Vesak 🙏🏻

today is Vesak (also celebrated on May 8th or 15th depending on the country/area), a commemoration of the Buddha’s (Siddartha Gautama) birth, enlightenment, and death. the day is often marked with festivals, ceremonies, etc. for me, just taking some time to meditate, get outside into nature, recite Refuge Vows and the 5 Precepts. 

as always, i sit with the questions:

-how do i abide in, align with, and embody love, rather than fear and aggression?
-how do i live in a way that avoids harming and violence and instead brings healing and benefit?
-how do i flow with this life in a way that is awake, aware of our interdependence, and open-hearted, and also non-grasping?

these questions/contemplations seem ever more urgently needed. may we each find our way to the answers and may we do so together.



#Vesak #Wesak #BuddhaDay #TheBuddha #Buddhism #SiddarthaGautama #EngagedBuddhism #refuge #path #practice #JinpaLhaga #JMWart

the groundwork…


self-care prepares us, buoys us, steadies us, to care for others and the world.



#meditation #mindfulness #awareness #lovingkindness #path #practice #EngagedBuddhism

Posted @withregram • @ethannichtern

White supremacist mass murders. Abortion rights—and the right to privacy altogether—under assault from an illegitimate Supreme Court. A world literally on fire from climate crisis. All these things require action, but they also require our nervous systems to be healthy enough and our hearts to be open enough to meet the moment. Not telling anyone what to do, but this would be a good time to make sure your personal practices don’t get lost in the mix.

the same demons, different day. are we willing to change this?

more lives taken by guns and racism tonight in Buffalo, NY.  so much to mourn, to grieve, to be angry about. these same demons of racism, terrorism via mass shootings, rearing their ugly heads once again.  can we see clearly the destruction caused by their hate, the hate caused by their anger, the anger caused by their fear, the fear caused by their delusion?

it would be easy to despair, wouldn’t it ? but we must not. there’s too much at stake. i believe there is more love, openness, tenderness, kindness, light, and sanity in this world than not, but it means little if we aren’t willing to engage and act on it, if we’re not willing to do the work needed, if we’re not willing to face  the harm with honesty and with our eyes open to it. 

we can’t transform or heal what we won’t acknowledge. we have a White Supremacist problem in this country. we have a gun violence problem in this country. unattended, they will be our end. are we willing, do we have the courage, the fierce love to change this? 



#MassShootings #terrorism #racism #GunViolence #EndRacism #EndGunViolence #EndViolence #transform #heal #engage #EngagedBuddhism #JinpaLhaga

flexibility can be our superpower…

this Charles Darwin quote is quite Taoist and Buddhist. 

in a reality that is foundationally one of constant change and movement, which is what life is, the capacity to let go, to adapt, to be flexible, provides the opportunity to be free and happy. 

it is our resistance to change that causes us so much suffering, our seeming inability at times to loosen our grip, to release our grasp. 

we simply can’t hold onto change. just as we can’t hold onto life, we can only experience it and choose to flow with it. this can be very challenging and scary. we have patterns of thought that are built on survival and seeking a sense of security. surely though, it has been our ability to adapt as a species, that has brought us to where we are today. with all the challenges that face us now, are we willing to release our grasp and adapt further? the future of our planet will depend on it. but so does every other aspect of life, including our relationships with others and our relationship with ourselves.

with meditation practice, we engage this by starting with ourselves, just right where we are in this moment. sitting, breathing. just being aware of our sitting and breathing, we see constant movement and change. the breath comes in – this is life. the breath goes out – this is death. then life again and so on. we notice sensations and feelings arise and fall away. constant change and movement – even in stillness. this is life. so, we practice just being with this life, paying attention to it, but also not holding on tightly, and not pushing away. this provides an opportunity for spaciousness to arise and from that spaciousness, we can choose how we want to live and what choices we want to make. 

this flexibility, when embraced and practiced, can be our strength, our super power.



if you’d like to practice meditation with me, please join me for Self-Care Saturdays at 10am for a 1 hr group session. no previous experience necessary. sessions are free or by donation. $10 suggested. 

#change #flexibility #strength #superpower #adapt #flow #life #path #practice #meditation #JinpaLhaga #JMWart

a force for healing…

“We can get greater energy out of love and joy than out of hatred. Hatred is so off balance. You blow your adrenals in one minute, then you’re shaky and weak. But if you’re joyful, you’ll get an endless source of energy.” 

~ Robert Thurman

may we find a way, a path, a practice that moves us in concert with love and joy. this love and joy, are not just life-giving, they are life. we should incorporate practices that attend to this, where we soak in nature. maybe a hike, maybe a morning coffee or evening tea sitting outside. just there listening. feeling, breathing. this too is meditation, this is presence.

from such a place, feeling connected with life, feeling the joy of being alive in this moment, opening our hearts and letting our love rise from the depths of our true nature, flowing out to a world in need, we can be energized to do good and beneficial work. healing work.

this is the antidote to our time, where fear drives a compulsion to close up hearts, to tighten, to manipulate, to control, to abuse, to marginalize and target with aggression and violence. they hate and push others to hate. hate is insatiable and devours, destroys all. it is the opposite of love; it is the opposite of life.

we can choose a different path and we can allow life itself to support us.



