our lives…

This shell is not of my own making.

Borrowing it from heaven and earth,

I live out each and every day.


Eiichi Enomoto

#Zen #Buddhism #poetry #shell #snail #nature #photography #BWphotography #JMWphotography #JinpaLhaga

shine where you are…

In the Lotus Sutra, Buddha says to light up one corner – not the whole world. Just make it clear where you are.

~ Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

#shine #light #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #EngagedBuddhist #Enso #Zen #JMWart #JinpaLhaga

i am home…

i am home.

inspired by my root teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, who has a gatha (verse) and calligraphy containing the phrase, “I have arrived, I am home.”

this is a practice, a practice i am engaging (and then re-engaging) during this time.

the urge is to want to flee. there is so much to be concerned about, so much that is painful and worthy of grief, that there can be an urge to flee from the discomfort of all that is going on. it can be easier to just pay no attention. but of course, we can only flee for so long. life and all that comes with it, catches up with us eventually.

where would we flee to anyway? wherever we go, still we are right here. and right here, is where life needs us, where we can be of benefit, where we can embody the love needed in this world to bring healing and to reduce suffering.

when we say, “i am home,” we are saying that we are invested in this place, in the people, animals, life that is also here in this place and also call it home. when we say, “i am home,” we are saying we care.

we can also take comfort in the phrase, “i am home.”

home is a place where we belong, a place where we can keep our heart open and relax into the comfort love can bring. we can trust that.

home is a place of safety, of sanctuary. we can learn to practice in that and find that within the spaciousness of our own open hearts.

the practice, isn’t magic, in the way of whisking away our troubles. the practice is, however, magical in that it reveals to us what has already been given and available within us, what once seen as vulnerability begins to be seen as bravery and resilience, a bravery and resilience that can be found in the multitude of generations before us who also faced great troubles as well.

“i am home” is a practice of love.


#iamhome #meditation #practice #openheart #vulnerability #bravery #resilience #engagedbuddhism #zen #JMWart #JinpaLhaga


the answer to a lot of the harm and destruction we are seeing right now is – empathy.

opening our hearts to empathy, gives birth to compassion. the ability to put oneself in another’s shoes or to connect one’s own personal suffering to the suffering of others can be a practice and isn’t that difficult if we care to open our hearts to it.

a world of empathy is a world that cares about justice and equality, that cares for our fellow human beings that are actively oppressed and targeted, that cares to take precautions like wearing a mask and social distancing to keep family-friends-neighbors from getting sick, that cares for the children and parents still being separated at the border and housed in detention facilities, that cares about the huge wealth inequality leaving increasing millions in poverty and so many struggling, that cares for an environment desperately in need of help, that cares for the many species that are dying and going extinct due to climate change, that cares for the many animals horribly slaughtered in factory farming and suffering in the diary industry.

we have incredible power and potential to bring benefit and end suffering. we have the capacity to end all of these atrocities, because we have the capacity for empathy.

may we connect to and embody empathy, today.


#empathy #potential #OpenHeart #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #EngagedBuddhism #JMWart #JinpaLhaga

Happy Birthday HH Dalai Lama 🙏🏻

happy 85th birthday to His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama @dalailama !

i’ve had the great pleasure of attending a handful of his public talks over the years and his message is consistent, unwavering, and simple – compassion and connection are the answer. the simplicity of the message shouldn’t distract from its power and His Holiness doesn’t shy away from the idea of compassion being at times hard work and fierce rather than just some platitude.

i once heard or read that we can see enlightenment in a person, because they laugh a lot. the Dalai Lama laughs A LOT, but you can just as easily see him become serious, thoughtful and sympathetic when connecting with intellectuals, visitors, and the Tibetan people who come to see him. he connects in the moment.

the message of compassion is sorely needed at this time. we see it alive and well in health professionals and essential workers, but we also see the need for many others to open to it.

may His Holiness continue on for many more years extolling the beneficial and healing message of compassion and connection.

wishing him health and happiness every day! 🙏🏻


#TheDalaiLama #HHDalaiLama #DalaiLamaBirthday #Compassion #TibetanBuddhism #Buddhism

thoughts for a July 4th…

i love our country and i love what our country can be. i’m grateful for our country and for living here, but i am grieved by its past sins and our lacking ability to come together in moral unity to recognize our past and resolve to make change.

