Does Mindfulness Explain the Mental Health Benefits of Mandala Drawing?

Mandalas are intricate designs and symbols that are drawn in geometric forms (mandala is Sanskrit for “circle”). They originated in India, and are pervasive in Buddhist culture – particularly Tibetan Buddhism – as a way to represent the universe, deities, or certain realms. They are a form of spiritual artwork used across the world as…

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Emptiness in Buddhism: Exploring the Concept and Its Paradoxical Nature

Emptiness is a core aspect of Buddhist philosophy. This applies to both the Theravada tradition (the oldest existing school of Buddhism) and the Mahayana tradition (the later branch of Buddhism that accepts the teachings of early Buddhism but adds new texts and doctrines, such as the Mahayana Sutras and the emphasis on the bodhisattva path:…

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Nietzsche’s Opposition to Pity and Comfort

In much of his writing, Friedrich Nietzsche railed against pity – which he saw as a soul-crushing, enfeebling emotion and ethic – and comfort, which again he thought was the enemy of strength, health, and vitality. Nietzsche’s fierce opposition to Christianity originates from the centrality he believes it places on pity, and how this feeling…

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Mescaline Revelations: Hume, Buddhism, and the Illusory Nature of the Self

One of the most interesting aspects of psychedelics is how the experience ties into philosophy. I am especially drawn to the notion that they can attract one to – or concretise – certain philosophical ideas, theories, and systems. For example, in The Subjective Effects of Nitrous Oxide (1882), the psychologist William James wrote how the…

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When Meditation Becomes a Chore

There are many obstacles and pitfalls when it comes to engaging in a daily practice of meditation, and one that I’ve noticed being a persistent one recently is when meditation feels like a chore, one more item on the task checklist to cross off and get out the way.  But meditation shouldn’t be a chore…

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