Don’t think of receiving, think of giving

  The first of the six perfections of the bodhisattva is giving, generosity, or as Lama Zopa Rinpoche likes to call it, charity, and the first of the three levels of giving, the easiest, is giving material things.   The second, much more difficult, is the...

What is meditation?

  The Tibetan word for meditation is gom, which translates as “to familiarize,” or “to habituate.” In this sense, meditation is a psychological process of familiarizing, habituating, oneself with two things: that which is positive or virtuous and that which...

Pain is one thing, our attitude towards it is another

We know that the Buddhist approach is that we can change our attitude towards something in the outside world, but we often don’t think that when it comes to experiences of pain, let’s say. We just assume if we’ve got a headache, “Of course I’m angry, of course I’m...

What is happiness and what are its causes?

  This is the fundamental point of Buddha’s entire path to liberation. It’s literally what it’s about, except that he frames it in terms of suffering: what is suffering and how to be free of it. For Buddha, that’s another way of saying how to get happiness,...

Why do we need to be mindful?

  It’s a lovely word, “mindful.” And it’s used a lot these days. From the Buddhist point of view, there are states of mind that are neurotic and unhappy (attachment, anger), some that are positive and productive (love, generosity), and then there’s a third lot,...