Queer Eye, Right View


The queer eye sees what it’s not supposed to: alluring curve of hip or neck on the wrong type of body, band of colored light in a thundercloud, rain bowing like a bodhisattva’s back. Likewise, the Dhammapada tells us that the wise see with the inner eye. This secret eye is how we grasp the wheel of dharma, which turns and turns despite whatever sensation we might have of [...]

Meet a Teacher: Larry Yang

Larry Yang, Shambhala Sun, Lion's Roar, Buddhism

Our congratulations to meditation teacher Larry Yang, who's been named Community Grand Marshal of the 2016 San Francisco Pride Parade. Larry recently told his personal story and answered Lion's Roar's "Meet a Teacher" questionnaire; they follow here so that you can get to know him better. As immigrant Asian Americans in the McCarthy era, my parents were not able to get housing [...]

How to Practice Vipassana Insight Meditation

how to vipassana meditation

Step-by-Step instructions on how to do this important practice ­— the foundation of all Buddhist meditations — from the late Vipassana master Sayadaw U Pandita. Vipassana, or insight meditation, is the practice of continued close attention to sensation, through which one ultimately sees the true nature of existence. It is believed to be the form of meditation practice taught [...]

Writing the Ruth Denison Story

Ruth Denison.

Ruth Denison, pioneer Buddhist teacher, died in February 2015 after forty years of inspired, innovative teaching. Sandy Boucher, her student and biographer, gives a candid account of the tangles and revelations in chronicling the life of her gifted mentor. Ruth Denison was leery of people wanting to audiotape or videotape or write about her. She believed that you had to come [...]

Four funny, poignant teachings from Ajahn Brahm

Ajahn Brahm Video Compassion Funny Shit Experiences Watch Ordination History Buddhism Democracy Teachers

Not long ago, we were fortunate to have a visit with Theravada Buddhist monk Ajahn Brahm. Brahm is the Abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery in Western Australia and a famous advocate for the full ordination of Buddhist nuns. He is also the author of the recent book Kindfulness, from Wisdom Publications. (You'll find "Start With What's Easy to Love," one of Brahm's "kindfulness" [...]

Taking Refuge in the Triple Gem

A person walking alone on a path.

A personal meditation practice is the foundation of Buddhism, but do we need more? Essentially we make the journey alone, but many people find that committing themselves to the three jewels—Buddha, dharma, and sangha—helps take them further. These three make up the lineage, philosophy, and community of Buddhism, and their purpose is to deepen and expand our practice. When we [...]

The Promise of Nibbana

Mahasi Sayadaw, Lion's Roar, Buddhism, Theravada, Enlightenment, Nibbana, Buddhadharma

 According to the Buddha, final liberation is marked by an end of craving and, ultimately, all suffering. What does that look like and how is it achieved? The late Burmese meditation master Mahasi Sayadaw explains. Nibbana is not like a splendid palace, city, or country. It is not like a bright light or some kind of clear, calm element. All of these things are not [...]

Just Do It

Ajahn Jayasaro Ajahn Chah Therevada Buddhadharma buddhism lion's roar

Whether you’re learning to meditate or ride a bike, says Ajahn Jayasaro, it’s not about how good you are or how far you get. The point is simply to practice with a sincere and consistent effort. As I remember, the majority of the teachings that Ajahn Chah gave were not startlingly profound. They didn’t consist of things that you’d never heard of before, where you would say, [...]

Is enlightenment off-limits to laypeople?

ask the teachers, buddhadharma, lion's roar, marriage, spouse, thoughts, believe

Question: I recently attended a dharma talk in which the teacher said that laypeople, even if they practice sincerely, just don’t have the proper causes and conditions for full enlightenment. I feel that I need to know if this is true or not. What possibilities does this practice hold for me as a layperson? And what is beyond my reach? Please tell me honestly. Narayan Helen [...]

There Is No Blame

A finger pointing.

“There are no human enemies,” says Sylvia Boorstein, “only confused people needing help.” The instinctive, immediate response to our own fear is assigning blame to its presumed source. Blame is probably an adaptive response to situations of immediate physical jeopardy in which there is no time for reflection. Even in situations where there is no immediate peril, directing [...]