this country was built for freedom, but was built on the lives of those who didn’t receive freedom or rights and weren’t recognized as equal in their humanity. for so many descendants and many BIPOC those rights and freedoms are still illusive in cultural, structural, systemic ways.

we have a long way to go in forming a more perfect union. we won’t get further without awareness and recognition of the past aligned with a vow to make the changes and sacrifices necessary to ensure that ALL people are recognized as equal in their embodiment of life and that the socio-economic, governmental structures and systems in place reflect that value.

we are in a challenging time in this country. we have so many who have awakened to this need for change and progress, but we also have many who feel their privilege being threatened and are desperately clinging to an illusion of a “great” past where/when not everyone was/is included, being led by a man who stokes the fire of division and separation, racism and violence in his words and policies.

how ironic that on Independence Day, I should say that our emphasis on our independence is our downfall, but I do and it is. our worship and celebration of individualism is not a truthful reflection of how life is or how life works and this causes harm. we are not independent, we are interdependent. our lives, our words and actions, are intertwined. our welfare, our future as a species on this planet is in jeopardy precisely because we are not aware or do not recognize this. this harmful ignorance is alive in a phrase such as “America First”, it is alive in our clinging to celebratory monuments to a past that was oppressive and harmful, it is alive in our unwillingness to wear a mask or responsibly socially distance for the welfare of others during a rising pandemic.

we aren’t guaranteed a future, friends. but in the life we embody, in the short time we embody it, we have such a great and sacred opportunity to be beneficial, to offer our lives to a movement of love, one that embraces the beauty inherent in our diversity and the necessity for equality and justice, so we can indeed form that more perfect union, not just in these United States, but a union of all humanity and all life.



#July4th #InterdependenceDay #SitDownRiseUp #NoJusticeNoPeace #BlackLivesMatter #EqualityForAll #EngagedBuddhism #JMWart #JinpaLhaga

the world needs us to wake up…

the world needs us to wake up to our interdependence and let go of the myths of individualism and essentialism. we hide behind our accumulation and consumption and the myth of the rugged individual, because the recognition of our interdependence comes with immense responsibility to each other and the world. the truth always finds its way to the surface no matter how deep we try to bury it, though. we are in a time when the truth of our interdependence is coming forth in multiple areas, calling on us to wake up – what an opportunity to welcome transformation, justice, healing and peace!


#interdependence #EngagedBuddhism #SitDownRiseUp #NoJusticeNoPeace

a tsunami of love…

sitting with this life,


allow it

over and over again
allow it

offer it

allow your heart to break open
allow love to pour out

pouring pouring pouring
offering offering offering

a tsunami
to overwhelm
this suffering world
with love

your love

when love has been
set free

can fill your words
life your feet
put your hands to work

reminding us,
there is goodness
there is beauty
there is hope


#empathy #compassion #OpenHeart #meditation #EngagedBuddhism #SitDownRiseUp #healing #JinpaLhaga #poetry

Elijah McClain 🙏🏻

i’ve been a mess over the murder of Elijah McClain.

i haven’t had the words to post about it, honestly. i don’t know if Elijah was on the spectrum or not. though i suspect he was, i haven’t seen it confirmed. i have nephews who are Black and on the spectrum. who very well, one day, could be out and about waving their arms stemming or scripting and someone could report them for acting strange as the shop owner did. Are they going to be left alone, or given assistance, or killed by police for not reading social cues or not responding in a normative way??? Elijah did nothing wrong. This is so cruel what happened to him. He was walking home from purchasing an iced tea. He was dancing around waving his arms. He was wearing an open face ski mask because he was anemic. He was close to home. Why couldn’t the police have just walked/escorted him home?

Elijah played violin for shelter animals, he was loved by everyone for his kind and gentle spirit, he only weighed 140 lbs and he was anemic – what threat was he posing? Police once again assumed the worst, didn’t listen the the pleas for help and inability to breathe, ignored the vomiting.

I encourage you to read up on this, but also to look at these photos of this gentle soul who was killed and read his final words before his life was taken.




this is our life, our moment to embody love…

we have this life, this moment to embody love.

there’s no guarantee of another.

how will we use it? how will we offer it?

compassion is how we embody love.

compassion is our embodied love in action.

even if no one else answers the call, we have a responsibility to this life – which is to say our life, others’ lives, and all life – to be embodied love, which we do through our compassion which is our love in action, in service to end the harm and suffering we see.