You can always get up and start anew. Living authentically takes courage and bravery. During the past year in India I met a lot of inspiring people. Some of them had packed up their families to pursue their dreams of traveling the world. Some were there were, like me, learning a new language only because they knew it would enrich their lives.
Thoughts Without A Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective by Mark Epstein
Many more were devoting themselves to a spiritual way of life that, despite its uncertainty and difficulty, was far more fulfilling than anything they had tried before. I truly believe that we all have this kind of courage and bravery hiding somewhere inside us. And if you just take the time to look, you will find that you do too. Photo by Summer Skyes He is deeply concerned with issues relating to the mental and spiritual wellbeing of modern culture and is looking for ways to bring happiness and contentment back into our lives. This site is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice.
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Think Web Strategy. But the dream life of effortless comfort and problems that fix themselves is just a fantasy, a running away from the truth of life: Everything is impermanent. Right now, at this moment, this life is all we have. This is the kind of happiness we all crave. I know I do. I just got back from a yearlong sabbatical in India. At the end of it all, I was riding the overnight bus from Dharamsala to Delhi on my way home.
But most importantly, I listened to my heart. Here are four of them that work for me.
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Slow down. Give yourself some space to be you.
Take some time to listen to what you really think and feel. Explore and experiment. Cultivate fearlessness. Web More Posts. See a typo, an inaccuracy, or something offensive? Please contact us so we can fix it! Did you enjoy this post? Please share the wisdom :. Free Download: Buddha Desktop Wallpaper. Disclaimer This site is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. I'd like to see Jennifer Aniston try this. Tibetan Buddhism sans latte. You soon realize that no Tibetan Buddhist sits cross-legged on cushions all day long while staring into space and thinking about the universe.
No, worshipping Buddha is a full-on physical workout. At the Lamaling Temple on a hillside in Nyingchi County in south-east Tibet, I saw women in their 50s doing the prostration thing, like an archaic version of a Jane Fonda workout. The temple itself is packed with weird statues. Red demons with contorted faces. Smug-looking Buddhas smiling patronizingly at the poor, exhausted worshippers.
There's a statue of the "Living Buddha" now deceased who administered this temple in the s and 60s and it is wearing sunglasses. Terrifyingly, it looks like a cross between the Buddha and Bono. The Lamaling Temple, like others I visited, is painted in the most obscene colors. No inch of wall or centimeter of roof beam has been left untouched by the possibly colorblind decorators of Tibetan Buddhism's sites of worship. Everywhere you look there's a lashing of red or green or bright blue paint, a weirdly fitting backdrop to the frequently violent imagery of this religion: the statues of sword-wielding demons, the fiery paintings, the images of androgynous Buddhas, some with breasts, others with balls.
The Lamaling Temple also brings home the fact that Tibetan Buddhism, like every other religion on Earth, is made up of various, sometimes horn-locking sects.??
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I excitedly lined up an interview with one of the monks and asked if he's looking forward to the day when the Dalai Lama returns from exile in northern India. He patiently told me—dumb Westerner that I am—that he doesn't worship the Dalai Lama, because he is a member of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism while the Dalai Lama is head of the Gelug school.
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Then there's the Kagyu school and the Sakya school—making four in total—which have hot-headed disagreements and have even come to blows in recent years over which deities should be worshipped and which should not. Religion of peace? Yeah, right. Tibetan Buddhism has a whole lotta hang-ups about gays and girls, too. It says gay sex is "unnatural.
And as Bernard Faure of Columbia University says: "Like most clerical discourses, Buddhism is… relentlessly misogynist. Because according to Buddhist teachings it is impossible for women to become "the perfectly rightfully Enlightened One," "the Universal Monarch," "the King of Gods," "the King of Death," or "Brahmaa"—the five highest, holiest positions in Buddhism. Of course, this only means that Tibetan Buddhism is the same as loads of other religions. Yet it is striking how much the backward elements of Tibetan Buddhism are forgiven or glossed over by its hippyish, celebrity, and middle-class followers over here.
So if you're a Catholic in Hollywood it is immediately assumed you're a grumpy old git with demented views, but if you're a "Tibetan" Buddhist you are looked upon as a super-cool, enlightened creature of good manners and taste. Admittedly, Mel Gibson doesn't help in this regard. I am well aware of the fact that I am not the first Westerner to be thrown by Tibet's religious quirkiness.
The Truth About Tibetan Buddhism
A snobby British visitor in denounced Tibetan Buddhism as "deep-rooted devil-worship and sorcery. But what is striking, and what caused me to be so startled by the weirdness, is the way in which this religion has come to be viewed in Western New Age circles as a peaceful, pure, happy-clappy cult of softly-smiling, Buddha-like beings. Again, it's no such thing. The modern view of Tibetan Buddhism as wondrous is at least as patronizingly reductive as the older view of Tibetan Buddhism as devil-worship. Frank J. Korom describes it as "New Age orientalism," where Westerners in search of some cheap and easy purpose in their empty lives "appropriate Tibet and portions of its religious culture for their own purposes.
It is all about them. They have bent and warped a religion to suit their own needs. As the Tibetan lama Dagyab Kyabgon Rinpoche puts it, "The concept of 'Tibet' becomes a symbol for all those qualities that Westerners feel lacking: joie de vivre, harmony, warmth and spirituality… Tibet thus becomes a utopia, and Tibetans become noble savages. Brendan O'Neill is editor of spiked in London. Veronique de Rugy 9. Eric Boehm 9.