Author: Becca Thielen

Serenity: It’s Not Just For Monks

“Laypeople live in the realm of sensuality. They have families, money, and possessions, and are deeply involved in all sorts of activities. Yet sometimes they will gain insight and see Dhamma before monks and nuns do. Why is this? It’s

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Can a Tiger Change Its Stripes?

The following is a guest post by Common Ground practitioner Becca Thielen. You can read more of her reflections on her blog This is Dhamma. Lately some TV shows have me thinking about character and integrity. Yes, I have been

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It’s Just Vedana: Reflections on the (Rain) Forest Retreat

There is a sound I hear when my mind is clear and focused. It is not a high-pitched ringing sound like you might hear when you are underwater or leave a loud rock concert… It is a musical note that

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Buddhist Retreat, With Kids

My daughters and I just returned from a 6 day retreat at Aranya Bodhi Monastery in the forest of Northern California. We were immersed in the beauty and tranquility of the forest, taken away from our usual distractions, and had

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Thoughts on Attachment

The Buddha taught about suffering and the end of suffering. The Buddha said that attachment is the source of all suffering. Freedom from attachment is freedom from suffering. I think the Buddha was actually referring to a certain type of

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Joyful Backpacking

How was it possible to feel such immense joy while hiking 24 miles of mountainous terrain carrying 40 pounds on the back of my 105 pound body? But that is exactly what happened. Joy happened. Gratitude. Love. Peace. Clarity. The

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