Thanksgiving and Gratitude – What are YOU grateful for?

Happy Thanksgiving! Today is Thanksgiving in the US, a holiday that where everyone reflects on what we are grateful for. So what is gratitude exactly? And how are Thanksgiving and gratitude related? According to the English dictionary gratitude is defined as the “quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”. This word comes to the English language from Latin gratitudo which is a form of the Latin gratus “pleasing, thankful”. In the Buddhist worldview gratitude is the natural response to selfless kindness from others (doing something nice solely for your own benefit is not kindness). … Continue reading

Nagarjuna Quote on Emptiness

“Things derive their being and nature by mutual dependence and are nothing in themselves.” – Nagarjuna Here we are introduced to the concept of “mutual dependence” or “interdependence” of everything. Some translations use the word “emptiness” in that it is empty of a inherent existence, not the empty void of nihilism. In essence, everything is dependent on everything else for its illusory existence. But illusory doesn’t mean there is no point to existence and that we can do whatever we want without consequence (or karma).  This is not a nihilistic view or is it an idealist view. We are in … Continue reading

The Present Moment – Eternal moment of Now

The main focus of Buddhism is to live in the present moment completely, realizing through “experience” (by meditating and helping others) our interconnectedness and interdependence with all sentient beings and all things down to the subatomic particles (science knows this as quantum entanglement). Though this can be the hardest thing that you’ll ever do, it is essential to focus on the present moment gently.  Don’t rush, follow your breath, take your time, and if you find yourself thinking of something simply let it go and return to the breath. Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the … Continue reading