Author Archives: Chris Towery

May 21-27

“Letting go of incessantly measuring and comparing ourselves to others leads to spontaneous acts of courage and compassion. It’s like learning a dance step well enough that we no longer need to keep looking down at our feet.”

-Gaylon Ferguson

 

This Week’s Discussion Topic
What initially attracted you to Buddhist practice, and how have your views on it changed since you first began practicing?

May 16-20

“Emptiness refers to the absence of something that, for some reason, one expects to find—as when we say a glass, normally used to hold liquids, is empty even though it is full of air. The point is not that there is nothing there at all, but rather that what is there differs from your expectations.”

-William S. Cobb

 

This Week’s Discussion Topic
What is the most useful lesson you’ve ever learned from a spiritual teacher?

May 6-13

“I think the reason that remarkable stories of forgiveness take our breath away is that we instantly feel the liberation in the lifting of boundaries, the end of separation, of ‘inside’ and ‘outside.’”

-Roshi Nancy Mujo Baker

 

This Week’s Discussion Topic
What’s the difference between awareness and thoughts?

“I think the reason that remarkable stories of forgiveness take our breath away is that we instantly feel the liberation in the lifting of boundaries, the end of separation, of ‘inside’ and ‘outside.’”
-Roshi Nancy Mujo Baker

 

This Week’s Discussion Topic
What’s the difference between awareness and thoughts?

April 30-May 6

“If an emotion, such as hatred or envy, is judged to be destructive, then it is simply recognized as such. It is neither expressed through violent thoughts, words, or deeds, nor is it suppressed or denied as incompatible with a ‘spiritual’ life.”

-Stephen Batchelor

 

This Week’s Discussion Topic
Discuss how you’ve successfully “surrendered” or “let go” to some situation in your life.

April 23-29

“We do not need to be afraid of our mind. We can go on a journey of discovery and experiment. Then we are able to play with our mental processes and develop our mental ability in wisdom and compassion.”

-Martine Batchelor

This Week’s Discussion Topic
What does “ego” mean to you and how does it affect your life?

April 16-22

“If we’re not reflecting on the impermanent nature of life, a lot of unimportant things can seem really important. Our jobs seem important. Money seems important. But if we’re really reflecting on impermanence, then we see the important things are compassion and loving others—giving to others and taking care of others.”

-Allison Choying Zangmo

 

This Week’s Discussion Topic
How have you personally experienced the relationship between impermanence and suffering?

April 9-15

“The process of finding the truth may not be a process by which we feel increasingly better and better. It may be a process by which we look at things honestly, sincerely, truthfully, and that may or may not be an easy thing to do.”

-Adyashanti

 

This Week’s Discussion Topic
Discuss example(s) of how getting what you desire in life has led to momentary happiness followed by the inevitable letdown, elucidating the reality that nothing outside of ourselves provides lasting contentment.

Mar. 26-April 1

“Most people, myself included, want to get some benefit from something. But in Buddhism, what we’re actually trying to do is to become released from the suffering that comes from wanting to get something.”

-Mark Unno

This Week’s Discussion Topic
Describe methods you’ve successfully used to avoid becoming engaged/carried away by thoughts whether on the cushion or off.

Mar. 19-25

“Unlike a subject like, say, carpentry, where we learn from the experience of those who have gone before us, meditation is defined by spontaneity, by not knowing.”
-Barry Evans

 
This Week’s Discussion Topic
What does it mean to “awaken,” and are there different depths, or levels, of awakening?