We usually find our orientation exclusively among designations and objects, considering that as reality, but eventually discover that such interaction doesn’t hold the key to real realization. It is the greatest paradox, because it is the mystery itself, as if moving, dancing, projecting light through a liquid. There is nothing that we have ever known, or ever been that is other that this mystery.
Where despair feels like surrender, compassion has no quit in it. The doubting mind is also closely tied to fear, and it is a small and contracted state, but the mind of compassion is broad and clear and fearless. It imagines great things, such as clean water, and people being fed and housed, and gets to work to get them done.
This poem is written by the contemporary Tibetan poet Sangdor and is part of a forthcoming book of his poetry in English translation. Sangdor was born in the Lake Regions of Amdo and recognized as a highly revered reincarnated master. However, in his 20’s announced that he was not actually this master nor was he a monk any longer and thereby returned his robes.
The day my 7 year old laid down beside me and told me she was afraid to die was the day I realized my daughter was starting to have questions that were beyond my ability to explain and her maturity to understand the answer. Her logical reasoning told her that dying is so scary that it would be better not to be born at all. At the moment she told me her thought, my mind started to scatter about all the possibilities.
I journeyed upstate to ask with my head bowed and palpable taste of angst: “Rinpoche, I really would like to become a monk and there seems a lot of obstacles to that”. With very happy air Rinpoche bowing his head in approval again and again spoke smiling, telling me that I should not worry, for it is clear to him that over time, slowly, slowly all the obstacles will be resolved and everything will be better.
SYLVAN DROPSView Post
In previous articles we looked at how the digital technologies of our modern world are affecting us physically and emotionally and now we come to their psychological impact. On each level; physical, emotional and psychological the affects are pervasive and widespread but perhaps their impact on our mind space is in most urgent need of our consideration.
This article concerns the relation between society and the idea that the release of the feminine in the individual will have large consequences in society, and why the focus on this process both in the individual, and in the collective is particularly important in our time. Therefore I will start by focusing upon the way the connection between the individual and society could be viewed, and explain why it makes sense to talk of a collective consciousness.
People go on retreat because it enables them to have insight, and access to inner resources, of creativity, intelligence and love that they can’t reach as easily at home. This has proven itself from generation to generation, and in every culture where Buddhism has become established. When on retreat, we ‘dig a channel to the ocean’, so to speak, and then our daily practice is a matter of keeping this channel open, and drawing forth resources we all have available to use in our daily life, relationships, and social work.