Category Archives: Metta/Lovingkindness

Are Hypocrites Simply Stupid?

Are Hypocrites Simply Stupid?

gandhi quote

The back of the T-shirt worn by the guy in front of me as I waited in line at Chipotle carried one of Gandhi’s most well-known quotes:

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

I try not to be judgmental, but this guy’s body type was not that of a vegetarian or vegan. He was corpulent. So I was not surprised that he skipped the tofu (sofritas in Chipotle-ese) and ordered chicken and double beef. I can only guess that he interpreted Gandhi’s saying as urging people to be nice to their pets. Who knows? Or maybe he went much further in his own mind and believed that “food animals” should be slaughtered humanely. Maybe he even thought that “food animals” should be uncaged, i.e., free to roam before they were slaughtered so that he could enjoy a protein-rich lunch to nurture his morbidly obese body.

“Food animals” were obviously not on his compassion radar. No doubt he sees himself as urging his fellow Americans to join him in achieving the same greatness and moral progress that he has achieved in being nice to cats and dogs and treating “food animals” with kindness until it’s time to end the kindness.

I couldn’t help but recall comedian Steve Martin’s line: “How can you BE so damn dumb?”

Where Has All The Wisdom Gone?

Where Has All The Wisdom Gone?

The U.S. President now wants Congress to authorize the use of military force in Iraq, again. Having ended “combat operations” (murder) in 2014, now we are supposed to go back in again because of the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL. Why did the Islamic State come into existence in the first place? Because our troops were invading Iraq.… Continue Reading

Hoorah for Putin, Not for Congress

Hoorah for Putin, Not for Congress

Congress, now completely controlled by war-mongers, seems eager to start a war with Russia. As always, they generate lies to support their insane plans. They paint Mr. Putin as a war-monger who invaded the Crimean peninsula for no good reason and they tell us that the U,S. has to arm the government of Ukraine against… Continue Reading

Tranquil Wisdom Zen

Tranquil Wisdom Zen

  Don’t just sit there – do something! Conventional wisdom Don’t just do something – sit there! Buddhist wisdom This website is about practice; we try to minimize philosophy. As Red Pine says in his commentary on The Heart Sutra: Buddhism is better understood as a skill or an art to be practiced and perfected,… Continue Reading

Loving Kindness Zen

Loving Kindness Zen

Step 2 – Finding the Footprints The Ninth Dharma Realm Along the riverbank under the trees, I discover footprints. Even under the fragrant grass, I see his prints. Deep in remote mountains they are found. These traces can no more be hidden than one’s nose, looking heavenward. Finding the Footprints Loving Kindness (metta) All mankind’s… Continue Reading

Zen Practice And Enlightenment

Zen Practice And Enlightenment

The Buddha identified four stages of enlightenment: Stream Entry (sotapanna), the Once Returner (sakadagamin), the Non-Returner (anagamin), and Buddhahood. The Buddha taught that Stream Entry is attained when the first three of the ten fetters are overcome: Those first three fetters are: 1) Belief in an independent, unchangeable/permanent or everlasting self, called atman in the Vedas, which belief… Continue Reading

Zen Breathing: Diversity to Unity

Zen Breathing: Diversity to Unity

Step one of Tranquil Wisdom meditation – In the words of the Buddha: “Mindful he breathes in, mindful he breathes out.” That’a about as simple an instruction as possible. The key word is of course “mindful.” Throughout the day, we breathe without thinking about it. Step two: Awareness of long and short breaths In the… Continue Reading

The Rise Of Zen Buddhism

The Rise Of Zen Buddhism

Years ago, having read the delightful novel Don Quixote, I decided to read a scholarly criticism of the book. It was filled with fascinating insights, including, for example, why Cervantes killed off D.Q. at the end (because he wanted to stop other authors from writing the further adventures of…) But the most interesting insight, one that had a… Continue Reading

Meat, Murder, Tofu And Zen

Meat, Murder, Tofu And Zen

The first fold of the Eightfold Path, Right View, is sometimes translated as Right Understanding and is explained by many commentators to mean that one has Right Understanding if one understands the Four Noble Truths. But that common explanation doesn’t jive with the Buddha’s words. He said the first fold of the Eightfold Path was… Continue Reading

How To Practice Zen