Thich Nhat Hanh | Resting in God
The Contemplative Life Blog
by Anthony Coleman
3w ago
The following audio is an excerpt from a Dharma Talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh on October 20th, 2003. This excerpt can also be found with the site Audio Files ..read more
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Pravrajika Divyanandaprana | Decoding Happiness
The Contemplative Life Blog
by Anthony Coleman
1M ago
The following audio is an excerpt from a lecture given by Pravrajika Divyanandaprana at Duke University Chapel on April 7, 2023. This excerpt can also be found with the site Audio Files ..read more
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Sam Harris | Emptiness in Buddhism
The Contemplative Life Blog
by Anthony Coleman
1M ago
The following audio is an excerpt from an Andre Duqum interview of Sam Harris. This audio can also be found on the site Blogcast ..read more
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Eckhart Tolle | The Ego and What Underlies It
The Contemplative Life Blog
by Anthony Coleman
1M ago
The following is an excerpt from a Russell Brand interview of Eckhart Tolle. This audio can also be found on the site Blogcast ..read more
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On Not Having a Definite MetaNarrative
The Contemplative Life Blog
by Anthony Coleman
3M ago
Individuals growing up in traditional religious structures find themselves within a MetaNarrative. They are given a way of understanding the world which has been life-giving, or at least functional, for millions of people for thousands of years. A MetaNarrative gives one a structure of values and a structure of meaning within which to understand their life. Some version of the traditional Christian MetaNarrative was my working understanding of the world for many years. I was made in the image of God, but fallen and sinful. I needed redemption by the work of Christ. When I accepted Christ’s sa ..read more
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The Simile of the Mountain
The Contemplative Life Blog
by Anthony Coleman
6M ago
At Savatthi. King Pasenadi of Kosala sat to one side, and the Buddha said to him, “So, great king, where are you coming from in the middle of the day?” “Sir, there are anointed aristocratic kings who are infatuated with authority, and obsessed with greed for sensual pleasures. They have attained stability in the country, occupying a vast conquered territory. Today I have been busy fulfilling the duties of such kings.” “What do you think, great king? Suppose a trustworthy and reliable man were to come from the east. He’d approach you and say: ‘Please sir, you should know this. I come from the ..read more
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Reflections on the Theravada Tradition | Personal Takeaways
The Contemplative Life Blog
by Anthony Coleman
6M ago
I don’t consider myself a Theravada Buddhist. Of the eastern traditions, I tend to resonate more with what might be considered “freer-flowing” frames of thought such as Vedanta or even other forms of Buddhist practice such as Zen/Zazen and Dzogchen. Specifically, in regards to meditative practice and seeking a direct experience of the Absolute, I believe that there is something which must be done in us, something which we can open ourselves to, but are not in control of. In the terms of Vedanta, “In the still mind, in the depths of meditation, the Self reveals itself” (Bhagavad Gita 6:20). Mo ..read more
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Reflections on the Theravada Tradition | Practicality of the Path Toward the Development of a Soul
The Contemplative Life Blog
by Anthony Coleman
7M ago
One of the strengths of the Theravada tradition is the practicality of the Eightfold Path. You are given a concrete list of instructions for how to form your soul. You want to experience less interpersonal suffering? Speak in a way that is kind, gentle, and brings unity. You want to be at peace about how you earn your living in this world? Don’t profit off of what hurts other beings. You want to harbor less anger? Develop the intention of lovingkindness toward all life. Whether or not one thinks the Eightfold Path is the way to end suffering or some kind of absolute spiritual path, it at lea ..read more
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Reflections on the Theravada Tradition | Nibbana and Other Experiences of the Absolute
The Contemplative Life Blog
by Anthony Coleman
7M ago
“He turns his mind away from those states and directs it towards the deathless element thus: ‘This is the peaceful, this is the sublime, that is, the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of all attachments, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, Nibbana.’” – Siddhartha Gautama, Majjhima Nikaya 64 “There is, monks, an unborn, unbecome, unmade, unconditioned.  If, monks, there were no unborn, unbecome, unmade, unconditioned, no escape would be possible from what is born, become, made, conditioned.  But since there is an unborn, unbecome, unmade, unco ..read more
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Reflections on the Theravada Tradition | Arising as Grace?
The Contemplative Life Blog
by Anthony Coleman
7M ago
There’s not a lot of Grace in the Theravada tradition. By and large, the conception of the spiritual journey from a Theravada perspective is about taking personal responsibility to form oneself in ways which lead to Peace, Enlightenment, Nibbana. Similar to the tradition’s concept of Dukkha, I find the extreme emphasis on personally willing and causing our own formation to be somewhat one-sided. I think we also need Grace. In the theistic contemplative traditions, the place of Grace is obvious. One is responsible for their own moral development, but also must open themselves to a transformati ..read more
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