“Spiritual but not Religious”: Shambhala Sun Editor-in-Chief Melvin McLeod has laid out 10 reasons why Buddhism might be enriching to the growing number of us who identify that way. Reason #4 appears here; click here to read Melvin’s introduction to this series, or here to see the other entries.
The way to wake up is by working with your mind.
According to the Buddha, the problem is suffering, the cause is ignorance, the remedy is waking up, and the path is living mindfully, meditating, and cultivating our wisdom. There’s really only one place all that happens: in our minds.
The mind is the source of both our suffering and our joy. Meditation—taming the mind—is what gets us from one to the other. Meditation is Buddhism’s basic remedy for the human condition, and its special genius.
The Buddhist path of meditation begins with practices to calm our wild mind. Once the mind is focused enough to look undistractedly into reality, we develop insight into the nature of our experience, which is marked by impermanence, suffering, nonego, and emptiness. We naturally develop compassion for ourselves and all beings who suffer, and our insight allows us to help them skillfully. Finally, we experience ourselves and our world for what they have been since beginningless time, are right now, and always will be—nothing but enlightenment itself, great perfection in every way.
Melvin McLeod’s “10 Reasons” article is also available in its entirety now as part of a digital booklet, “Buddhism for the Spiritual but not Religious,” free to new subscribers to the Shambhala Sun. Also included are “How it Helps Me,” featuring six non-Buddhists on how Buddhism has benefited their lives; three experts on whether Buddhism is a religion or not; and easy-to-follow instructions for getting started with meditation right now.
Just click here to subscribe and download the digital booklet. You’ll also save between 52% and 62% on your order.