Christopher Titmuss Dharma Blog

A Buddhist Perspective

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Dharma Reflections

13 Points for Social and Environmental Change

Lists and bullet points serve a useful function as we can easily neglect to address specific areas we wish to address. Doubts about being effective can easily set in when we become reliant on three or four points to create a change.

I take my inspiration for this approach from the Buddha, who offered literally hundreds of lists to communicate the depth and expanse of his teachings. Continue reading 



The Cost of Thinking Too Much About Yourself. 12 Outcomes and the Resolution

You think about yourself. Then you think more. Then you think even more. Day after day. All this thinking makes  your life difficult. Very difficult. Do not think otherwise.

Meditation contributes to clearing the mind, finding space in the mind, for thought to be clear and succinct.

Here are 12 Outcomes of Thinking Too Much about Yourself. 

You find yourself:

  1. Addicted to comparing yourself with others.
  2. Far away from peace of mind
  3. Feel isolated from what matters.
  4. Feel cut off from closeness with life, nature and people.
  5. Feel lonely.
  6. Feel someone or something is missing in your life.
  7. Keep feeling disappointed with yourself
  8. Keep making yourself unhappy.
  9. Thinking less about needs of others the more you think about yourself.
  10. Unable to handle stress.
  11. What you think and what is seems far apart
  12. Withdrawing from difficult people.

What is the Resolution?

You do not have to be a Buddha to answer the question,

Think less about yourself.

Wake up in the morning with a single resolution.

You do not have to  be a Buddha to know the resolution. This is the resolution.

“Today, I am firmly resolved to think less about myself.”

All this thinking stops you living.

Get back your life.

Develop seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching.

Connect. Live.

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Photo shows children meditating in 

our beloved Prajna Vihar School, Bodh Gaya, India



Start an Insight Journal. Free from streams of words about what you think, what you did and who you saw.

We often think of a diary or journal as an account of what did from one day to the next. We might write about our feelings and thoughts about ourselves, another(s) and places.

From time to time, you might uncover an insight when you write about an experience.

An Insight Journal (to give this kind of journal a name) makes insight the whole purpose of the writing. Continue reading 



Does a country have the right to defend itself? A Reflection

It has become an article of faith that a country has the right to defend itself. Many hold to this view as if it carried an unshakeable and irrefutable truth.

Countries worldwide use the slogan. We heard it again daily from Israel’s Prime Minister and then from US President Biden – “Israel has a right to defend itself.”

This specific statement means the nation state has the right to wage war on another country.

Is this the only way for a country to defend itself? Continue reading 



Twelve Points for the Sangha of Practitioners in Israel and elsewhere

I had a Skype meeting on Monday morning with Tamar Adelstein, 41, who is the new managing director for Tovana, Israel’s leading Dharma network.

Tamar has recently taken over from Ron Alon, who had 15 years of experience with the role. As well as teaching, he did a remarkable job supporting Israeli teachers, international teachers and Tovana’s vision.

With Tamar, he has a worthy successor. She has a wealth of international experience, studied law and gives support for those in need. Along with formal Dharma practice, she draws from her experience in Japan, Sri Lanka and Australia, as well as being a wife and mother of three children.

Tamar and I had a lengthy discussion via Skype. She had a variety of important questions knowing that I have 30 years of annual visits to Israel. Tovana’s senior and much loved teacher, Stephen Fulder is also reducing his time as the eldest administrator of Tovana after three decades in his role  with the Tovana board. Stephen has a new book out in English FIVE POWERS OF MIND. His transition also forms a feature of the evolution giving more responsibility to others.

After talking with Tamar, I wrote down a few points as loving reminders for Tovana and its extensive network. The points apply to Sanghas (Gatherings of Practitioners) , wherever the Dharma takes root.

Twelve Points for the Sangha of Practitioners in Israel and Elsewhere

1. Centres and practitioners must evolve or end up narrow minded and sectarian.
2. Tovana is in a major period of its evolution. You (Tamar) have joined at the right time, although challenging. There is extra stress for Sanghas/centres worldwide due to impact of Covid-19. We need to be patient with each other.
3. Personal retreats with a resident teacher is part of the evolution as use of the rented centre at Ein dor expands following a successful appeal for funds.
4. Teachers must exercise their authority in terms of length of time of stay of a solitary retreatant with regular inter-views with the teacher.
5. The biggest duality is between retreat and daily life. Teachers, managers and Dharma seniors need to co-operate to show the way to bridge this gap.
6. Retreats, techniques, methods can truly serve the practitioner; the practitioner does not become a canary in the cage of retreats.
7. Tovana has a foundation of ethics/mindfulness/meditation and heart/wisdom teachings for an awakened life. This is a core feature of Tovana and the Dharma.
8. Tovana offers teachings/practices without walls. Practitioners receive support and encouragement if they also explore yoga, psychotherapy, ordination, travel to the East, faith in God, pilgrimage and lifestyle. Non-violent politics support the poor and marginalised.  An engaged Sangha in Israel includes listening and responding to the plight of the people In Palestine – Gaza, West Bank and refugee camps in neighbouring countries.
9. Teachings include freedom to use the language of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and freedom not to use the same language of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Know your audience. Know your readers.
10. Dharma/meditation/mindfulness in Asia can find itself a bit lost in Buddhism, temples and religious beliefs. Dharma in the West can find itself equally lost in Secularism, neuroscience, and psychology – at the expense of the spiritual, the sacred and enlightening realisations. This way of life supports non-violence, non-abuse and dwells respectful to people, animals and the environment/resources.
11. Dharma offers a free spirited way of life. This view applies whether a practitioner is single, in a relationship, has a family, ordained as a monk or nun, of any religious faith or none.
12. Liberals and Conservatives are welcome in Tovana. Liberals need to stay receptive to fresh ways of contemporary explorations and wise approaches. Conservatives need to keep a mindful eye on the best of the 2600-year-old Buddhist tradition and draw directly from the 10,000 discourses of the Buddha. One example: Every link in the Noble Eightfold Path matters equally rather than limiting the Dharma to mindfulness and meditation.
Finally, let us never forget, we, the servants of the Dharma, have a wide range of resources, within and outside the tradition, to support our capacity to abide in a fulfilled way of life. We set no limits to the inquiry into life. Liberation reveals the Limitless.

Continue reading 




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