what would happen if we were to look at ourselves with naked eyes? with eyes anew and fresh?
what would we see if we stripped the inner critic of their weapons of war? their eroding judgements looming large?
what would happen if we were to befriend this body with its hills and valleys, wounds and scars?
outside of the projections, stories and myth, this incarnation, this body where space and time have met to dance has only one name: beauty.
a weed doesn’t call itself a weed.
#beauty #life #SeeYourself #TrueSeeing #nonjudgement #kindness #compassion #sacred #PlantingSeeds #OpenHeart #TheLongArc #JMWphotography #BWphotography #photography
“I want to unfold. I don’t want to stay folded anywhere. Because where I am folded, there, I am a lie.”
Rainer Maria Rilke
this quote very well may sum up enlightenment or waking up, for me – to live authentically, to be in authentic relationship with the arising and passing life around us, to not fold up or close up in fear or anger, but to remain open – both heart and mind – courageously loving all that is suffering.
#life #enlightenment #WakeUp #samsara #suffering #OpenHeart #courage #StayOpen #authenticity #LoveWins #PlantingSeeds #TheLongArc #practice #meditation #zen #buddhsim #Buddha #JMWart
there is another option
though it is hot, stay
what is old shall fall away
you are born from love
#stay #StayPresent #StayWoke #presence #MeditateAndResist #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #meditation #love #LoveWins #haiku #poetry #JMWpoetry
change is possible.
we can choose peace. we can choose to live in a society that creates a culture of nonviolence and values life more than a weapon of war. a society and culture that sees the life of others as more valuable and sacred than a hobby or some far stretched interpretation of the Second Amendment, that impedes on and jeopardizes another’s’ life.
what we saw today were seeds, some planted long ago in blood and grief and some all too recent, being born to life.
i’m inspired by the strength i see from these young people, their focus and poise, their authenticity, their courage, their persistence.
grateful for them and all of the students i saw today marching, the teachers, the artists, the veterans who see a continued call to serve – still honoring their oath to protect and see sensible and desperately needed gun reform as part of that, lending their voice.
pictures (some me by me and some by my friends at the march today) of beautiful friends with incredible hearts and beautiful strangers with incredible hearts below ✊🏻😌❤️🙏🏻📿
#MarchForOurLivesSD #MarchForOurLives #ENOUGH #NeverAgain #EndGunViolence #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #EngagedBuddhist #EngagedBuddhism #MindfulResistanc
in my own life and in the lives of others i’ve seen it time and again. the effort to control, to grasp, to always go to battle leads to increased suffering. it exhausts us and our relationships. and though it may demonstrate a short term success, it rarely lasts and the cost can be very high.
we think to yield is to surrender, to give up, and we are severely averse to such a notion. our egos just won’t have it.
however, to yield is quite different than surrendering or giving up. to skillfully yield, we are called to employ our creativity, alternative thinking, and wisdom. to skillfully yield, is to demonstrate a great strength.
#yield #strength #StayOpen #StayGentle #TheLongArc #LoveWins
we could all benefit from better listening. listening, is an undervalued quality and skill. I think, especially in an era where everything is so fast moving and immediate.
true listening, conscious listening, is an act of patience, an act of openness, and an act of generosity.
true listening is also an act of letting go and allowance. it involves releasing our own agenda, and truly listening to what is being said, what we are hearing.
our participation is one of silence, which is something most of us seem uncomfortable with. but, if we are willing to be curious – to be open, then when we truly listen, we learn new things and we grow, and our awareness is heightened.
true listening it’s not just with the ears, it is also with the heart.
#listening #listen #StayOpen #StayCurious #NoAgenda #LetGo #LetGoAndGrow #awareness #practice #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #enso #Zen #Buddhism #JMWart
“Let go of the illusion of control.” ~ Master Oogway
To “let go” may be the greatest teaching and perhaps the most challenging. We find security in control, but it is only an illusion. All things in life arise and pass, all things are changing moment to moment. And control, like all things, is fleeting. Holding on to that which by its nature will change, trying to keep it from changing, brings us suffering. We are chained to a self-imagined outcome. We are not free. Life is not free. This can hurt us and those around us. Letting go, staying open, brings some peace to us and those around us.
I have a phrase I sometimes use when meditating. Breathing in I say in my mind, “May I hold all of life in love.” Breathing out I say in my mind, “And in love, may I let go…”
The great teacher Ajahn Chah has said, “If you let go a little, you will have a little happiness. If you let it go a lot, you will have a lot of happiness. If you let go completely, you will be free.”
Letting go should not be confused with inaction or indifference. Especially in a time of activism, as we are in now. We are still called forth by the suffering in the world, from our empathy and compassion, to tend to this life and those in it, to relieve and end suffering where we can. We do the good work, the kind work, but we do so not dependent on the outcome. We do so regardless of praise or blame. This can be really challenging in a culture such as ours, so driven on outcomes and a particular vision of “success.” Can we do good and kind work, simply because it is good and kind? Can we do good and kind work, knowing that we may not see fruition in our day, but we are perhaps planting seeds that may bring benefit in the days ahead?
#TheLongArc #LetGo #BeFree #PlantingSeeds #NoControl #Flow #peace #empathy #compassion #suffering #enso #Zen #Buddhism #JMWart
Today our friend Vu Dang passed. I write “our friend” because anyone who embodies love and light as Vu does is truly a friend to this world, to all life. I am holding in my heart his dear wife/partner Chris, his family, his friends, and all touched by his teaching at Dang Good Yoga. I sat and meditated today with Vu in my heart, practicing Metta (lovingkindness). Vu was a friend to anyone he encountered, a beloved teacher and Yogi. I would say (though he’d disagree) that he was also a Zen master. In the face of suffering, he remained the epitome of courage, of open-heartedness, of kindness and gentleness, of presence. He practiced with Thich Nhat Hanh’s community and embodied Thay’s gatha – “I have arrived, I am home.” And to be in Vu’s presence was to surely feel that we had also arrived and were home.
A few years ago, I had created some artwork to be raffled at a fundraiser put together by wonderful friends to benefit Vu in his struggle with cancer. I also created a piece specifically inspired and for Vu, for his birthday. It took me a year to finally give it to him in person (he was so patient and gracious about that, of course). It is pictured below. It touched my heart deeply and with gratitude to see him post the art from time to time as a reminder to others that they too “are the sound of life, the song of love” to “just be” – most recently as his New Year’s greeting/post and another time with the note to “Please remember…”
I am grateful to have first met Vu in high school so many years ago, grateful to reconnect, grateful to learn from his presence – I know I will continue to learn from his presence as I continue the practice, of being open-hearted, kind, and brave. I hope to one day have his grace, his wisdom, his presence. I know a light like his doesn’t dim, that such a light is with us as we practice, as we live and love.
I will repost specific details on donations to the UCSD Moore Cancer Center, when his family provides them. In the meantime, please keep them in your heart, in your prayers, and let us live as open-hearted with love as Vu 😌❤️🙏🏻📿
Our power is love.
Found in our open hearts.
Vulnerable, tender, brave,
and strong beyond measure.
No one can take this away.
It is the weapon of the oppressed,
that eventually defeats the oppressor,
who in ignorance
underestimates its power,
It is the long arc.
#LoveWins #TheLongArc #inexhaustible #OpenHeart #PlantingSeeds #TheResistance #MeditateAndResist #MindfulResistance #EngagedBuddhism #EngagedArt #JMWart