Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Becoming a Refugee

On September 22nd, 2011, I 'm taking vows of refuge and officially becoming a Buddhist. This is a ceremony and tradition that has been practiced for two and a half millennia, since the time of the Buddha’s first teachings. Preceptors of these vows have been empowered by their teachers to do this for as long as the Buddha's teaching has existed, and this passing from teacher to student has been going on in a lineage that leads back to the Buddha himself. The vow marks an official jumping off point for the refuge seeker, and a commitment to studying the Dharma, to practice, and to transcending confusion (ie. seeking sanity).

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Real Communication

One of the reasons I started meditating seriously was to learn how to better communicate with other people. Long before I showed up at my first meditation class, I felt like my life was lacking substance and direction.

I had a decent career and people who loved me, but I still felt like something was missing. I had a feeling that I couldn’t truly and deeply communicate with others the way I wanted to, or the way I did when I was younger. I had heard that Buddhist monks, when tested by psychologists, had an uncanny aptitude for recognizing emotional nuances in the facial expressions of people, whose photographs were shown to test subjects.