Author Archives: Chris Towery

July 16-22

“When we allow space into our practice, we begin to see the impermanent nature of the thoughts and feelings that arise within our experience—as well as of the conditions, many of which we have absolutely no control over.”

—Tsoknyi Rinpoche

This Week’s Discussion Topic
Given the fact that nearly all of our thoughts randomly appear in our minds, and we don’t seem to have any control over them, except for choosing whether or not we believe and/or engage with them, what does this say about free will? This question is of upmost importance, brothers and sisters, so discuss with absolute fervor and intensity!

July 2-8

“First, one must get to know oneself. Then, having become familiar with oneself, one can live one’s life more deeply. Living one’s life more deeply is the meaning of dharma.”

-Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje

 

This Week’s Discussion Topic
Explain what “dharma” means to you and how you experience it in everyday life.

June 18-24

“What gets in the way of this movement toward our authentic self, more than anything, is our insistence on identifying with the small self: preserving our narrow world of being special, of needing to look and feel a particular way.”

-Ezra Bayda

 
This Week’s Discussion Topic
Have you ever come close to or actually given up practicing? Why, and what led you back?

June 11-17

“Rather than being your thoughts and emotions, be the awareness behind them.”
-Eckhart Tolle

 
This Week’s Discussion Topic
What are some common frustrations you’ve experienced with sitting and how did you overcome them?

June 4-10

“The path of enlightenment is not the path to enlightenment, or a way to get to the so-called awakened state. The path of enlightenment is what is underneath our feet.”

-Douglas Penick

 
This Week’s Discussion Topic
Discuss the process—or lack thereof—you use to work through koans. If that process has evolved over time, talk about its progression.

May 28-June 3

“What gets in the way of this movement toward our authentic self, more than anything, is our insistence on identifying with the small self—preserving our narrow world of being special, of needing to look and feel a particular way.”

-Ezra Bayda

 
This Week’s Discussion Topic
How has a mistaken belief in self led to suffering in your life?

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?