Buddhism

Want to Stay Married? Embrace Change

Want to Stay Married? Embrace Change

This morning I was rereading a wonderful New York Times piece from April called, "To Stay Married, Embrace Change." As a Buddhist, It's a particularly resonate read for me. It reminds me of something Roshi Shunryu Suzuki said when asked to reduce Buddhism down to one phrase, 

"Everything Changes."

As the article points out, to have a successful marriage, we need to realize that we will change but so will our partner. 

Learning to Sacrifice in a Capitalist World: 3 Ways to Consume Less and Push Back Against Greed

Learning to Sacrifice in a Capitalist World: 3 Ways to Consume Less and Push Back Against Greed

Recently I came upon this interesting bible verse,

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters-yes, even their own life-such a person cannot be my disciple.”- Luke 14:26

I’m not a bible scholar or even a Christian, but I find this bible verse fascinating. Is Jesus telling us to hate everyone we care about, including ourselves? Somehow, I doubt that’s true. My sense is that this is a metaphor. Jesus is discussing the notion of sacrifice for a greater good (in this case, to follow him and give up their old lives.)

The notion of sacrifice is a strange one in today’s world in that no one seems to want to do it. Capitalism, in particular, encourages us “to get mine.” As one of my favorite Buddhist teachers, Noah Levine, said in a recent podcast, “Greed, Hatred, and Delusion are the norm. It’s compassion that’s in scarcity.”

The Gods Will Not Save You: Reflections on Meaning and Existence

The Gods Will Not Save You: Reflections on Meaning and Existence

“It’s Baltimore, gentlemen. The Gods will not save you.” - Commissioner Ervin Burrell, The Wire

A few years ago, I had to commute from Brooklyn to the Bronx for my job as a social worker at The Legal Aid Society. It was a hellish commute. What should have been a 50 minute to an hour commute, ended up being 75 minutes or longer on most days. (Anyone who lives in New York City can attest to the awfulness of the MTA.)

The only upside to the commute was that I read a lot of books and listened to a lot of interesting podcasts during that time. One morning I was listening to a Zen Buddhist podcast on WZEN. To be honest, I was barely listening. I was tired and a bit hungover. The day had not started yet, and I already wanted it to end.

Everything's Amazing And Nobody's Happy: The First Step Toward Emotional Change

Everything's Amazing And Nobody's Happy: The First Step Toward Emotional Change

Everything's amazing and nobody's happy- Louis C.K.

“To live fully is to live with an awareness of the rumble of terror that underlies everything.” 
― Ernest Becker

A few years ago, a patient of mine wondered out loud why he was unhappy. After all he was a successful lawyer, involved in a loving relationship with a partner, lived in one of the nicer neighborhoods in Brooklyn and had a group of close friends whom he saw socially. So what was wrong? "Something just doesn't feel right. I have the gnawing feeling that something should be different," he said.