Buddhist Path

Buddhism was founded in India over 2500 years ago by Prince Siddhartha who became the historical Buddha. His teachings on how to work with mind through ethical discipline and meditation practice have spread throughout the world. As a complete spiritual path, he taught for over 40 years on many topics from morality to philosophy, to what we now call psychology and epistemology. Buddhism is not a religion in that it is non-theistic, focusing on the evolution of a person from confusion through their transformation to a more present, kind and wakeful state.

Mindworks presents articles on many aspects of the Buddhist path. As a spiritual practice, Buddhist teachings are imminently practical; their insights apply to not only formal meditation practice but to all aspects of life. At its essence, Buddhism deals with the core problems of life: how to overcome suffering, how to understand the world and our place in it, and ultimately how to help ourselves and others lead a life of clarity and joy.

Mindworks Journey to Well-Being presents many aspects of the Buddhist path, in secular, accessible language that everyone can relate to. And our Journey to Compassion embraces the challenge of how to benefit ourselves and others through the more advanced practices of loving-kindness and compassion.

The Art of Letting Go

2023-03-28T20:20:33-07:00By |

Meditation and letting go: the antidotes to suffering Is it possible that many of the difficulties in our lives come from our reluctance or our inability to let go? Whether we’re aware of it or not, our minds are constantly roaming and zeroing in on what we want to acquire and what we want [...]

What Is Mantra Meditation?

2023-05-09T18:11:31-07:00By |

A mantra is a syllable, word, or phrase that is repeated during meditation. Mantras can be spoken, chanted, whispered, or repeated in the mind. Most mantra meditation techniques have two essential components: mindfulness meditation and mantra recitation or chanting. While this age-old practice is known to have Buddhist and Hindu roots, forms of “sacred word” [...]

What is This Thing We Call Self?

2023-03-31T19:35:39-07:00By |

We Are Not What We Think (And The Idea of Selflessness) We know from our experience that everything is always changing. We wake up in the morning feeling one way, but what we think and feel an hour later is very different. What we think about someone, or our job, or our life today isn’t [...]

Defining Buddhism: The 4 Seals of Dharma

2023-04-27T22:37:55-07:00By |

The four dharma seals of Buddhism (hallmarks of Buddha's teachings) There are certain philosophies that are fundamental to Buddhism. Among these is the teaching of the four seals of dharma. These four truths are essential to Buddhist teaching. If they’re not supported, or if they are contradicted, you know you’re not listening to an authentic [...]

What Is Buddhist Meditation?

2023-01-16T10:06:06-08:00By |

There are many forms of meditation and many ideas about what meditation is. While different spiritual paths may associate meditation with contemplation, prayer or other practices, Buddhist meditation is generally associated with mindfulness and awareness. Indeed, although there are a lot more forms of Buddhist meditation than you might think, they all have mindfulness as [...]

Understanding Empathy and Compassion

2023-04-18T09:01:36-07:00By |

Compassion is a multidimensional process with four key components Compassion is the heartfelt wish to help others become free of their suffering. In Buddhist teachings on the Four Immeasurable qualities, compassion is the wish that everyone be relieved of suffering and the causes of suffering. Its twin sister, lovingkindness, is the wish to see everybody [...]

The Meaning of Taking Refuge

2023-05-19T20:02:53-07:00By |

Seeking refuge and protection from suffering with the 3 jewels Taking refuge is a fundamental Buddhist practice. It may be considered the initial practice because it signifies that we want to engage with Buddhism. We have in some way decided that Buddhism is the set of tools, if you like, that we want to live [...]

How Meditation and Morality are Connected

2023-01-06T11:35:49-08:00By |

In Buddhism and other ancient traditions, including yoga, training in morality is considered a precursor to meditation practice. At the same time, it’s understood that meditating can strengthen our capacity to act in an ethical manner. Meditation and morality go hand in hand, and each supports the practice of the other. The practice and development [...]

The Importance of Wise View in Buddhism

2023-05-19T19:51:11-07:00By |

Two types of wise view as the foundation of Buddha's 8-fold path As we enter the path of practice, it’s good to have some understanding of where we’re going. Otherwise, what am I doing? Why am I practicing? Where am I headed? If I don’t know where I’m going, how am I going to get [...]

