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Buddhadharma : Fall 2011
buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly fall 2 0 11 30 other person very unhappy. Mindfulness is the paintbrush in the art of happiness. When we are mindful, we are more art- ful, and happiness blooms. Our True Home We’re all searching for a place where we feel safe and comfort- able, a home where we can be truly ourselves. As we become more skilled in mindfulness and lay down the roots of fidelity, we can truly relax with our partner. All the restlessness and searching inside dissipates when we find our true home. Our true home is inside. When we look deeply and honestly at our own suffering, energies, and views, we find a peace that comes from being comfortable in our own bodies. But our true home is not only inside us. Once we have become comfortable in ourselves, then we can begin listening deeply to the suffering of our loved ones, and begin understanding their experiences and views. Then we can become a true home for each other. In Vietnam, each person in a married couple calls the other “my home.” When a man is asked, “Where is your wife?” he may answer, “My home is at the Post Office.” If someone asks a woman where she got something, she might say, “My home made it.” When a husband calls his wife, he asks, “My home?” And she answers, “Here I am.” If we’re practicing mindfulness, there doesn’t have to be a conflict between the true home inside us and the true home we make with our partner. There is no discrimination, no craving. In our true home together there is only relaxation, liberation, and joy. The Four Elements of True Love True love makes us happy. If love doesn’t make us happy, it’s not love; it’s something else. The word “love” has so many meanings. We say we love ice cream, a pair of jeans, or a certain movie. We have abused that word and have to heal it. Words can get sick and lose their meaning. We have to detoxify the words and make them healthy again. True love is made of maitri (loving-kindness), karuna (com- passion), mudita (joy), and upeksha (equanimity and non- discrimination). True love brings joy and peace, and relieves suffering. You don’t need another person to practice love. Practice love on yourself. When you succeed, loving another person becomes very natural. Your love will be like a lamp that shines; it will make many, many people happy. The holy spirit is made of mindfulness, concentration, and insight. When you practice the four qualities of true love, your love is healing and transformative, and it has the element of holiness in it. Then sexual intimacy becomes something very beautiful. Love is a wonderful thing. It gives us the ability to offer joy and happiness, relieve suffering, and transcend all kinds of separation and barriers. Loving-Kindness Maitri, or loving-kindness, is the first element of love. The word “maitri” comes from the Sanskrit mitra, which means When we commit to another person, we make a promise to grow together. Every time the other person does something in the direction of change and growth, we should show our appreciation. JoNatHaNbrowNiNg/MilleNNiuMiMages,uK photo erNesto pacHeco