it is a heavy moment. there have been so many.

is it really self-defense to show up armed with provocative, aggressive behavior?

Kyle Rittenhouse was driven across state lines, armed and willing to inflict harm and destruction. he did just that. he shot and killed two people, injuring another, and then walked away right past law enforcement with no consequence to his actions, and he walks away again today acquitted of all charges, with no consequence for the harm, death, and loss caused. so he walks away relieved and perhaps emboldened while the terrorized and the two lives lost along with their families receive no relief. he is being celebrated by those on the Far Right and some sitting GOP members of Congress – even being offered internships, as if he is some sort of hero. he is not a hero.

are we okay with a reality in this country where being an armed vigilante and killing people goes without consequence and is even celebrated?

what happened today isn’t okay, it isn’t justice.
this country has long celebrated, since its founding, violence perpetrated by White men in power and our Justice System suffers systemic issues that support this harmful, dangerous status quo. BIPOC communities and those on the margins have known this, many of the rest of us have been slow to wake up to it. but are we awake enough now? are we awake enough to fight back against the push to cover up this history?

those trying to hold onto White privilege and power advocate and use violence, they even celebrate it. they celebrate death. aggression and violence are a deep dive into hell and not on the side of love.

we must choose to be on the side of love – fiercely so and to rise, to rise up, and rise above in heart and in mind. there’s so much work to do. self-care is necessary. find a practice that takes care of and opens your heart. find a practice that takes care of and steadies your mind. i think in the time ahead, resilience is going to be necessary and that comes from a place of love and fierce compassion.


#reckoning #FierceCompassion #OpenHeart #EngagedBuddhism #path #practice #SitDownRiseUp #RiseUp #RiseAbove #Rise #interdependence #JinpaLhaga #JMWart

the gift of trees for life, for practice…

i love trees and this tree in particular, just a bit down the road from my home. when i walk by it, i often greet it with gratitude for being here. the tree is a gift.
trees bring oxygen, shade, shelter, and beauty to our lives. they are also a wonderful example of how we can approach our meditation practice. trees sit between heaven and earth, rooted in the earth yet stretching out and up to the heavens. 
we can approach our sitting in the same way. we can sit rooted and held, with a sense of groundedness, of stability and solidity. we can also sit upright, tall and dignified, stretched up into the heavens, our heart and awareness open, our mind focused and steady.
we can practice being rooted, yet flexible as the winds of life blow through, just like the tree.

*if you like this photograph, you can have it as a print or on various products found at JMWart, my online Redbubble store. you can visit directly at or via my website ( 👍🏻🙏🏻

#tree #trees #nature #life #path #practice #meditation #JinpaLhaga #JMWart #photography #bwphotography

Om Mani Padme Hum, compassion mantra…

Om Mani Padme Hum is probably one of the most recognized Tibetan mantras if not in all of Buddhism, probably due to the presence of the Dalai Lama on the worldwide stage and his emphasis on compassion and compassion practice. the mantra is sometimes called the compassion mantra or mantra of compassion, because of its close association with Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of compassion (which can be understood as a quality that is within us already, our own potential for open-heartedness and embodiment of compassion rather than something outside of us like a deity or being, etc.). the six syllable phrase can also be seen as a condensed version of all Buddhist teachings. i’ve included a slide that breaks down the mantra and the teaching within it for those interested.

that’s a lot of Buddhist stuff for my friend audience who aren’t Buddhist 😜, so i’ll share that the way i practice with this mantra and the way it seemed to speak to me years ago, is that it is a way of opening the heart. so as i recite it, i visualize my heart opening to the world around me, the situation i may be in. this includes other people, animals, life, and myself. this heart opening allows this quality of compassion, a quality we all have at our core, our true nature, to be free and embodied. this mantra has a special place in my heart, so much so, years ago i had it tattooed over my heart (see bonus pic 😂).

in past years, i’ve been gifted two Tibetan Singing Bowls with the mantra on them. i regularly use them. here is a black and white photograph i took of one of them one morning.

may all of our hearts open and may be embody this quality of compassion for ourselves, those around us, and a world in need.

