Category: compassion – karuna

Some bhikkhuni news from around the world

Sri Lanka Bhikkhuni Kusuma passes away 28 August 2021 The internationally acclaimed Buddhist monastic, scholar, and vocal advocate for full female monastic ordination Venerable Dr. Bhikkhuni Kusuma Devendra died of Covid complications late on Saturday in Sri Lanka. She was 92 years old.  Some personal reflections on meeting Bhikkhuni Kusuma Bhikkhuni Kusuma was for me, a real

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Karuna-virus

In the Buddha’s teachings, karuna is a Pali word that means compassion. There’s a lot going on around the world right now, and due to coronavirus, many people are navigating intense suffering on multiple levels simultaneously: The suffering of health challenges, food insecurity, financial distress, longer-term economic uncertainty, separation from friends and family – or

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Continuing compassion

[Forest and wildlife officer Lachlan Clarke checks a koala for injuries – photo courtesy of the Guardian] In my last newsletter and last post here, I’ve been exploring compassion as a resource to navigate all the various global challenges happening right now. Just today there was a moving photo essay about all the efforts that

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Compassion for all beings affected by the Australian bushfires

Season’s greetings from Waipu, New Zealand I’m unexpectedly having to spend more time here in New Zealand, after my nine-day retreat outside of Sydney over New Year was just cancelled due to the bushfires in Australia. The Blue Mountains has been a kind of second home to me, so I’ve been staying in contact with

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September 2017 full moon – Taking A Stand

Stand Against Suffering: A Call to Action by Buddhist Teachers “‘As long as a society protects the vulnerable among them, they can be expected to prosper and not decline.’ The Buddha, in the Mahaparinirvana Sutta Buddhism does not align itself with any party or ideology. But when great suffering is at stake, Buddhists must take a

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September 2016 full moon – wisdom and (self) compassion

Emaciated Buddha figure, Spirit Rock The ascetic Buddha Back at the end of July, I was an assistant teacher on a nine-day retreat at Spirit Rock, together with a friend and fellow teacher-trainee, DaRa Williams.  One day, as we walked from the teacher housing to the meditation hall, I happened to notice a solitary Buddha

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February 2016 new moon – sea anemone heart

Sea anemone by Virginia Draper http://www.virginiadraper.com/p822038089 Opening, closing, opening, closing … Everything has its natural rhythm, including the human heart.  I’m not sure why it took me so long to understand this, but a childhood memory – of exploring rock-pools with my father while on holiday in Scotland – helped.  On family visits to chilly

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Three new and interesting books for experienced meditators

I’m currently working my way – slowly! – through three new books that may be of interest to experienced meditators:  Seeing That Frees: Meditations on Emptiness and Dependent Arising Rob Burbea 10 October 2014 Hermes Amara Right Concentration: A Practical Guide to the Jhanas Leigh Brasington 13 October 2015 Shambala Compassion and Emptiness in Early

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December 2014 full moon – wisdom and compassion

This December full moon I happen to be assisting James Baraz with a seven-day retreat in the Yarra Valley, outside of Melbourne, Australia.  Those of you who are familiar with James’ teaching know that he infuses the traditional mindfulness practices that lead to insight, with the “heart practices” known as the four brahma vihara: kindness/metta,

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November 2014 full moon – Right Effort and the Middle Way

Last month, I wrote about the quality of viriya, sometimes translated as “heroic energy,” and how at times, just signing up for a retreat can seem to kick-start an inner process where qualities such as determination, dedication, commitment, effort, and trust begin to deepen – even before we actually arrive at the retreat itself. Also

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