlooked or not noticed.
When you’re mindful,
you’re beginning to notice,
it’s like this.

- Ajahn Sumedho

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Mindfulness tools for dealing with emotional and physical pain

Like many women and quite a few meditators (including a young S.N. Goenka), I suffer from migraines. These severe headaches are not all that well understood in the medical community and are often extremely difficult to treat through either allopathic or homeopathic means. Fortunately, through the practice, I have found that mindfulness meditation offers some insight into the causes at the same time as it provides significant relief.

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The Internet is a perennial source of dukkha

Has any person ever not had the thought, at one point or another, “Wow, I wish I hadn’t said that.”? Or felt remorse after sending an email? I think it’s a pretty common human experience to not always speak or write as wisely as we might like upon reflection. I know I’ve certainly had my fair share of regrets. One thing I’m hopefully learning to do right now is to reduce the opportunity to feel such shame and remorse. By cultivating awareness moment to moment, we can probably avoid saying the wrong thing. By asking ourselves whether what we have to say is 1) necessary and 2) beneficial before we say it, we also will end up speaking less but more meaningfully when we do. I know this is easier said than done, but I can think of few things more important in developing ourselves and our relationship with others.

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To be a Buddhist

I’ve always balked at the question, “Are you religious?” because it’s such a loaded question and because the word religion has connotations in the English language limited to its Latin root. Nor have I liked the term “spiritual” because it too has negative connotations (as in New Age, fruit loop, etc.). But this experience has been the thing I’ve done so far in my life that has felt the most true, the closest to my heart, that I’m rethinking how I would answer the question. In Burma, people just assume I’m Buddhist, so they skip the question and instead ask “Is your family also Buddhist?”

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