Andrew Furst

Does Matter Exist? – Modern Koans

Posted by in Modern Koans, Writings

Question: Does matter exist? The only thing I can be sure of is that I am ‘having’ the experience of being aware. The objects that the mind perceives as ‘being over there’ are illusory in nature.  Have we ever found this  substance we call matter? Response: I guess the first thing we should do is check in on what you mean when you say something exists. If you assume that it means a permanent unchanging essence that can be measured, you will never find such a thing. Everything that exists in this world…read more

Why is Happiness Hard to Define? – Dialectic Two Step

Posted by in Dialectic Two-Step, Writings

Estimated reading time: 2 minute(s) Why is Happiness Hard to Define? I don’t think it’s hard to define. Happiness is a temporary state of pleasure. What’s hard is to sustain it. When we mistake happiness for something that it’s not – i.e. a permanent state – we become disappointed (basically unhappy). We essentially get greedy about it and as a result loose it. If we were to adjust our view a little, we might be able to enjoy and appreciate the little moments of happiness that we do have, rather…read more

Old Timey – Tiny Drops

Posted by in Art, Buddha, iPhoneography, Tiny Drops (Photography)

Old Timey A cinemagraph of my a son picking and a grinnin’. If you enjoyed this post,  please like and share. All Tiny Drop photos Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) Subscribe to My NewsletterJoin me for a little peace through reflection, art, video, sound, and poetry Leave this field empty if you’re human:

Five Things About Meditation – Dialectic Two Step

Posted by in Meditations

Estimated reading time: 11 minute(s) Here are a few questions I get about meditation. 1. How does meditation improve your life? The answer comes from doing it. So let’s try it. Wherever you are, let your eyes relax. Keep them open enough to read this, but otherwise, let them be. Notice what’s going on within your body. Do this by letting your awareness fill your body, like air filling a balloon. You should feel an increased sensitivity to what’s going on inside and around you. Let that sensitivity gradually increase…read more

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The Heart of Impermanence – Tiny Drops

Posted by in Art, Buddha, iPhoneography, Tiny Drops (Photography)

The Heart of Impermanence Sensations, perceptions, impressions, and consciousness are also like this. – line from the Heart Sutra If you enjoyed this post,  please like and share. All Tiny Drop photos Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) Subscribe to My NewsletterJoin me for a little peace through reflection, art, video, sound, and poetry Leave this field empty if you’re human:

What is the Middle Way? – Dialectic Two Step

Posted by in Dialectic Two-Step, Writings

Estimated reading time: 5 minute(s) What is the Middle Way? Lama Surya Das recently tweeted: For me, the Middle Way is Buddha’s greatest teaching. I’m inclined to agree. It informs us in every part of life. It is a tool to discipline the mind, a key to right view, and a balm to sooth suffering. Nagarjuna is recognized as the Buddhist scholar saint who articulated the Madhyamaka – the school of the middle way. At its core is the subtle teaching of sunyata or emptiness. For the mind, the middle…read more

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How Is Nirvana Better Than Suicide? – Dialectic Two Step

Posted by in Dialectic Two-Step, Writings

Estimated reading time: 5 minute(s) How Is Nirvana Better Than Suicide? Question: In Buddhism, would a fixed state of selflessness be “neutral” and no better than a feeling of nothingness?  If given the option to experience pure nothingness and non-existence, I would absolutely choose the latter. Thus far, my has life been full of suffering. How is Nirvana better than suicide? Response: First of all publicly contemplating suicide should be the first thing we talk about here. Please make sure that you reach out to someone nearby if you are having suicide…read more

Can We Be Free Of Suffering? – Dialectic Two Step

Posted by in Dialectic Two-Step, Writings

Estimated reading time: 5 minute(s) Can We Be Free Of Suffering? Response: I’ll answer your question by looking at a slightly different question. Can we achieve world peace? I think most people would have to answer no. It’s the practical, realistic answer. Why is that? Well peace is the opposite of (or compliment to) conflict. Can you imagine any point in time where there are living beings and there is no conflict? Each being, having unique and varying interests will invariably come in conflict with others. It will be over resources,…read more

Does Buddhism Mean Don’t Worry? – Dialectic Two Step

Posted by in Favorites

Estimated reading time: 5 minute(s) Does Buddhism Mean Don’t Worry? Questions: Is impermanence a practical reason not to worry? I don’t have an intuitive understanding of why impermanence implies that nothing is a problem. I mean conceptually I understand that everything is a flux of change, and nothing stays that way forever. But, say, if we have a chronic pain or lose one important body part, in principle, the problem eventually goes away (when we die), but is this view practical, because the problem stays with us as long as we live? Worry…read more

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Modern Koans – The Self Doesn’t Exist?

Posted by in Modern Koans, Writings

The Self Doesn’t Exist? Did the Buddha say that the self doesn’t exist?  It is an assertion that I typically hear from Christians trying to show that Buddhism is a Nihilistic philosophy. I don’t think anyone can say that the self doesn’t exist.  My understanding of the Buddhist teachings are that the qualities of “self” exists in the same way that anything else we observe exists.  How we think of ourselves is impermanent. Meaning our qualities shift and change.  Today we can feel special – it might be our birthday  or we’re recognized by…read more

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