A Website about Buddhism & Mental Health Reflections on daily life and happiness.

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We Are Children of the Stars

Since there is no God in Buddhism, we cannot be said to be all God’s children. Instead, we are all children of the stars, of the universe. Our lives are one with the great life of the universe – what we see and what we don’t see. Much like people, stars also go through the cycle of birth and death. As they age and begin to die, stars like our sun cast off a shell of glowing gas forming intricate patterns in the night sky. These stellar fireworks form shapes similar to pinwheels, butterflies, spheres, balloons, lawn sprinklers, goblets and...

inspiration, anna shuttlewood, magic carpet, children's stories 0

Magic Carpet – Inspiration!

Last year I bought a notecard with a drawing I liked at a bookstore in Sunnyvale, California. The inside is blank, but the picture on the front of the card shows five animals sitting atop a multi-colored, patchwork carpet with tassels at each of the four corners. The animals and the carpet are flying high above the mountains and city lights below, while a starry night sky and a yellow, crescent moon are visible behind them. The drawing is a reproduction of a water-color painting titled “Magic Carpet,” by Anna Shuttlewood. I liked the painting because it provided me with...

strength, softness, heart, cowgirl, dreams, girls, women 0

Strength and Softness of Heart – The Cowgirl

My mom sent me a package in the mail yesterday with a notecard and a soft, cottony navy blue scarf. The billowy scarf was a souvenir from Jackson Hole, and the notecard had a picture of a cowgirl reading a bedtime story to a grizzly bear. My mom sent me a different cowgirl-themed notecard last week, but I really liked this particular painting and the caption below. The artist is Donna Howell Sickles and the captions are written by Peg Streep. When I was eight or nine, I decided I wanted to be a cowgirl when I grew up. I...

laugh, smile, buddhism, mission 0

Without Having Cried, You Cannot Genuinely Laugh

I remember lying in bed awake in the middle of the night when I was still in elementary school. I couldn’t fall asleep, and I kept thinking to myself, Why me? Why me? This was so many years ago I don’t remember why I was thinking that particular question to myself, over and over again, but I still have the memory. I’ve read in a Buddhist teaching that people are the consciousness of the universe. I wonder if this is true? I’m sure the question, Why me? occurs to many people when they are faced with a seemingly insurmountable obstacle in their lives. The...

value, happiness, sincerity, buddhism, heart 0

Treasures of the Heart

In a society that emphasizes status, power, wealth and material possessions above all else, Buddhism and Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism in particular, place special importance on the “treasures of the heart.” The Three Kinds of Treasure is a letter written by Nichiren Daishonin to his samurai disciple, Shijo Kingo advising him with some difficulties the samurai had been having with his lord. Nichiren Daishonin advises Shijo Kingo to remember what is most important in life: More valuable than treasures in a storehouse are the treasures of the body, and the treasures of the heart are the most valuable of all. In this writing,...