We are practicing to remember….

Feelings

To neither suppress our feelings nor be caught by them, but to understand them, that is the art. ~~~Jack Kornfield

Benefits of Insecurity

This is a wonderful short commentary that is very comforting to me, maybe to you too.

 

The Benefits of Insecurity

Identity

What You Gain Through Loss

Birthday reflection: No Birth, No Death

There is a Buddhist saying, ” In the material world the beginning of life is easy and the end is hard. In the spiritual life, the beginning of life is hard and the end of life is easy.”

Speaking as someone closer to the end than the beginning since I had my 67 birthday yesterday, I find this to be true. I never could make the material reality work out for me, but now that I have fully entered my spiritual life, everything fits, everything works.

 

The Challenge

With the good news of finding a publisher for my book comes a big opportunity to practice the dharma. How can I enjoy this good fortune, even “success” without it reinforcing my idea of a “self”? How do I keep this in perspective when it feels like it is the source of my happiness?

As you all know, my blog started out because I knew that non-attachment was my ticket to freedom. I wanted happiness that was not dependent on success or “love” or material goods. The greatest, lasting joy is freedom from “needing” recognition, admiration. All of that comes and goes. Everything changes and ends up being “not enough.” It is the nature of the ego and of our conditioning to never be quite satisfied and to always strive for more, more, more.

I will have to do some serious investigation of my motives and my attachments as I start this new identify of “published writer.” I know I will increase my suffering if I get attached to that identity. To build a stronger ego that thinks “Now I am worthwhile. Now I can be happy because I will be valued.”

If my published work can help someone that will be my greatest joy. That is the joy that lasts, knowing I can help.

Great News

Dear followers and friends of the blog,

Yesterday I found out that I have a publisher for my book which is based on much of this blog. I started writing it four years ago and during the past year put it into manuscript form, sent it off and then worked on not being attached to the outcome (not easy!). The publisher and I will not start working on it until this spring or summer, so it will appear next year sometime.

You all have been part of this journey and I thank you for supporting my writing, and my effort to become more awake. Thank you!

Anda

May I be…

This is my wish:

May I be scripture for those inspired by words:
A koan, a rhapsody, a proverb, a psalm.
For those who question, an unbiased ear;
For those who believe, a holder of the faith.

– Pamela Gayle White, “Bedside Bodhisattva”

Constant Company is Not the Way Either

“If you make human company too important you will not discover your true Self. Relationships not based in truth are never entirely reliable and are rarely enduring.
Taking time to discover yourself is the best use of time.
Prioritize this.
One should not excessively seek partners or friends, one should seek to know and be oneself. As you begin to awaken to the Truth, you start noticing how well life flows by itself and how well you are cared for. Life supports the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs of the one who is open to self-discovery. Trust opens your eyes to the recognition of this. Surrender allows you to merge in your own eternal being.”

~ Mooji

Monte Sahaja, November 2012

The Heart’s Compass

This, from Jack Kornfield

In times of difficulty it is this repeated setting of our heart’s compass that determines the result. Whether in a family disagreement or community conflict, before we speak and act, we can become aware of our deepest intention. Even the simplest words can have a vastly different effect depending on our intention. The phrase “What do you mean?” can sound accusing and judgmental or considerate and humble. Our hearts are like seismographs, picking up the tremors of intent.

Notice how this works in conversation. Do we speak from a subtle sense of control or self-righteousness, or do we really wish to listen, to learn? If we set our minds toward freedom, our good intentions will help us to let go of what blocks our openness. If we set our hearts toward compassion, we will reaffirm our love in spite of whatever difficulties we face.

Instead of inflaming a bad situation, we can seek ways of touching the good in another. Without denying pain and injustice, we can also look for the secret beauty of others. Our spiritual practice can be this simple: to see with eyes of compassion and act with our wisest intention. This often has a surprising effect. Nelson Mandela put it this way: “Thinking too well of people often allows them to behave better than they otherwise would.”

Do no doubt the transformation that can be born out of such conscious attention. When Ananda, attendant and close friend of the Buddha, met a young outcaste woman at a village well, he politely asked her for water to drink, but she was ashamed and refused him, lest her untouchability contaminate his holiness. Ananda replied, “I ask not for caste but for water.” Her life was transformed by this simple kindness, and she joyously and lovingly followed Ananda to the monastery. There the Buddha blessed her and bid her to take up the kindness Ananda had shown her and, by keeping that simple intention, to “let the actions of your life shine like the jewels of royalty.”

It is in such small things that we fulfill the lessons of the heart. It is from our intentions that our life grows. It is in opening to one another that our path is made whole.

This excerpt is taken from the book, “After the Ecstasy, the LaundryYARPP

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