open, open, open…

we often come to a spiritual practice because we are suffering and we want freedom from suffering.

sometimes we seek perfection, to be perfect, to act perfect, to be “good” girls and boys. however, this is really doomed to fail. life is ever changing and the rug is constantly pulled out from under our feet and the nuance of life requires flexibility and spaciousness.

so, rather than seeking perfection (whatever that is!) we can aspire for more equanimity, more spaciousness, which is really freedom. freedom to continually open and remain open. this openness allows the space for us to see ourselves, others, the state of our world without bias and really see where the need is, where there is suffering, where there is connection. this openness, this freedom, allows space for love.

The Three Root Causes of Suffering, or the Three Poisons in Buddhism are ignorance, attachment, and aversion. All three of these are a form of closing off, closing oneself off, closing our heart off to ourselves, others around us, and the world. when we stick our head in the sand, we are closing ourselves off from reality. when we grasp at one thing or person or situation, we have closed off to other things, people, and experiences in life. when we lose ourselves in aggression, we have closed our hearts.

“Mature spirituality is…the capacity to open the heart to all that is.”

this is how we reduce and end suffering. this is how we position ourselves to see clearly and say enough to the suffering we see, the consistent killing of our Black family, the all too regular mass shootings, the unnecessary, avoidable poverty around us. the disaster of climate change.

we have closed ourselves off for far too long to the suffering around us, perhaps because it is too painful to witness, perhaps because it feels overwhelming and we don’t know what to do. it is understandable, but it is also not sustainable, when people are regularly, unnecessarily, avoidably dying, and life suffers around us.

we can be brave. we can look at what is happening. we can keep our heart open. feel the tenderness, the rawness, the grief – that is our connection to those who are suffering. this is how empathy is manifest, this is how compassion arises for others and for ourselves (yes – we include ourselves!). then we take the first step that speaks to us. we trust the love in our heart.

and here’s the bonus. when we really open to the world and to others, and to ourselves, we also experience a deeper connection, a deeper love and joy. it’s not just heaviness, sadness, etc…it’s also connection and joy. it is the fullness of the human experience, held in the fullness of our love.


#OpenHeart #path #practice #meditation #EngagedBuddhism #JinpaLhaga

abundance in simplicity…

Ryokan, a Zen master, lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening a thief visited the hut only to discover there was nothing in it to steal.

Ryokan returned and caught him. “You may have come a long way to visit me,” he told the prowler, “and you should not return empty-handed. Please take my clothes as a gift.”

The thief was bewildered. He took the clothes and slunk away.

Ryokan sat naked, watching the moon. “Poor fellow,” he mused, “I wish I could give him this beautiful moon.”

(from book ~ Zen Flesh, Zen Bones)

it’s challenging in a consumer/acquisition culture, but if and when we are able to step outside of the stories of comparison we tell ourselves, we may discover that in many ways we already have enough.

the comparison story we tell ourselves – where others are, or what they may have, is an illusion to some degree beyond basic needs being met (a home, food to eat, some level of health and safety). it isn’t reality. we each have our own path where life is uniquely living within and through us, expressing itself. we can’t live another’s path. it isn’t authentic. so we find our own way through curiosity, hearing/receiving wisdom from those who have traveled before, and a love for life itself.

here’s how I know in my life that this is true: when I get stuck in my mind comparing my path to others, where it looks like they are succeeding better at this life, I begin to feel a sense of failing, inferiority, loss. oppressive emotions that can way me down. however, if I simply step outside and go for a mindful walk of paying attention to nature, its sights and sounds, and the silence that nature carries, or likewise if I sit on my cushion in my room placing my attention on my breath, all of a sudden there is simple joy, a deeper, fuller, resonating joy in just being alive. each breath a love letter.

meditation can prepare the ground to simply be present with our attention and open our awareness to the simplicity and abundance available to us. we are life.


#Zen #wisdom #moon #simplicity #joy #meditation #EngagedBuddhism #path #practice #JMWart #JinpaLhaga

we can’t stop the beat…

“When buddhas don’t appear and their followers are gone, the wisdom of awakening bursts forth by itself.” ~ Nagarjuna

throne or a trash heap

when the conditions arise

it is no matter.


…or in the words from the Broadway musical, Hairspray, “You can’t stop the beat.”

i find this to be quite hopeful.

#awakening #wisdom #TheAbsolute #primordial #hope #path #practice #EngagedBuddhism #haiku #JMWart #JinpaLhaga

enough! (…again)

if we value life, we cannot easily accept that killing is inevitable or acceptable.

we must not allow all the noise to cloud our hearts. we know in our hearts that what is happening in this country – the continuous killing of Black men and women at the hands of law enforcement – is a complete breakdown and failure of our justice/policing system and the embodiment of structural racist bias.

a sworn police officer, a professional of 26 years, was unable to know the difference in location, in weight, in grip, in shape of their handgun and their taser? they are wrong for the job.

should expired tags and a warrant on a misdemeanor charge be a death sentence? a 20 year old life is gone and a toddler no longer has their father…again.

too many similar stories.

many years ago, i stepped out of a Rite-Aid and walked to my car. when i arose from looking at my receipts, i saw that i was surrounded by several police, their guns were not drawn, but their hands were on them. i was asked to slowly produce my license. after looking at my license, i was told i matched the description of a suspect in the area. i was cleared to go. i didn’t go. i sat in my car with my heart pounding and my stomach knotted. would i have made it out of that situation alive if i were Black or had dark skin? i hold that memory in my bones, knowing that this is just a taste of the fear my BIPOC friends live with.

i have nephews and nieces who are Black or have dark skin. a couple of them have autism and one is developmentally disabled. i cannot say with any confidence that i feel they are safe from being killed by police. what are we supposed to tell them? how do we prepare them for how they may be approached by police? how do we protect them from being killed by police? why is the burden on them to not be killed, rather than on police to not kill?

this is where we are at. this is where we have been.

i’m tired of spilled blood. i’m tired of aggression and violence as first choice. i’m tired of deadly force as default.

this paradigm needs to shift hard and shift now.


