Becoming a Child of Illusion

The following are taken from Pema Chögrön’s book, Start Where You Are. The gist of Pema’s philosophy is that we should recognize that suffering exists in the world, but that rather than feel anger or sorrow for our own suffering, we should accept it, breathe it in and breathe out sympathy for the similar sufferings of others. When we, through the practice of tonglen, realize how materially insubstantial we, and the world we perceive, really are we can start to erase our ego and cultivate a joyful mind. Tonglen means “taking in and sending out.’

It is a type of meditation that helps us to overcome suffering and weakness.

From Chapter Four I have selected the following quotes:

First, my favorite:

Good and bad, happy and sad, all thoughts vanish into emptiness like the imprint of a bird in the sky.

Trungpa Rinpoche, teacher of Pema Chögrön.

*** Continue reading “Becoming a Child of Illusion”


Atheism 2.0

I’m wrestling with an idea promoted in a TED talk by Alain de Botton. I have been an athiest for several years. Formerly deeply involved in my local RC church, I became progressively skeptical due to the absence of signs of the workings of God’s grace among the parish.

The final straw was when conservative parishioners treated our pastor very shabbily – a man I had great liking and respect for.

Then I read The Pagan Christ by Tom Harpur, who argued that Jesus of Nazareth of the Christian gospel never existed. I followed up his book with an energetic examination of his sources and came to the same opinion as Harpur. Continue reading “Atheism 2.0”