Overcoming Obstacles in Meditation Practice

2023-05-09T18:14:59-07:00By |

The 5 Hindrances (Five Veils) to Meditation Practice Our meditation practice is rife with obstacles, even before we ever get to the cushion. The first obstacle we must overcome is that of laziness, also known as busy-ness. But even after having made time for daily practice, obstacles arise as soon as we attempt to focus. [...]

Buddhism’s 3 Disciplines of Ethics, Meditation and Wisdom

2023-04-18T09:03:29-07:00By |

The Three Wisdoms (Three Higher Trainings or Threefold Training) After his awakening under the Bodhi tree, the Buddha spent nearly 45 years sharing what he had learned with others. Among his teachings, certain themes appear over and over again. Among these is the threefold path of moral conduct, meditation and wisdom. We see reference to [...]

What Karma Really Is

2023-01-06T11:28:11-08:00By |

Planting Karmic Seeds (Can Meditation Practice Change Karma?) People often refer to karma as either warranted or random, depending on the circumstances. When someone we don’t like experiences the negative consequences of their bad behavior, we celebrate, thanking karma for giving them their due. When negative consequences befall us, we say “this is just my [...]

What Are the Four Foundations of Mindfulness?

2023-01-29T20:00:27-08:00By |

Shifting our full attention to the mind itself with direct experience Mindfulness meditation teaches us to be present with whatever arises, accept it without judgment, and allow it to pass. We typically practice mindfulness meditation by choosing a single point of focus, such as breath, and observing it while letting go of distractions if and [...]

Buddhism’s Three Types of Suffering

2023-04-18T09:16:15-07:00By |

Multiple times throughout the course of his life, the Buddha taught the four noble truths. The first of these is that life is suffering. Fortunately, this is followed by the truth that suffering has a cause, can be ended, and that there is a path that leads to the end of suffering. But what is [...]

What Are Buddhism’s 4 Noble Truths?

2023-05-19T19:51:39-07:00By |

Understanding the Four Noble Truths (Path to the End of Suffering) The 4 noble truths of Buddhism are central to the Theravada tradition, yet recognized by all schools of Buddhism as illuminating the essence of the Buddha’s teachings. These four facts introduce us to the truth that yes, there is great pain in life. But [...]

The Kryptonite of Compassion

2023-04-18T09:25:35-07:00By |

What is true, unconditional, genuine compassion? Sometimes, when we witness a person or animal in a difficult situation, we feel magnanimous and imagine that this feeling is compassion. But in fact, this is not what we should consider genuine compassion. Why? First of all, it’s relative, it’s based on a specific situation. Would we feel [...]

Understanding Intelligent vs Blind Faith

2023-04-08T16:46:58-07:00By |

Blind Faith is Discouraged (What We Can Learn from The Buddha?) Some people have difficulty with the word faith, and understandably so. It’s ok to be cautious of blind faith, which can leave us vulnerable to getting duped or disappointed by people or ideas who may not be worthy of our trust. And yet, faith [...]

What Does it Mean to Take Refuge?

2023-04-27T22:33:07-07:00By |

Taking Refuge in the 3 Jewels Of Buddhism When we’re suffering, it’s natural to try and seek refuge, or shelter from our pain. Until we’ve found a spiritual path, we might seek refuge in medication, therapy, material objects, food, other people, or in particular places. None of these things, however, is capable of offering us [...]

The Benefits of Avoiding these 10 Non-Virtuous Actions

2023-03-31T19:41:23-07:00By |

Every authentic spiritual tradition offers us some form of guidance for ethical living. The ten non-virtues of Buddhism teach us which activities to avoid if we want to live a life of greater peace, happiness and ease. Why Ethical Behavior Matters At the foundation of any spiritual path you’ll find some type of mandated ethical [...]

How We Benefit from Mindfulness of Feeling Tones

2023-01-29T20:05:00-08:00By |

Mindfulness of Vedanā (Pleasant, Unpleasant, or Neutral Feelings) The Four Foundations of Mindfulness, from the Satipatthana Sutra, offer us instructions on what, exactly, we are to be mindful of while meditating. We begin by observing our breath and body, then feeling tones, our state of mind, and the nature of reality itself. Each of the [...]

Spiritual Materialism and How to Avoid It

2023-03-31T19:39:31-07:00By |

What is Spiritual Materialism? (and How To Move Beyond It) Spiritual materialism is a term coined by the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1939-1987). He describes the term in his 1973 book, “Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism.” The phrase refers to a common spiritual pitfall, using our practice to boost the ego versus transcend [...]

