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.

Chaos and Immediacy

The Mind  |  The University   |   Douglas Powers  |   May 3, 2012, 4:30 pm

For Deleuze, time itself is always in the newness of our immediate experience. Any sense of time that we add to the present experience is a mental construct. But any mental construct is itself experienced in the newness of each moment. So as we realize ourselves foundationally, it’s always within this newness. We are constantly living in a tension created by the immediacy of sense experience and the meaning that we create through various mental constructs. [...]

Looking for Freedom, Part II

The Mind  |  The Monastery   |   Fedde De Vries  |   April 26, 2012, 7:13 pm

Work is not something people generally love. But by now, I have become quite a workaholic, especially when working for a monastic community. Working is also a form of dana, a way to keep something precious, the Sangha, alive in our world – a world that really needed it. However, the love for work all too easily becomes a blind and constant need to be productive. In a monastic setting this can result in situations of which one only later realizes the significance and the humor. [...]

Looking for Freedom, Part I

The Mind  |  The Monastery   |   Fedde De Vries  |   April 19, 2012, 4:30 pm

Freedom – we all want that; we want it dearly. To the point that, in this modern age, our Dutch Constitution (where I’m from) secures many myriad forms of freedom. With that in mind, one cannot be surprised that using our free time is one of the major forms of exercising that freedom.   For me, it was my summer vacation – to continue to look for more freedom. [...]

Passion and Compassion

The Mind  |  The University   |   Snjezana Akpinar  |   April 12, 2012, 5:30 pm

Some years ago, while driving friends to Humboldt State University in the early morning mist, the road began to wind through majestic redwoods enveloped in fog. I was still sleepy and had to pay serious attention in order not to veer into a ditch or a tree. So I kept pointing out the beauty of the forest to my passengers who, with eyes closed, were chanting the name of Guan Yin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. We arrived safely, in good time and good cheer. Later I asked them why they had kept their eyes closed. “The forest is too beautiful,” was their answer. [...]
Though much of my experience during the Guan Yin session was, in many ways, indescribable, there is at least one fact to take away from my experience. Meditation will change you for the better. It will help you be happier every moment of every day, and more importantly I think, help you see the value in, and possibility of, dedicating your life to others. [...]
Everyone is familiar with the holograms embedded in our credit cards, those cool 3D images that appear lifelike when rotated at various angles. A hologram has the property of containing the whole in each of its discrete parts.... The twelve links and the interdependant origination of our entire reality have this same structure. [...]
When I received an email a couple of weeks ago announcing an upcoming 1-day meditation retreat with Dharma Master Heng Chih, I felt a strange rush of excitement – a question forming in my mind, and almost immediately, an answer.  Should I do this? I am going to do this.  I was a little surprised at myself.... [...]


The Mind   |   Franklyn Wu  |   February 16, 2012, 5:09 pm

Ms Rosey is an adult female cockatiel. Her body is white dotted with grey spots, and long yellow streaks run the length of her tiny body from crown to tail (which is as long as her body). She has lived with the Hughs since their elder daughter brought her over one day eight years ago, claiming that the bird came to her while she was hanging her laundry outside. The mother took Rosey under her wings and showered her with much affection and attention. [...]