Contemplative Studies Program Blog
Remember the Kindness of All Beings | Step 17 of Awakening in 30 Steps Aug 01, 2021

Remember the Kindness of all Mother Beings.

We are sculpting our minds towards industrial strength altruism.

In this series of reflections we are consciously choosing what to focus on. Step 16 recognizes all beings as kin, step 17 remembers their kindness.

Let’s define kindness as the...

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Buddhist Pilgrimage to Nepal & CSP Service Project Update Jul 30, 2021

Though we postponed our annual Buddhist pilgrimage to Nepal and India due to the pandemic until October 2022, Miles offers his reflections on purification, collecting merit, and thinking of others in the meantime.

Miles also shares some exciting news about a very rare and auspicious pre-trip...

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Recognizing All Beings as Kin Inspires Solidarity | Step 16 Jul 29, 2021

 In order to develop sustainable compassion capable of withstanding the strong forces of social negativity we need to also develop a realistic worldview, which appreciates our inter-relationality and interdependence since beginingless time.

What if we could see, that at one time or another,...

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Equanimity Balances Social Reactivity | Step 15 of Awakening in 30 Steps Jul 29, 2021

Whereas the steps leading to the first milestone of renunciation cultivated the view and skills for individual freedom, we have now transitioned to a series of steps leading to the second milestone of altruism.

This transition in emphasis from self liberation to liberation of others, is...

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Renunciation | Step 14 of Awakening in 30 Steps Jul 27, 2021

Renunciation: Evolutionary Self-Care.

Congratulations on making it to the first milestone on our journey of awakening!

The gradual path is comprised of a series of reflections that step-by-step lead us to three major milestone or realizations:

1) Renunciation, the determination to be free.

2)...

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The Defects of Samsara | Step 13 of Awakening in 30 Steps Jul 27, 2021

The Defects of Compulsive Life Inspire Disinterest.

It’s not that life is suffering, it’s that the compulsive, mindless, unconscious life called samsara is suffering. In order to prompt our waking up from the long sleep we are asked to take a sobering inventory of just how...

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Karma | Step 12 of Awakening in 30 Steps Jul 27, 2021

Causality Inspires Agency.

What are your thoughts on pop culture versions of karma theory like the boomerang effect “what goes are comes around”, or the law of attraction?

While everything is based on a principle of causation, the Buddha’s emphasis with karma was on mental...

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Refuge Offers Safe Direction | Step 11 Jul 22, 2021

 What is refuge?

What have been our “usual suspects”, the sources we automatically turn to for quick relief? More than just behaviors and coping mechanism, what have been the relationships and subtle beliefs we have turned towards to provide safety and comfort?

While these may...

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Death Inspires Urgency | Step 10 of Awakening in 30 Steps Jul 21, 2021

Compare the pervasive attitude towards death found in industrialized verses indigenous cultures. Then ask how our attitude towards death changes our relationship to life?

The lam rim reflection on death has three sub-reflections:

1) Death is certain. Can you identify one thing that doesn’t...

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Preciousness of Human Life Inspires Appreciation | Step 9 of Awakening in 30 Steps Jul 20, 2021

Life is beginingless and consciousness is infinite.

Over the course of evolution our karma has compelled us to ascended and descend to various pleasant and unpleasant states of existence. But fundamentally we have always been trapped in a condition of blindness, not knowing who we really are,...

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Become a Suitable Student | Step 8 of Awakening in 30 Steps Jul 18, 2021

 Step 8 emphasizes the need for the student to be as prepared and qualified as the teacher for an optimal learning experience.

We are responsible for avoiding the 'three defects of the vessel'. Our mind is like a vessel, the teachings are an elixir. We can’t be:

1) too full

2)...

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Find a Qualified Spiritual Mentor | Step 7 of Awakening in 30 Steps Jul 17, 2021

 Find a Real-world Mentor.

Question for you, since we are at step 7, what is it about our culture and social media use that makes reflecting on more than three steps or points a challenge? And what is it about you that helps keep you moving forward on a more enduring path?

Distinguish the...

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