What is A Bodhisattva?

2023-04-18T09:23:32-07:00By |

What is the Meaning of Bodhisattva? Definition, Origins & Practices The bodhisattva seated in meditation is among the most iconic Buddhist images. If you’ve been learning about meditation, you may be wondering what does bodhisattva mean? In brief, a bodhisattva is anyone who has dedicated their own awakening to the benefit of all others. There [...]

Spiritual Bypassing and How to Avoid It

2023-02-19T20:39:44-08:00By |

What Is Spiritual Bypassing? Definition, Levels, and Examples Most people turn towards meditation and a more spiritual life because they want to feel better. They desire a life of less stress, discomfort and pain, and want to connect to greater ease, wellbeing, joy and abundance. This is a very good reason to meditate. But [...]

The Meaning and Importance of Sangha

2023-05-19T19:52:00-07:00By |

Understanding the meaning of Sangha in Buddhism The three jewels of Buddhism function as three legs of a tripod. All three - Buddha, Dharma and Sangha - are equally vital supports for those on the Buddhist path. Each has distinguishing characteristics, and yet the three are interdependent. Our awakening depends on us taking refuge in [...]

The Meaning of Buddhist Right View

2023-05-19T20:02:03-07:00By |

What is Right View in Buddhism? (Understanding the Four Noble Truths) Buddhism teaches there is a particular worldview, or perspective on life, that leads to the end of suffering. Other views keep us in the cycle of suffering by preventing us from seeing things as they truly are. When a Buddhist refers to right view, [...]

Remedies to Agitation and Dullness

2023-05-09T17:59:39-07:00By |

Two classic obstacles to meditation, explained When you’ve decided to meditate and work on training your mind, don’t assume that it’s going to be easy. There will be different obstacles to practicing meditation, and they all belong to one of two categories. On the one hand, there’s agitation: a very active mind that’s busy with [...]

What is the Meaning of Dharma?

2023-05-19T19:52:23-07:00By |

Defining Dharma (Definition & Deeper Meaning) In Buddhist studies and teachings, the term dharma is often referred to but left untranslated, as the all-encompassing concept is difficult to replace with a single English word. We might define dharma as the teachings of the Buddha, passed down orally for centuries before taking shape as scripture. Dharma [...]

The Relationship Between Wisdom and Compassion

2023-05-19T19:56:06-07:00By |

The Interrelationship between Wisdom and Compassion in Buddhism It could be said that the essence of Mahayana Buddhism is the relationship between wisdom and compassion. In Mahayana Buddhism, the goal is not merely to relieve our own pain and suffering, but to transform ourselves into compassionate beings who are capable of healing the pain of [...]

What is Buddha Nature?

2023-04-08T16:41:55-07:00By |

Buddha Nature Has No Simple Definition There are many benefits to meditation. Among them, you may have heard that with consistent meditation practice your Buddha nature is revealed. Buddha nature has no simple definition. It is a complex, ineffable concept that each Buddhist tradition lends a slightly differing, nuanced understanding to. To ask questions about [...]

The Significance of Reincarnation

2023-03-04T19:06:28-08:00By |

Right View and Reincarnation: The Connection to Laws of Karma The principle of reincarnation, also framed as rebirth or the existence of past and future lives, is central to Buddhist teachings. According to the Buddhist world view, we currently live in samsara, a cyclic existence in which our habitual actions in this life propel us [...]

What is the Buddhist Eightfold Path?

2023-05-19T19:57:24-07:00By |

Why Is The Eightfold Path Important? (Putting an End to Suffering) The Buddhist eightfold path, known as the Noble Eightfold Path, are the specific instructions the Buddha gave as part four of the Four Noble Truths. The first noble truth taught us that unenlightened life is destined to be disappointing. Truths two and three gave [...]

Three Essential Tools for Developing Wisdom

2023-04-18T09:05:11-07:00By |

The 3 wisdoms of attentive listening, contemplating and meditating Have you ever read or heard something you found fascinating, eye-opening and potentially life-changing, only to forget about it the next day? As you resumed your usual daily activities, that information went by the wayside, and it was back to old habits for you, despite your [...]

