The Mind

All that we are is a result of what we have thought.” —Buddha

Ever had a bad day and felt the world was feeling down with you? Or experienced joy so great that good fortune greeted you around each corner? This section takes a closer look at the workings of the mind, through lenses like Yogacara (“Consciousness Only”) Buddhism, Western and Eastern philosophies, psychology, and our own personal reflections.

Awakening by Light

The Mind  |  The Scene   |   Don Cornell  |   September 10, 2012, 7:30 pm

In one instant observing measureless eons Without going, coming, or dwelling, Thus comprehending the events of past, present, and future, Buddhas transcend expedients and fulfill ten powers. Like unto the infinite worlds in space, Without coming or going, pervading the ten directions, Becoming and disintegrating, having no resting place, So does the Buddha prevade space [...]

Anticipating Bliss

The Mind  |  The Scene  |  The Tribe   |   Lauren Bausch  |   August 2, 2012, 6:00 pm

“Happiness in a new size,” reads a billboard on Telegraph Avenue at 40th Street in Oakland. The “New 89¢ 12.5 oz.” bottle of Coca-Cola. In a time when “nirvana” is sold in a bottle, where do I turn in pursuit of happiness? Why am I looking at all? Since the 19th century, American advertising strategies [...]

Mental Blind Spots

The Mind  |  The University   |   Franklyn Wu  |   July 19, 2012, 2:03 pm

Daniel Kahnemann is a Noble laureate in economics and a psychologist at Princeton University. Dr. Kahnemann, in collaboration with others, is a major force in turning the discipline of psychology into the realm of science. In this discipline, the underlying, fuzzy-at-the-edges postulate by the pioneers of western psychology remains fairly intact: human beings are primarily [...]

Tuning In

The Mind  |  The Scene  |  The Tribe   |   Lauren Bausch  |   July 10, 2012, 4:30 pm

As I tuned in, I noticed that I was hearing not only Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in C. Major, but a cacophony of noise provided by my own mind.   Just as the soloist was accompanied by dozens of other performers, my perception of the concert was accompanied by past mental structures.  Thoughts, sensations, and images sounded, not always in harmony, with the orchestra. [...]

Patience: In a Crowd or While Alone

The Mind  |  The Scene  |  The Tribe   |   Brooks Hansard  |   July 5, 2012, 4:30 am

When I was a sophomore in college, I recall having profound loneliness, and as a result, depression. Logically, there was no reason for me to feel lonely, because I had a girlfriend, as well as a group of supportive male friends. Yet, I still felt bitterly lonely. [...]

Solitude vs. Loneliness

The Mind  |  The Scene  |  The Tribe   |   Alexandra Gross  |   July 3, 2012, 5:00 pm

In a recent post, Patience and Solitude, James wrote about what it has been like to give up so much of his previous existence in order to live a simpler, more solitary life at CTTB.  I was struck by his observations about the challenge of loneliness; it got me thinking about the differences between loneliness [...]

Patience and Solitude

The Mind  |  The Scene  |  The Tribe   |   James Roberts  |   June 29, 2012, 5:15 pm

When I came to live at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, I was very idealistic. I was determined to make a big shift in my life, a shift that required a lot of idealism, and a little bit of courage too. I was putting on hold many of the expectations about what I had been taught about success, particularly with regard to making money or having a romantic relationship. I was giving these things up in order to follow what seemed to be greater ideals.... Like all romantic notions, there was some truth to these ideals, and there was some fantasy as well. [...]

Unconscious Connections

The Mind   |   Lauren Bausch  |   May 31, 2012, 5:10 pm

Recently, UC Berkeley Professor George Lakoff and I had a riveting discussion during his office hours. When he described his second book co-authored with Mark Johnson, what immediately came to mind was karma.[1] Philosophy in the Flesh asserts that sensory perception is experienced through the mediation of neural connections that conceptualize and reason metaphorically. [...]