#love #life #compassion #healing #OpenHeart #path #practice #EngagedBuddhism #MedicineBuddha #TibetanPrayerFlags #RobertThurmanQuote #JinpaLhaga #JMWart #photography

📷: Tibetan Medicine Buddha Prayer Flags hanging in my residence.💙
“Tayata Om Bekandze Bekandze Maha Bekandze Radza Samudgate Soha”

the dance…

we have within our hearts

the capacity to

hold all of this

the tears, the laughter

the noise, the silence

the stillness, the loss

the love

we also have the wisdom to

let it all go…

and here we are on this journey together

learning to

dance between the two

this life!

this life!

~ j

still learning that i’m not so good at dancing 😂

may we all find our rhythm and balance to dance between holding with love and letting go with love in this life. 


#learning #growth #balance #hold #LetGo #love #journey #path #practice

we become what we practice…

we sit, with awareness of our body, grounded and upright with dignity. our attention on our breath, allowing thoughts, sensations, feelings to arise and fall away. we come back, we begin again, without judgement or criticism. we come back, we begin again, with gentleness, with tenderness, with open hearts.

how we sit on our cushion, is also how we can live in the world – with awareness, with attention, with open hearts, and steady minds.



Self-Care Saturday, tomorrow, at 10am PT. link:

No session on Sunday 5/8 due to Mother’s Day. ✨

#mindfulness #awareness #attention #OpenHeart #gentleness #BeginAgain #path #practice #EngagedBuddhism #JinpaLhaga #JMWart #JackKornfieldQuote

Dharma in Star Wars…

“Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose…Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

~ Yoda

this is as good a Buddhist Dharma teaching as any. in Buddhism the cycle of suffering begins with ignorance, or also understood as delusion (or confusion), our false idea of being an independent existence, on our own, rather than interdependent and part of all life, existence (the Force). this feeling of separation, of disconnection, leads to an underlying anxiety and fear. we feel moved to grasp, to cling (also called greed) not only to our own existence which we are afraid to lose, but to anything that supports that or gives us a sense of security. and anything that seems to even subtly threaten that, we push away, sometimes even violently. this is aversion, or aggression (also called anger). this leads to suffering, not only for us but for those around us, and for the world. so a Buddhist way of saying this may be: ignorance leads to fear, fear leads to grasping and aggression, and these lead to suffering.



#StarWarsDay #MayThe4thBeWithYou #StarWars #Jedi #TheForce #Yoda #JinpaLhaga #JMWart

#photography #bwphotography

practicing with anger…

anger itself, that is the energy of anger, can be useful and clarifying. we see this in social justice work. we see a harm being done, it angers us, and we are moved to end the harm.

but anger burns hot and quick, and if we aren’t aware of it, if we don’t tend to it and transform it with tender hearts and love, we can end up with aggression and violence, rather than fierce compassion. 

we can cause more harm rather than bringing benefit. we may end up destroying ourselves and others, rather than being a force for healing. we can become hooked by the seeming righteousness of it all, and then we’re trapped.



#StarWarsDay #MayThe4thBeWithYou #StarWars #Jedi #KananJarrus #TheForce #JinpaLhaga #JMWart

sometimes hate is disguised as something else…

sometimes hate doesn’t look so obviously like hate.

it can look like a government taking away a woman’s right to bodily autonomy, or banning books, or attempting to erase BIPOC history and the sin of slavery/racism, or the existence and dignity of LGBTQ+ persons/families. sometimes it looks like people working to restrict or suppress the right to vote or dismantling the foundations of democracy and moving toward authoritarianism. it can also look like denying health care and allowing poverty, and hunger. sometimes hate is crowned with the language of being somehow loving and endowed by a god and embraced and even elevated into some sort of theocracy. no one is safe in that environment. even Christians may not be safe in a Christian theocracy. will Christian Nationalists decide that you are Christian enough? will you pass their litmus test?

none of the above look like love to me, at least not an all-inclusive big love. can love be anything less than that? i don’t think so. words and actions such as these, that cause so much harm and destruction, are not embodiments of love. and if God is love, which i do believe God is, then how can they be of God? instead, they seem to me to be embodiments of hate.

so, that’s where the work is. shining a light and doing the hard work of undoing the hate – transforming that energy, opening hearts, and healing the harm. we can do that with our voices, with our art, with our feet, with our money, with our vote.



#hate #harm #healing #love #liberty #democracy #vote #WomensRights #choice #BIPOC #CRT #LGBTQIA #BookBanning #OpenHeart #ClearMind #path #practice #EngagedBuddhism #JinpaLhaga #AnneLamottQuote