On Second Thought / General

  /  General

Presumptions and Reactions

An oil-woman kept a parrot which used to amuse her with its agreeable talk and friendliness, and she had him to watch her shop when she went out and about. One day, when the parrot was alone in the shop, a cat chasing a mouse caused such commotion that it rattled the parrot’s cage and upset one of the oil-jars. When the oil-woman returned home she thought that the parrot had done this mischief, and in her anger she struck the parrot … read on

  /  Dharma Prompts, General

Fading Away

I believe that every human being has valuable qualities and deserves some kindness and compassion, but I can’t always feel and act this way. The desire to reconcile this ‘so called’ discrepancy distorts my thoughts and feelings, and can keep me trying to correct my actions, rather than understanding how this view* is intricately woven into my daily life.  Sometimes, it just sucks that I can’t surgically remove this complex from my experience, fix it up, and then put it back into my … read on

  /  General, Guest Contributors

‘After Buddhism’ – The Buddha’s Ultimate Concerns

June 8, 2018 Hi Linda, Winton, Ramsey: I was contemplating our first online study group and the discussion. The irritation came about the “Ultimate Concerns” in connection with the 4P’s. If you ask me Linda what are my concerns or what would I add to these 4P’s then it is Joy. But I sense there is a mistake in the question. Looking at Stephen’s Book and how he writes about the 4P’s I understand this 4 P’s … read on

  /  General, Guest Contributors


A few weeks ago I suggested to some of the reflective meditation teachers to write something about Gratitude within the Buddhist teachings. I have become more and more inspired by the history of dharma teachings through conversations, and I wanted to see what a written conversation might look like. What emerged is a creative, secular endeavor – a written conversation from modern times; there was no written language in the time of the Buddha. We hope … read on

  /  Dharma Prompts, General

what is your ‘bottom line’ in meditation practice?

A nine minute audio recording from Linda and meditators in San Luis Obispo, CA Because I don’t quite get to an adequate explanation of ‘bottom line’ in the talk, I will say here that the intention behind using the phrase is for meditators to explore their values and why they have a meditation practice.  Listening before you meditate, and then reflecting can contribute to a meditation practice that values your own unique understandings.

  /  General, Sangha Updates

‘After Buddhism’ Study Group

Meeting online for our first After Buddhism study group, meditators who practice recollective awareness and reflective meditation joined us from California, Washington, Maryland, and Michigan, as well as eastern and south Australia. All of us have been practicing recollective awareness and reflective meditation, so we have had plenty of permission to broaden the definition of meditation and other Pali words from Buddhist teachings. However, in our discussion with Winton and Ramsey, the suggestion to broaden … read on

  /  Dharma Prompts, General

Qualities of Receptive Listening

Engaged – listening to the meditation sitting, while paying attention to your thoughts and feelings is a development from practice in this orientation Restrained – knowing your views and triggers, putting the meditator’s sitting experience first Humble – trained but not becoming the authority, not the expert on their experience Inquisitive – asking about experiences, frequent words or phrases, looking for changes in their experience, questioning their assumptions Accepting – they are leading, you are … read on

  /  Creative Writing, General


I stopped using the word when I started studying Buddhism. Not because anyone told me to explicitly, but because it seemed to belong to Christianity, my religion of birth (Jesus said it and that meeting is down the hall!). So, I adapted to the language of the Buddha and spoke of compassion, loving-kindness, sympathetic joy, and equanimity. Earlier this year I started picking up the word again, using it and examining my relationship to it. Did it … read on

  /  Dharma Prompts, General

2017 July Reflections

by Linda Modaro Like awareness, a photograph can catch a moment in time, say a thousand words, and express a mixture of mood and feeling.  The view co-mingles with clarity, shadows, and other unknown elements. By looking and re-looking, we have access to so much more than what appears in the frame; what we were thinking at the time, the way we fit in our bodies, our relationships with the location and people with us. Momentary … read on

  /  General, Guest Contributors

Interview with David Barash: Buddhism and Biology

By Josh Summers As part of my ongoing conversation series for www.meaningoflife.tv, I’ve had the great pleasure to connect with David Barash, professor emeritus of psychology – specifically evolutionary psychology – at the University of Washington. In this conversation, David unpacks the convergences and divergences between Buddhist views of the world and those of a biology. David’s book: “Buddhist Biology” Where Buddhism and biology converge The interconnected world Karma in Buddhism and biology David’s “existential-bio-Buddhism” … read on