the Heart & the Law

A selection of thoughts on Buddhism, relationships, and living with compassion & awareness in a challenging world.

Over the years, my Buddhist practice has evolved through my own study, my own meditation practice, but most of all through experiences in everyday life. As I moved around from place to place, I began to see a theme in what I was learning…

Many of us are far too harsh on ourselves, many of us load ourselves up with obligations and spend so much time chastising ourselves when we don’t measure up… that we don’t have any energy left to actually reach our goals.

The essays below explore the relationship between compassion and wisdom, kindness and discipline — the Heart & the Law, beginning with an introduction by the same name.

Many of them deal with individual practice: how to best perceive and deal with yourself. But lately, I’ve been wondering:

How do we apply it to each other?

What does compassion really mean?

Selected Works

  • the heart & the lawI thought that if I tried harder… that I’d achieve enlightenment faster. What happened instead?
  • Does Spiritual Practice Make You Happier?Yesterday, I ran through a parking lot with my arms outstretched, gleefully giddy, and felt so totally free…
  • Choosy Momentsa moment of questioning is not a moment of choosing.
  • About spiritual teachersHere’s the thing about spiritual teachers. They’re human.
  • reconsidering change“Too often, people think that solving the world’s problems is based on conquering the earth, rather than touching the earth.” C. Trungpa
  • Sharp KnivesSo many people spend their energy criticising the very nature of their being…
  • Creating strong bondsWhy do we commit the fallacy of believing our hearts are the containers of love, having only so much volume of love that must be carefully meted out to one, or to a few?
  • GratitudeCultivate gratitude for your very existence…
  • The Gift of ReceivingWhen a person receives what we give them, whether they asked for it or not, they give us several gifts.
  • What if we were lovers?The answer comes from my own heart: I am happiest when I let myself love and embrace you without reservation.
  • I see through youhere’s a little secret: if you don’t feel a little under-equipped for the work you do, you’re not being challenged. You’re not learning. You’re not being asked to grow.
  • becoming ourselvesI can do this because conditions do exist on my love…
  • the FaithBut now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; & the greatest of these is love.1 Corinthians 13:13
  • clear away the dustCan we open our eyes to the beauty of a heaven that is around us right now?
  • fight for what you wantAsk for what you need, fight for what you want.
  • tough decisionsThere is much beauty in the way true friends accept and forgive.
  • trial by fire“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” – Joseph Campbell

Mila (Jacob Stetser)

Mila is a writer, photographer, poet & technologist.

He shares here his thoughts on Buddhism, living compassionately, social media, building community,
& anything else that interests him.

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