Sometimes this young man uses profanity. Doesn’t bother me in the least ( I use it also sometimes) but if it offends you, please don’t allow it to keep you from hearing his exquisite philosophy.
03 Sep 2014 Leave a comment
A bodhisattva is a person (usually Buddhist) who strives to end the suffering of all beings.
From Jack Kornfield’s blog:
In some form, the vision of the bodhisattva is celebrated in every culture. We revere the figures of Saint Francis and Kwan Yin and we take public inspiration from the medical mission of Albert Schweitzer in Africa and Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement. But following the bodhisattva way does not require us to become a monk like Saint Francis or to work in Central Africa like Albert Schweitzer. It is based on the truth that we can transform our own circumstances into a life of inner and outer service. To do this without being overwhelmed, the bodhisattva creates a life of balance.
This is eminently practical. If we want to act wisely in the world, the first step is to learn to quiet the mind. If our actions are born fro anger, grasping, fear, and aggression, they will perpetuate the problems. How many revolutions have overthrown oppressive regimes, to then turn around and become the oppressors? Only when our own minds and hearts are peaceful can we expect peace to come through the actions we take.
To understand this integration of inner and outer, we can again look at the life of Gandhi. Even during the most turbulent years, when he was dismantling the British Empire’s control of India, Gandhi spent one day a week in silence. He meditated so that he could act form the principles of interdependence, not bringing harm to himself nor another. No matter how pressing and urgent the political situation, the day he spent in silence allowed him to quiet his mind and listen to the purest intentions of his heart.
If you want to live a life of balance, start now. Turn off the news, meditate, turn on Mozart, walk through the forest or the mountains and begin to make yourself a zone of peace. When I return from a long retreat or from traveling for months, I’m amazed that thew news is pretty much the same as when I left. We already know the plot, we know the problems. Let go of the latest story. Listen more deeply.
Remember the story Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh told of the crowded refugee boats. “If even on person on the boat stayed calm, it was enough. It showed the way for everyone to survive.” When we react to terrorism with fear, we worsen the problem, we create a frightened barricaded society- a fortress America. Instead, we can use courage and compassion to respond calmy, with both prudent action and a fearless heart. The quieting of our mind is a political act. The world does not really need more oil or energy or food. It needs less greed, less hatred, less ignorance. If we have inadvertently taken on the political bitterness or cynicism that exists externally, we can stop and begin to heal our own suffering, our own fear, with compassion. Through meditation and inner transformation, we can learn to make our own hearts a place of peace and integrity. Each of us knows how to do this. As Gandhi acknowledged, “I have nothing new to teach this world. Truth and nonviolence are as old the hills.” It is our inner nobility and steadiness that we must call upon in our personal and collective difficulties.
01 Sep 2014 2 Comments
We can easily believe we are “living in the present” and still be half asleep, following our old comfortable habits. Our initial sense of love and light can become an excuse to say that everything is already divine or perfect, and cause us to gloss over any conflict or difficulty. Some students practice this way for a long time without gaining much real wisdom. Stuck without knowing it, they may feel quite peaceful, but their lives have not been transformed and they may never fulfill the spiritual journey, never find true liberation in the midst of the world.—Jack Kornfield
31 Aug 2014 2 Comments
As we learn to distinguish between our Egos — marked by our mind and thoughts — and the witness Soul — who’s not subject to them — we begin to see the opportunity that aging offers. We begin to separate who we are from the roles that we play, and to recognize why the Ego clings as it does to behaviors and images that no longer suit us. Stripped of its roles, the Ego is revealed as fiction. But for the person without a spiritual context, this is pure tragedy, for seekers of truth who are aware of the Soul, it is only the beginning.
Rather than wonder what new “role” we can invent for ourselves in the world then, the question that concerns us might be better put this way: How can we, as aging people, make our wisdom felt in the world? By embodying wisdom. We can find a happy balance between participation and retreat, remembering that while it is our duty to be of service if possible, it is also important that we prepare for our own journeys into death, through contemplation, quiet time, and deepening knowledge of ourselves.
— Ram Dass
30 Aug 2014 Leave a comment
Back in the 70’s until now many people who labor under illusions, could not hear what Ram Dass was actually saying, so they picked up a random bit here and there and twisted it into the illusions they could understand. I’ve been rediscovering him lately now that I understand (40 years later) what he was trying to tell us.
29 Aug 2014 Leave a comment
22 Aug 2014 Leave a comment
Meditation Is the Catalyst for Growth