Posts Tagged ‘life

14
Jul
10

Along the Way

14
Jun
10

what a long strange trip it’s been . . .

14
Dec
09

watch the ripples change their size but never leave the stream of warm impermanence


If you don’t get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don’t want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold on to it forever.
Your mind is your predicament.
It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death.
But change is a law, and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.

24
Aug
09

avoiding my shit


I have not been  in an altruistic space the last few days, although the thought below has been an ever present whisper among  my own self absorption.
My body is tired,  my lower back has been out for several days,  sleep has not been easy for over a year, the workload has been pressure filled and family life has been, well, complicated.  I do not want to sit with any of this; I just want some relief.  I just want to return to a sense of comfort.
I’m not beating myself up over it, but I’m not pleased either.  So for right now I just remind myself through teachings and readings . . . and remembering the universal compassion which is at work even when I do not feel it – even while avoiding my shit.
Eventually I’ll stop avoiding, but for now I just feel like bitching . . .
~ John

When we’re afraid, the mind tends to dart away instead of diligently and deeply entering the fear.  It gets confused and thinks, “Let me take care of myself first,” as if it weren’t responsible for the whole world.
Part of what zazen—sitting meditation—does is to help us settle down into gentle, unswerving attention and peel away that false sense of separation.–Bonnie Myotai Treace, from “Rising to the Challenge,” in the Spring 2003 issue of Tricycle

25
Jul
09

Wonderful Insignificance

The universe is sacred. You cannot improve it.  If you try to change it, you will ruin it.  If you try to hold it, you will lose it. (from Tao Quotes)
Such great words for me.  This captures a snapshot of my place of  “letting go” .
Sitting still and going beyond mind – touching the place of grace – this void is almost always sweet for me (even if the process of getting there appears bitter sometimes).
In some ways this is the easy part.
Easy in that, I get wrapped up in my day to day shit.  I do my stress over paperwork at the office, client issues, talking story with friends, car repairs, medical bills, traffic, the news . . .blah blah blah.  Sitting lets everything  just be.
It is the other practice, when I am not sitting, that is more difficult (although less so than 10 years ago – yay for discipline – and the gifts of compassion and kindness in my life). 
This other practice is “mindfulness”.  It is a moment to moment “letting go” and letting things be as they are – as I engage with my perception of things as they arise.  Being with the paperwork, issues, friends, traffic, etc – and less so than with my perception, less attached to my judgments of these things.  It is a breath that softens the hard and tight places within me.  It is the wonderful insignificance in what “I think”.
I call this place in my life – Grace.
And for this I am thankful.
~ John

03
Apr
09

You can go your own way

Make Your Own Way

Hikers know that there are no passable roads in a virgin forest. However, a road will open up when you pull away the grass, thorns and wisteria. Swimmers know that there are no paths in the water, but as you swim you will create a pathway.

Cultivation is similar. You only need to get on the path and walk and you will create your own path. The roads walked by the Ch’an patriarchs are theirs, not yours. You must depend on yourself to open up your own road.

-Ch’an Master Sheng-yen, from Dharma Drum

04
Feb
09

And we’re roll’n (roll’n), roll’n (roll’n), roll’n on the river

yellow-river1

There’s a Zen story in which a man is enjoying himself on a river at dusk. He sees another boat coming down the river toward him. At first it seems so nice to him that someone else is also enjoying the river on a nice summer evening.

Then he realizes that the boat is coming right toward him, faster and faster. He begins to get upset and starts to yell, “Hey, hey watch out! For Pete’s sake, turn aside!” But the boat just comes faster and faster, right toward him. By this time he’s standing up in his boat, screaming and shaking his fist, and then the boat smashes right into him.

He sees that it’s an empty boat.

This is the classic story of our whole life situation.

–Pema Chodron, Start Where You Are

15
Dec
08

My favorite – honest and beautiful

I can get sentimental over the holidays (I suppose it’s better than bitter and/or depressed).  I have an affinity to certain timeless and transcendent lessons in childhood stories, The Grinch, Charlie Brown, Pee Wee’s Christmas  (HAH!) . . . but the video below is a clip of my all time favorite.  No speaking (but for a bit of music and song) – there is no need for words.  Beautiful renderings in pastels and what I feel is the most HONEST lesson about life – joy, hope, imagination, clinging, sorrow and Impermanence.

29
Nov
08

I die every night and I live every day

I am not a Buddhist, despite most of these blogs.  The teachings of Buddhism however, have a significant psychological and philosophical influence in my life for which I am most grateful – it is a most auspicious teacher and has been since childhood (In my Christian upbringing I was always attracted to the book of “Job”; he was my favorite old testament character along with “Joseph” and the most meditative Buddhist in Judaism, while Joseph was the most mindful). I posted below 2 excerpts from this weeks Tricycle’s Daily Dharma and a quote from Jack Kornfield’s “Buddha’s Little Instruction Book”.  For me the are about the paradox of embracing in order to “let go” (the latter of which is a theme in my recent blogs).  I hope they offer you as much insight as they have me:

Rebirth
We are in actual fact reborn every moment with new thoughts and feelings, and we bring with us the karma that we made in the past moments. If we were angry a moment ago, we are not going to feel good immediately. If we were loving a moment ago, we would be feeling fine now. Thus we live moment to moment with the results of our karma.

Every morning, particularly, can be seen as a rebirth. The day is young, we are full of energy and have a whole day ahead of us. Every moment we get older and are tired enough in the evening to fall asleep and die a small death. All we can do then is toss and turn in bed, and our whole mind is dreamy and foggy. Everyday can be regarded as a whole lifespan, since we can only live one day at a time; the past is gone and the future may or may not come; only this rebirth, this day, this moment, is important.

–Ayya Khema, When the Iron Eagle Flies

The mirror of death

According to the wisdom of Buddha, we can actually use our lives to prepare for death. We do not have to wait for the painful death of someone close to us or the shock of terminal illness to force us into looking at our lives. Nor are we condemned to go out empty-handed at death to meet the unknown. We can begin, here and now, to find meaning in our lives. We can make of every moment an opportunity to change and to prepare–wholeheartedly, precisely, and with peace of mind–for death and eternity. In the Buddhist approach, life and death are seen as one whole, where death is the beginning of another chapter of life. Death is a mirror in which the entire meaning of life is reflected.

–Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Each Morning we are born again.
What we do today is what matters most
–Jack Kornfield


08
Nov
08

Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see

This is perhaps my favorite parable about life (better said, about “living”) about living each moment in the moment . . .

A Parable

Buddha told a parable in a sutra:

A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.

Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!

–Paul Reps, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones

from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book




Live'n Aloha on Maui.
Lately just posting pics, artwork, vids, & music with just a headline (less seems to be more).
Into Wilber, Beck, Zen Stuffs, Spiritual Concepts, Philosophy and Humor (kinda geeky humor).
Currently attempting to strengthen my meditation skills (this has been a 20 yr process).
Thanks for stopp'n by and please leave a comment. Poz or Neg, all comments welcome.
"I don't like Spam" (said with a British accent)

July 2020
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