Turning Poison into Medicine: How to Move Through Challenges… and Become Happier


The idea of ‘turning poison into medicine’ comes from a form of Buddhism called Nichiren Buddhism. This is a sect of Japanese Buddhism based on the teachings of its founder Nichiren in the 13th century. One of the key tenets of this approach is that our suffering is not caused by our attachment to our desires, as traditional Buddhism teaches. It purports, instead, that our suffering is caused by our belief that we lack the personal power to overcome the challenges that confront us. That ultimately, we are powerless in the face of adversity. And this can lead us to states of severe anxiety and depression where we are consumed by feelings of powerlessness, worry and despair. Read More

May I be Spacious …

What has this got to do with Luck?

One of the key qualities that Buddhist traditions focus upon is equanimity. Equanimity is said to be the balance, born of wisdom; the ability to have an open perspective in our lives which in turn, leads us to often greater understanding and patience in our life experiences. It also embraces the ability to let go of control and accept that which is with ease. With equanimity comes a spaciousness in our lives. This spaciousness embraces a willingness to open our focus beyond purely what we want in any situation. Read More

The Benefits of Buddhist “Walking Meditation”

In May I went to Ireland to go on a Buddhist meditation retreat with Buddhist meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg, who runs the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. Throughout the retreat we had to honour the Buddhist tradition of “noble silence”, which means that we had no communication or eye contact with anybody else for the duration of the retreat. This also includes no TV, radio, IPods or texts! The idea of noble silence is that it sends your awareness inwards when it is freed from the usual stimuli of the outside world. What happens initially is that the inner workings of your mind speed up when free of these stimuli, but after a while your mind relaxes and accepts this quieter, more internal way of being, making it much easier to meditate. Read More

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