ready to awaken…

Zen Student:Is there anything I can do to make myself enlightened?
Zen Master:

As little as you can do to make the sun rise in the morning.
Zen Student:

Then of what use are the spiritual exercises you prescribe?
Zen Master:

To make sure you are not asleep when the sun begins to rise.
#zen #wisdom #practice #awareness #WakeUp #meditation

happy 90th birthday Thay!


Happiest of birthdays to Thich Nhat Hanh who is 90 today. In many ways I consider Thay my root teacher and certainly my introduction to the Buddhist path. His approach to meditation, his teachings on mindfulness, interconnection, and loving kindness have been a cornerstone to my practice. Favorite selected readings include: Living Buddha Living Christ, Calming The Fearful Mind: A Zen Response To Terrorism, Peace Is Every Step, Answers From The Heart, For A Future To Be Possible, Love Letter To The Earth, and his book of poetry Call Me By My True Names. 

May his teachings and wisdom continue to be of benefit to a world in need for generations to come.
Bows of gratitude, dear Thay!

~j

10.11.16

 

the next step…


my reading preparation…”Start Here Now: An Open-Hearted Guide to the Path and Practice of Meditation” by Susan Piver

“Turning the Mind Into an Ally” by Sakyong Mipham

“Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, & Wisdom” by Rick Hanson, PH.D. with Richard Mendius, MD
…after 8 years of a personal meditation practice and seeing the benefit, in two weeks I begin a nine week course through The Open Heart Project in Shamatha (Sanskrit for “peacefully abiding”) meditation to both strengthen and grow my own practice and to become a certified meditation instructor. grateful for this opportunity and next step on the journey.
~j

09.13.16
#Shamatha #meditation #practice #Shambhala #Buddhism #TheOpenHeartProject #gratitude

9/11 15 years later…


15 years ago the soul of this country received a shocking wound. the sky faded dark under ash, confusion and fear. the rug pulled out from under us. and in such a horrific moment we rose. the best of people rose to the surface wading through tears and differences.
it was a shift and an opportunity to stay with the rawness, the tenderness we felt, the feelings that inspired and motivated a sense of connection and community.
but we have forgotten, as we often do, save for special anniversaries set aside to remember. each of those, a chance to start fresh yet again…only to forget again.
“never forget, never again” is fine and well, but let’s really mean it and make it so through our own hearts, words and actions. that’s where the work is that needs to be done, that’s where the real change will begin.
there seems to be more fear and anxiety today and it is stoked by those who would seek gain from this suffering. this has only led to further division.

as we have seen, just naming it or calling it untruth and getting into a battle of words simply leads to more suffering and seems to evoke little or no change. 
it is time for a shift. we, each of us, needs to answer the call to heal. using our words, our actions, our very lives to bring benefit to a world thirsty for an end to such suffering. we need to be healers, to be bodhisattvas, shining a light on the alternatives to fear and anxiety, to anger and hate, to division, cynicism, conspiracy and demagoguery, aggression and violence.
this is a journey of heart and mind, so these are what we need to work with.
let’s get to work.
~j

09.11.16

  

#Sept11th #September11th #15thAnniversary #shift #healers #bodhisattvas #community #sangha #interdependence #light #life #MedicineBuddha #meditation #JMWart