Free Will vs Destiny

Free Will and Destiny are two ideas that I have grappled with since they have always seemed in conflict to me. The idea that the past and the future are already written would by definition mean that we do not have free will. And yet the great masters spoke of the existence of both. To wit, I recently saw the clip (which I have embedded above) from the TV series "Kung Fu" that spoke to this very question so I thought I would share it along with some of my thoughts on the matter. As a primer I would highly recommend Sam Harris' very short book on this topic, "Free Will," where he updates us on the neuropsychology and philosophy of free will and takes this latest information on what we know abo

#1 of 10 Good Reasons to Meditate (according to science): Emotional Regulation

#1 You learn not to trust your feelings Science is finally catching up to what the great masters of old have known all along. Meditation is good for you. Beginning in the late 1990s, the rate of scientific publications relating to meditation began to grow to the point where more than a thousand papers are published each year (see chart, below, from Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson's book, Altered Traits). There are a number of dimensions to how it is good for you. What follows is a loose grouping of some of the findings from these studies into the ways in which humans benefit from meditation. The first in a series of blog posts exploring these finding. Scientists have learned that memory

Meister Eckart Explains Suffering & Evil

One of my biggest doubts over the years about the existence of a higher self or a greater good in the universe is the existence of horrible suffering. How can god exist or life be meant to be perfect if children die in violence or sickness? What more proof do we need that there is no fundamental force of good and love in the world? How can there be so much pestilence and war and genocide and slavery and so on if life is as good and miraculous as the ancient masters tell us? How come bad things happen to good people? What kind of god would allow a Hitler, a Pol Pot, a King Leopold, a Stalin to exist? Meister Eckart von Hochheim (c. 1260 – c. 1328) grappled with this question as well. And in t

Very Bad Wizards on Buddhism

I recently listened to Very Bad Wizards' podcast "Clap Your Hand for Robert Wright" (aired Tuesday, July 25 2017). In that episode the hosts, David Pizarro and Tamler Somers mentioned several struggles they had with Buddhism. Their comments resonated strongly with me and are the very ones I have been thinking about, researching and exploring in my practice for many years so I thought I would post my thoughts on their comments here. 1. They mentioned not really getting or buying into this whole idea that there is no self and same thing with Buddhism's frequent use of paradox. ​This is a complex topic. I would say that it is not just a Buddhist idea. We can find the same message conveyed in bo

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