The radical notion of allowing ourselves to be nourished by the hunger of desire is a turning towards the desire, rather than our automatic turning away from desire. We turn away from our desire by chasing the object of our desire.
This is a time for skillful and effective action, informed by meditation practice, inspired by compassion. With the rise of the far right movements emphasizing racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, and more, for me, sitting on the cushion, though always vital, is no longer enough.
We know if we work hard enough, life will eventually come to blossoming fruition. But lately I’m realizing that is just not true. Or at least it is only half the story. The other half of the story is dissolution: the way things fall apart.
It is ridiculous to do things in hopes that only once things are finished can I relax and feel good. Why not skip the middleman, and simply relax right now in the doing?
We long for resolution. We long for life to wrap itself in the pretty package of a happy ending. Sometimes we seek fulfillment from material things, sometimes spiritual, sometimes from life itself: falling in love, finalizing the divorce, having a baby, finishing the degree, finding the perfect job, retiring.
It’s fun to beautify your world. Beth shares how to do-it-yourself hanging vases. Combine it with mindful kindness and you have a perfect gift for someone special.
I sit in the same seat, staring at the same sky, as I have the last three years, on the bones of the morning, fleshing out with joyful diligence my heart’s expanse, that lucid cognizance, the sun’s rays bring to the sky.
When we encounter suffering in our lives, we sometimes incorrectly view it as punishment. For some of us, this comes from our childhood sense of a punishing God. We are suffering because God is punishing us for being bad. This is not a Buddhist view.
Note: the recipe’s inexactness is purposeful. Trust your creative impulses! The secret of the frittata is that it always tastes good. And here is a poem by one of my favorite poets, Stonehouse.
Even with the best of intentions to generate compassion, there are ways we go astray by deluding ourselves. This becomes apparent when, instead of feeling nurtured by offering compassion in thought or deed, we are left with the bitter taste of negative emotion.
A poem about experiences from a three year retreat: Lonely cabin in the pines in front, the boundless sky empty-clarity vast as mind behind, the rising ridge a fortress of fearless confidence vast and held, here I dwell.
Spiritual awakening is an experience of the heart not the mind; once we drop into our heart and feel the natural longing for the divine, can our hearts begin to open, revealing the divine with us all along.
The night was pitch-black, the empty sky littered with countless stars. I lay silently in bed, my mind churning with thoughts. I was at the end of three-year retreat in solitude, meditating alone in a cabin in the woods.
The cornerstone of my spiritual life can be summed up with one word: gratitude. Without gratitude, no matter how “spiritual” I might look or act, my heart is closed and cold, and there is no room for the mystery of the divine.