#BlackLivesMatter #DaunteWright #PoliceReformNow #SitDownRiseUp #EngagedBuddhism #enso #JMWart #JinpaLhaga

Star Trek – Logic Sciences…

Nerd alert.

It has always been clear to me that in the Star Wars universe I’d be a Jedi. Maybe not a Guardian going into battle, but perhaps a Consular, a Seer or Healer…or librarian.

It hasn’t been clear what role I’d be in a Star Trek universe. I grew up on Next Generation, so I felt maybe a bit closer the role of Empath embodied by Counselor Troi. (However, as an actor I’d love to be an alien species and wear prosthetics.)

In watching Star Trek: Discovery – which I love! Currently in middle of streaming season 3 – I believe I have finally found my answer!! In season 2 episode 1, Tilly says to Stamets, “…but then I remembered Brianna in Logic Sciences has two stories on the third level and then it hits me, why does she need all that space? Logic Sciences is basically meditation. I mean I’ve never seen the woman move, so I put her in a utility closet on twelve and I put you in there.”

So there it is, Jaysen Waller, Logic Sciences. Where I basically meditate and never move! Haha 🙂

On a somewhat related note – Yay Science! Creating multiple vaccines in short form and getting it out to millions of people who have now been vaccinated! And yay Space Science with all the cool stuff NASA is doing on Mars!


#StarTrek #StarTrekDiscovery #Starfleet #Science #LogicSciences #meditation #JustSit #Space #NASA #JMWart #photography

doing our part…

the amount of need in the world can feel overwhelming when looked at in its entirety.

when we feel overwhelmed, we may freeze up or close down, but the weight of the world isn’t our burden to bear. life isn’t calling us to be saviors. life is calling on us to engage and to love. love really becomes something when it is specific, so we can be very specific in how we engage the world, what we do to benefit, where we offer our help.

we don’t have to do it all.

we do what we can, where we can, when we can, how we can, with who we are.


#care #love #life #engage #path #practice #EngagedBuddhism #JinpaLhaga

i am love, i am life…

i am love

i am life

and so are YOU.

this is our starting point.
beneath the ignorance, the struggle, the neurosis of aggression and grasping, we are simply life manifest and in the tenderness, the rawness of our open heart, we find that we are love.

imagine how different the world would be if everyone were aware of this, that each of us and together are life and are love, if we really connected to this and had faith in it. this isn’t faith in something unseen. when we settle our minds and open our hearts, when we look deeply with clarity and allow space, it becomes evident. we are often too busy to do so and we are often caught up in our worries, our pain, and our storylines or patterns of thought.

the simple, yet profound, practice of meditation – taking our seat, placing our attention on our breath, and seeing what arises without any judgement, criticism or bias – can open our awareness to this profundity.

it’s not a magic pill, we still have hurt, challenges and struggles, but navigating our hurt, our challenges and struggles from a place of connection with life and our love, is a world of difference than trying to navigate this life from a sense of unworthiness or lowliness. some Buddhist scriptures begin with the phrase, “Oh nobly born.” that’s YOU, that’s me, that’s us.

i wrote the phrasing for the art with love preceding life, because so many feel a lack in love and as we connect with our love, we may feel more connected with life. however, as a practice, i like to reverse these as such:

(breathing in)

i am life

(breathing out)

i am love

as we breathe in, we are literally breathing in life – oxygen fuels and sustains our body. we are connecting with life. as we breathe out, we are letting go. this letting go, this allowance and trust is fundamentally an act of generosity and our generosity is our love in action.

#love #life #path #practice #meditation #EngagedBuddhism #JMWart #JinpaLhaga

taking care with the seeds we plant…

our words and actions

carried on winds of intent

both flowers and weeds.


we should be careful the seeds we plant. all comes to fruition.

when we practice from a clear and steady mind, from an open heart, from a space of empathy and our own genuine warmth, we bring great benefit. our words and actions rippling out upon the sea of life that surrounds us.


#PlantingSeeds #OpenHeart #empathy #kindness #compassion #beauty #path #practice #EngagedBuddhism #haiku #enso #JMWart #JinpaLhaga

love your ambiguous life NOW…

how present this quote feels, especially with the purgatory of this past year. so much unknown, so many changes. simple beauties and joys along with a weighty sadness at times.

there are variations of this quote depending on the translation, but all convey the deep imperative to love the mystery of your life right now with all of its ambiguity, its confusion and questions, not when you think you have it figured out.

the best writing transcends time and speaks directly into the heart of our experience in this life, so much of which is shared.

the book, Letters To A Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke, is one of my favorite books. it continues to speak as it did when first published in 1929 by Franz Xaver Kappus, as it did when it was gifted to me by my dear friend Cynthie and i read it in 1999. Kappus was the young poet with whom Rilke corresponded. Rilke, a poet with a poet’s heart, bearing the deep love, the fragile beauty, and heavy sadness of life.

the book speaks to all lovers, all artists, anyone who is breathing and wants to go deeper and abide in the mystery.


#RainerMariaRilke #Rilke #LettersToAYoungPoet #OpenHeart #love #life #path #practice #JinpaLhaga