I started my journey exploring world religions sometime in the early 80’s. Like a many of my generation, I was influenced early on by books like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and The Tao of Physics. While pursuing an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, an elective in Eastern philosophy hooked me on the philosophy of Vedanta, the mysticism of Taoism and the practicality of Buddhism. Over the years, I’ve delved into these as a matter of study and practice to varying degrees.
In 2015 I enrolled in an eMA program in Buddhist Studies at The International Buddhist College, following a period of renewed interest in meditation and the Dhamma. During my three years of study and research I had the opportunity to explore both Theravada and Mahayana systems, including Tibetan and Zen Buddhism, along with the history and evolution of Buddhism in ancient India. At the end of my studies in 2018, I realized how vast the Dhamma was and how broad the range of practices were in comparison to how shallow my own knowledge was and how narrow my range of experience.
I have since found myself returning to the basics of my own study and practice. At the same time, I’ve been struck by the need to bring this back to basics conversation into so many of the online and “real world” conversations I have with both long-time Buddhists, newcomers with questions as they start down their own path, or non-Buddhists simply curious about what Buddhism means.
My aspiration for this blog is that it serve as a repository of helpful responses to common questions as well as refutations of the common misconceptions or errors that arise from not taking the time to look at what the Buddha taught.
The topics I will focus primarily on include the threefold training of morality, meditation and wisdom. In doing so I will refer as often as possible to original texts, commentaries and research (with links when available) as resources for further study.
Topics may also be introduced based on questions/comments I receive here or in the Facebook groups I admin, including Non-sectarian Buddhist Mindfulness, Real Buddha Memes, Should Buddhists be Vegetarian?, and Chuang Tzu. and the (FREE) Coursera Course Buddhism and Modern Psychology I mentor.
Though my time is limited with the demands of a full-time job with lots of travel, a family of four, teaching Tai Chi and my local VA and at centers around the state of Texas and finding time to sleep, I’ll endeavor to publish at least one post a month and stay on top of questions/comments as they come in.
I apologize in advance for any errors which are due to my own limited knowledge, ability and understanding and will work to continue to update and refine existing posts as I become aware of the need to correct or clarify my previous statements.