« Lojong 37) Do everything with one intention. | Main | Lojong 31) Do not strike at weakness (Don't criticize belief, love, trust, etc.) »

Practical Dharma: Wayback Machine

I began the blog Practical Dharma in 2004. It existed at until 2007 when my agent and I overlooked the renewal of the website name. I was unsuccessful at re-obtaining, but now Practical Dharma has a new home at (and several other places on the web.) I hope the practicaldharma Twitters are helpful. For now practicaldharma (on Twitter) is posting a new Lojong saying each day.

Here are some reminisces from the original Practical Dharma.

January 27, 2004

Excerpt: (

This is an on-line discussion forum called Practical Dharma. You may post any content you wish, but the purpose of this forum is to discuss the proposition of the book Practical Dharma: The sensible approach to peace of mind. by Patrick C. Quinn, PhD. That proposition is: there are behaviors and skills that can be learned and engaged in, which set the occasion for insight and allow one to more directly follow The Dharma. For example, Right Speech is not merely - not gossiping, not cussing, saying nice things about others, etc. Right Speech is a complex set of skills including the ability to express feelings, the ability to speak clearly, the ability to express compassionately, the ability to listen with empathy, and many more skills covered in that chapter of the book. Right Livelihood includes many skills that make work more efficient, less stressful, more productive, and so on (not just refusing to be a mercenary, hired gun, destroyer of the environment, etc.) Practical Dharma is learning these skills and applying them in daily life. The same principles of learned skills and actionable behaviors apply to the rest of the Eightfold Path.

November 15, 2004

Excerpt: (

What if I mess up

Then my blog will be totally ruined. My life which was perfect up to this time, will have one very public flaw. I better not write anything at all. Yeah, that's it I'm not going to have a blog; I'm just going to make fun of people who do. I am way too evolved to engage in this "shameless self promotion" - who did I steal that from? (Can you plagiarize on a blog or is that another oxymoron - plagiarized blog?)

More fascinating ruminations soon - check back real soon!

Posted by DrQuinn at November 15, 2004 09:35 PM

November 16, 2004

Excerpt: (


Practical Dharma is a philosophy to guide conduct to achieve peace of mind in the real world in which most of us choose to live. It would be much easier for me to achieve peace of mind if I could live at my favorite retreat center year round instead of working my mission as a psychologist.

This entry is also an apology in advance for the many affordances I have selected in my life. I would argue that all the things that I will show on these pages are consistent with a Practical Dharma.

The only renunciation recommended by the Practical Dharma is that of attachment, the rest will naturally follow. So it is not the things in my life that set the occasion for my suffering, but my attachment to them that does.

A colleague, (J. H., PhD) whose office is next to mine at NorthEast Psychiatric and Psychological Institute, suggested I should kick my new motorcycle over in the dealers parking lot (Ah ha). I did not take his advice, but understood it more clearly a few months later, when I loaded it for a trip to the mountains and in leaving the back yard slipped on some straw over a plastic tarp (excuses, excuses ...) and dropped it. Now that is behind me, and I no longer carry the burden of being so special as to have never dropped my bike.

And owning a cool motorcycle is not incompatible with release from attachment – it is my relationship to the thing that matters, not the thing itself. (And that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Especially the next time I buy myself a new toy. I’ll be showing (whatever it is) on these pages eventually.)

Sometimes I learn from experience and sometimes I can apply the Practical Dharma philosophy alone (but experience is necessary more often than not.).

And it is clear to me that even as I continue to scale back to simpler things, I live like a god compared to people in previous times and even compared to most of the rest of the world. I try to remember the Give Away of all that have made my life possible.

Posted by DrQuinn at November 16, 2004 07:38 PM

November 18, 2004

Excerpt: (

Is "W" the Anti-Christ or merely a pawn of Satan?

Arguments that he is the Anti-Christ:
1) He has convinced large numbers of people that "We must fight evil by killing and destroying, in the name of what is Right".
2) He is the proximal cause of nearly immeasurable suffering in the world.
3) He has brought the world to the brink of a devastating "Holy War"
4) How could someone produce so much evil in the world without being the Anti-Christ?

