These days, we wonder how we can be like Sujata. We strive to make a difference in the world. We reduce our carbon footprints and participate proactively in the democratic process. We educate ourselves and serve others. Yet despite our best efforts, as a whole our societies still seem to be starving for compassion, thirsty for equanimity, and emaciated by the onslaught of digital disconnections. We wonder, what is the bowl of rice and milk that we can give our world to help to bring it into balance?
A poem about the experience and recognition of the moment and the power within. Accompanied by photographs I have taken of such very special moments that I have found my self to be in.
That is why the industrial agriculture and meat industry can exist. It is due to a basic experience of discernment and independence that violence in any form grows. That thinking does not allow us to see ourselves as part of a larger and interdependent whole, but creates a world where we feel separate from other people and everything else alive. It is a thought pattern that appeals to our fears and greed, which has defined the world in purely economic terms, builds on the idea of eternal growth and profit, and which constantly brings us to battle against others and nature.
THE DREAMView Post
The longing for wholeness commits us to a perpetual state of dualistic suffering. We search for God, a soul mate, philosophical ideals, creative ecstasy through the many human values such as power, greed, jealousy and hatred. These dualistic patterns run through out all of samsara creating an endless perpetual dissatisfaction.
The Bodhi Tree is a type of fig tree (Ficus Religiosa) so during the time it is bearing fruit there is much life in the tree as birds and chipmunks are attracted to the tiny figs. October is one of those times so I was fortunate to be able to gather some of the seeds that had dropped from the tree. These can be planted easily and will grow very well in a tropical climate, or as house plants further north.
There is something that comes before all other contemplation, that if it is lacking whatever time and energy is spent in studying is as good as wasted. I’m referring here to a clarity of mind that grasps what’s being talked about, and that can understand it and make connections with our own life, at least to some extent. If we are not moved inwardly by what we hear or read, then something essential is missing.
Sit, lie or stand just like that, for a moment. Two or three breaths. Now imagine, and it doesn’t matter if this is a clear image or just a thought, that Mary is present right here, with a big heart that just loves you unconditionally and deeply wants all the best for you.
Enjoy this Santa Xmas meditation, overflowing with generosity and good wishes by Adam Moes.
THE PERFECT TIMEView Post
Andra Samelson’s art celebrating the world’s two tallest standing statues of Buddha that were destroyed on March 11, 2001 in Bamiyan, Afghanistan by the fundamentalist Taliban rulers. These statues were of tremendous importance to the cultural heritage of Afghanistan. The intention was to relate the tragic event in Bamiyan to the tragic event of the eradication of Tibet, and to the Dalai Lama’s forced exit from Tibet, while emphasizing that as a living Buddha, he is still present in the world as a symbol of peace and compassion and tolerance.
Preview of the forthcoming movie, Precious Guru, a film about Padmasambhava, sacred places connected to him and the culture the tantric master inspired throughout the Himalayas.
FOUR REMEMBRANCESView Post
Just as we experience the fear, love, and humor of the characters in a movie, so do we experience the enlightened mind of the entities that we visualize. When we visualize an enlightened entity, we are able to recognize its enlightened mind because it is our own – it is inherent within us and it is the basis of our consciousness – so when we call upon it, we find it to be there.
Some people are beneficiaries of a system that enables certain individuals to amass inconceivable riches while countless others are condemned to lives of squalor and disenfranchisement. And while Buddhism extends its systemic lenses on a much wider framework of human suffering, the in-between area of the immediately near us is sometimes neglected.
Shariputra, form is emptiness and the very emptiness is form; emptiness does not differ from form, form does not differ from emptiness; whatever is form, that is emptiness, whatever is emptiness, that is form, the same is true of feelings, perceptions, impulses and consciousness.
We almost never think to question our story or to investigate the nature and origins of our inmost sense of self. As a result, our attention remains locked onto the drama of our unfolding life and we remain none the wiser right up until the time it is about to end. Most of us are not even aware that we are fixating on a drama which is neither true nor real and we are accustomed to living almost all of our lives this way. For us, what is nearest and true, as our inmost nature, has become but a distant dream and what is dreamlike and passing is the obsessive focus of our day to day attention.
I wanted the music to mingle unobtrusively with the sounds of the garden. By not creating a continuous web of sound with the instruments, as one normally would expect from music, and by always letting the music disappear into silence at unexpected places, my listening experience became that of a calm awareness of the entire field of sound around me. The sounds from the everyday become part of the music; an old man drove by on his bicycle and by the fountain were people playing games.
A powerful short-story by Rick Maddox: One could see that the god’s form was like that of a human, that the shape of his face could have been that of an Indian gentleman. But little else conveyed an impression of a human being. Ishvara’s face and body consisted entirely of colored light. His face was an oval of soft white light. Set in it were large eyes of the deepest black. Violaceous swirls indicated the folds of his loose garment. A scarf of aqua light draped over his left shoulder and onto his right arm.
What to do when no place feels like home? I chose to open myself freely to whatever happens outside while being in an inward retreat, which means I try to protect my mind while knowing the absolute ridiculousness of dwelling, getting attached to thoughts, emotions and the dream-like world.
The thought of extraordinary individuals has the power to shift what we conceive of as possible in this human realm. It also changes what we think of our teachers, ourselves, and our brothers and sisters. A saint, both in the East and in Western traditions, is something more than a good person, or someone of exemplary character. Moving past this mundane conception, we enter into a supernatural framework for understanding the lives and influence of a saintly person.