Buddhist Meditation Techniques & Practices

2023-05-22T17:17:33-07:00By |

You probably know that the increasingly popular practices of mindfulness and meditation share Buddhist roots. But did you know that there are many different schools of Buddhism, each with its own meditation techniques and methods? This is because after the time of the historic Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, in the 6th century BCE, Buddhism spread [...]

The Four Qualities of a Wise and Open Heart

2023-02-08T19:29:46-08:00By |

What are the Four Immeasurables in Buddhism? — An Introduction As meditators, we spend a lot of time practicing the art of presence. We develop the ability to observe our inner workings without getting caught up in judging or manipulating whatever arises in the mindstream. We also learn to use our mindful stability to investigate the mind [...]

The Great Message of Impermanence

2022-08-19T11:11:00-07:00By |

Change and the law of impermanence — Life's great wake-up call One of the most powerful things about being alive is that we’re directly confronted with change. We’re confronted with the fact that we stand on a ground that is constantly shifting; we're breathing air that is constantly changing. There's nothing really solid that we [...]

What is merit . . . . . and how can I get some?

2023-05-25T11:05:46-07:00By |

The wisdom of generosity Merit, as defined across cultures, is the result of good actions or deeds. If you’re familiar with scouting, you’ll know that there are dozens and dozens of merit badges that scouts can earn by learning about things, applying that knowledge and doing something positive with it. So merit is something that’s [...]

Patience is Power

2022-08-19T11:04:41-07:00By |

What can meditation teach me about the power of patience? Modern society doesn’t know quite what to make of patience. On the one hand, patience may not seem to be assertive or driven enough, while on the other it’s known to be a virtue of the wise. As Master Po tells his student in the [...]

Change is the Great Leveler

2022-12-26T16:41:58-08:00By |

Recognizing the law of impermanence: Come back to this present moment What meditation does, to put it very dramatically but, I think, correctly, is allow us to experience birth and death in every moment. Ordinarily, we cling so much to the idea of solidity that we don’t notice that we’re changing right now (whether we [...]

This Precious Human Life

2023-03-04T19:01:13-08:00By |

We’re human—how fortunate and precious! Now what? Reflecting on the preciousness of being born human is an exercise in gratitude and in defining priorities. Here we are, human beings able to make life choices, to try them on for size, and to adjust where necessary. Among those choices, we have access to spiritual teachings and [...]

Meditation and Ethics

2023-03-13T12:09:22-07:00By |

The morality of meditation: enhancing our ethical decision-making At first glance, it may seem that meditation practice has very little to do with morality or ethical behavior. Mindfulness meditation in particular is often presented as a non-sectarian method that can help us do a better job of just about anything: studying, sleeping, working efficiently, de-stressing, [...]

Power to Change the Future: Our Karmic Plate

2023-03-04T19:02:25-08:00By |

Meditation can change the trajectory of our lives The idea of karma is that what we’ve got on our plate right now has been concocted out of the thousands of choices we’ve made all along the line. These choices then motivated actions that contributed to who we are, with all of our strengths and weaknesses. [...]

Transforming the Mind Through the Three Practices

2023-05-25T11:06:57-07:00By |

Benefits of integrating discipline, meditation and wisdom Many people are initially drawn to meditation because of its proven physical and mental health benefits. Once practice has become a regular part of your life, you may begin to suspect that the anticipated benefits are just the beginning—and you’d be right. Wondering where meditation could lead you? [...]

Listen, Reflect, Meditate

2023-02-08T19:32:25-08:00By |

The Power of Contemplative Practice If meditation in general and mindfulness in particular are so popular nowadays, it’s because the cat’s out of the bag: meditative practices are good for us. They improve mental and physical health. They support positive qualities such as patience, resilience and the ability to focus. They boost creativity and self-awareness. [...]

Understanding Karma – Cause and Effect

2023-03-13T08:42:23-07:00By |

Meditation on karma, motivation and result Karma is something that’s often totally misunderstood. When most people hear the word karma, they associate it with the idea of fate: “It’s your karma. There’s nothing you can do about it.” But the true sense of karma is exactly the opposite. Karma can change. If we want to [...]

Generosity Creates Natural Wealth

2022-08-19T11:12:40-07:00By |

Meditation teaches us to be generous in our everyday lives. In meditation watching the breath with mindfulness is a very generous way to spend quality time with ourselves. Through this we create lots of space in our minds—simply letting things be as they are is itself a generous act. From meditation, our generosity can expand [...]

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