Arguments that he is merely a pawn of Satan who has sold his soul for oil money
1) His IQ is probably no greater than 105, based on his vocabulary, school performance, and general goofiness.
2) He clearly misunderstands the consequences of his actions and seems genuinely sincere even when he is saying incredibly stupid things.
3) His close advisors seem to manipulate him to their agenda.
4) He was "Born on third; thought he hit a triple."

But hey, I did my part I voted for Hindenburg (I mean Kerry.) So what else can I do about it.

The FALL 2004 (53) issue of Tricycle discusses politics from several different Buddhist persepctives.

The presidency of George W. Bush causes significant ethical, philosophical, and emotional problems for many thinking and feeling Americans (perhaps for the whole world.)

What is the Practical Dharma perspective? There are two issues (1) politics and (2) highly charged emotional issue.

As for politics, the debate is well addressed in the Tricycle article. Those points won't be labored here. However, as one might expect from a philosophy of the active and engaged world, one may choose (or choose not) to be engaged in politics in a way that is perfectly consistent with the Practical Dharma.

Highly charged emotional issues are relevant to the Practical Dharma because of how often these come up, the great opportunity these provide for insight, personal growth, etc., and the huge potential these have to rob a person of Peace of Mind.

Posted by DrQuinn at November 18, 2004 10:59 PM

November 27, 2004

Excerpt: (

Highly Charged Emotional Issues

This is a really brief discussion, because this topic is pretty big (whoa, that's an understatement!)

If I have an emotional reaction that is extreme, the emotional reaction is caused by my own issue - not the initial stimulus for the reaction. An emotional reaction that is not extreme is one that occurs immediately, is only about the stimulus, and lasts only as long as is commensurate with the intensity of the event. "Caused by my own issues" means the reaction is to something I am not fully aware of about myself. Some psychologists call this "Shadow".

If I am merely informed (about another person or situation) by what occurred, it is unlikely I have shadow material of which I am unaware. If I have an extreme reaction, it is probably not merely about the person or situation - it is really about me.

Here is an example of a person who does not have an extreme emotional reaction to "lies". If he hears a lie, he merely stores this information about the person who stated it, such as "Oh, X may be confused, mistaken, or not trustworthy; I better check this out with more information."

Here is an example of a person who has an extreme emotional reaction to "LIES!". If he hears a lie, he becomes enraged at the "F***ing Liar" and says to himself "I can't believe he did that TO me!", "I can't stand a liar", and other stuff like this. What is this about? There are so many possibilities it's impossible to discuss even the tip of the iceberg here. We can be sure however, it is about the person hearing the "lie" and not about the person who said "something".

But here are a few examples, and I will use myself as the subject: (1) Could it be the extreme reaction is because I an not being honest in some important area of my own life?; (2) Could it be because someone else close to me is not being honest with me and I'm afraid?; or here is an extreme example, (3) Could it be as a child I was forced to lie about the way it was at home to protect an abuser?

The technique of Practical Dharma that is relevant to releasing this suffering and obtaining insight at the same time is called "Meditation on Thoughts and Feelings". It's covered in the chapter on Meditation.

Posted by DrQuinn at November 27, 2004 09:00 AM

February 11, 2007

Sadly, the day of the last post to the original Practical Dharma. Here is a link to see all the Practical Dharma posts up to that point.

Someone else, I could never discover who, purchased the domain name (Here is what it looks like after that: (So far, it has never had any real content.

The biggest inconvenience was the loss of all of my e-mail and e-mail address accounts.

Each obstacle is an opportunity for growth.

If you think others might like this article submit it to StumbleUpon by clicking Submit.


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (1)

I now have access to again. It was lost to me for a while. It was inconvenient when I did not have access to the email accounts at that address, but after so many years that is no longer a concern. Now that I think about it, was not the best location. This is not a commercial endeavor; it is mission driven. So is actually a better home after all for this work.

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPat Quinn

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>