Author Archives: Ramsey Margolis

Spirituality and intellectual honesty

German philosopher Thomas Metzinger is a co-founder of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness. In 2003 he published ‘Being No One’ in which he argues that no such things as selves exist in the world: nobody ever had or was a self. All that exists, he states, are phenomenal selves, as they appear in conscious experience. He argues that the phenomenal self, however, is not a thing but an ongoing process; it is the content of a ‘transparent self-model’,

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If your first language is not English

Then the proposal of a secular approach to the dharma may not be so easy to understand. What if you could read about these ideas in your own language? Well, now, most of you can.

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More than me and my mind

To a spectator, meditation must seem like the most utterly selfish practice imaginable: a group of people, their eyes shut to the world, listening to their thoughts, observing their minds, noting their feelings. How wonderfully paradoxical, then, that when practised consistently it can lead to an marvellous sense of connectedness with all beings, an openness to life, and a delight in generosity.

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Ruby Wax on loving your ego

I’d like to recommend this hilarious talk by Ruby Wax that was given in London’s Conway Hall as part of the Sunday Sermon Series organised by The School of Life.

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Iskra’s chair

Wanting people to focus on his teachings rather than him as a person or a teacher, Mr Gotama asked that no images be made in his memory. For several hundred years after his death, the Buddha’s life and his teachings were represented by the bodhi tree under which he awoke, an empty chair, by footprints, and possibly also other images.

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Give thanks for meat

Buddhists have a reputation for being vegetarians. Personally, I’ve been one since 8 July 1961 and the only time I remember consciously choosing to eat meat since then was in 1984, six months after the death of my mother – that story can be for another time, perhaps. The New York Times recently invited omnivores

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Buddha’s birthday

Tonight we’re going to see the biggest and brightest full moon of the year as it gets to around 357,000km from earth, which is about 14% closer than when it is farthest away. That’s quite an ellipsis. That today would be Siddhattha’s birthday and the anniversary of the day he awoke (was ‘enlightened’), and that of the day he died after a tainted meal

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