*if you like this art, you can have it as a print or on various products found at JMWart, my online Redbubble store. you can visit directly at or via my website ( 👍🏻🙏🏻

#OmManiPadmeHum #CompassionMantra #compassion #Avalokiteshvara #TibetanSingingBowl #Buddhism #JinpaLhaga #photography #BWphotography #art #JMWart

empathy, the antidote for our time…

i think empathy is the antidote to the defiant individualism we are seeing, where so many are acting out of fear of losing and aggression in securing their individual self (family, group, etc) over all others.

defiant individualism is concerned first and foremost with itself as a priority over all else, no matter the cost to others. this can’t really last though, it eventually devolves, because it is a harmful and destructive way to live. the core reason for this, is that it isn’t aligned with life. life is intrinsically interdependent, everything is interrelated and affects everything else in minor and major ways, seen and unseen. so to live life in such a way, brings disharmony and suffering.

empathy on the other hand, is embodiment of awareness of interdependence. your suffering is my suffering. i feel your pain, so i am moved to help you and to relieve your suffering. you feel my pain, so you are moved to do the same. empathy is born out of our tender, vulnerable heart. vulnerability and feeling is actually a strength, not a place of fear. why? because of love. love lives in our tender and vulnerable (yet resilient!) hearts and where there is love, there is no need to fear. but this takes practice – being aware and allowing the heart to stay open. this practice is where humanity is most healthy and can build communities that are healthy, where the health and welfare of all life is a priority.

i created this piece of art titled EMPATHY to embody this view of empathy. where two are joined and appear as one in their empathy for each other. may we all embody such empathy. it very well may be the thing that saves us.

*if you like this art, you can have it as a print or on various products found at JMWart, my online Redbubble store. you can visit directly at or via my website ( 👍🏻🙏🏻

#empathy #interdependent #life #OpenHeart #love #compassion #vulnerability #resilience #path #practice #EngagedBuddhist #JinpaLhaga #art #JMWart

do no harm…

do no harm.

this phrase can sum up the first of Five Precepts in Buddhism that lay Buddhists follow. though, the precept consists of a prohibition on killing, it is often generally interpreted as a prohibition on harming.
most of us aren’t running around killing others. most of us understand the harm that causes, but if we allow our awareness to open, we may see that there are many types of death, and this precept invites us to investigate the more subtle ways we harm and destroy with our thoughts, words, actions, with our consumption, our indifference, our non-caring.

the Precepts aren’t commandments in our traditional understanding of that word. they are more like guidelines for living a life that is beneficial and non-harming. Buddhism is concerned with recognition of suffering and then acting in ways to reduce or end suffering. the Five Precepts beginning with the First Precept, are basically saying, “Don’t do this and you’ll reduce suffering.”

this view of non-harming includes all life – including ourselves. we can look into our lives and ask ourselves if we are acting in ways that bring harm to ourselves or others, how can we change this to bring benefit?

i see the Precepts as an invitation to practice having an open heart and embodying love for myself and for others. and the key word is practice. we aren’t looking for perfection – to be perfect or without fault, or being right or wrong, we are looking to reduce our participation in harm and suffering, we are looking to engage our loving, empathetic hearts, to live with compassion in this world.

*if you like this art, you can have it as a variety of prints and products found at JMWart, my online Redbubble store. you can visit directly at or via my website (link in bio) 👍🏻🙏🏻

#FirstPrecept #FivePrecepts #DoNotKill #DoNotHarm #nonharming #OpenHeart #empathy #compassion #lovingkindness #love #Buddhism #path #practice #Zen #calligraphy #art #JinpaLhaga #JMWart

will we choose love of life over comfort?

i’m also not confident that we in the richest industrialized countries are willing to sacrifice in the way needed to mitigate the damaging effects of climate change we have ahead of us, much less avoid the most disastrous effects.

the alarms have been sounding for decades to avoid this & we’ve pressed on w/ insatiable consumption at the cost of life on this planet, including human life in the poorest countries. the harm of a materialistic colonial mindset has come to bear. we are now in an existential crisis. the food chain is already disrupted & extreme weather events have become more regular. it seems to me that the general public (at least in the richest countries) don’t have a grasp at just how bad things will likely get, even w/in the next decade or two.

this will eventually affect everyone, eventually not even wealth will protect against this, but no doubt the poorest countries, the nonindustrialized countries who have not contributed to this crisis, will feel it the worst. even the poor & marginalized w/in the rich industrialized nations will feel it worse. how tragically unfair. this should grieve us.
we will need to learn how to live w/in this time, how to sacrifice comfort & live w/ being uncomfortable. we won’t have a choice. this will be hardest for the richest, the most privileged. to learn to let go.

we haven’t valued, respected or listened to the wisdom traditions of Indigenous communities who have for numerous generations lived in harmony w/ nature.we haven’t loved other life more than our individual comfort & pleasure. there’s a cost for that.

perhaps now though, the direness of this moment will wake us up to love. if we can open our hearts to this moment, allow our natural empathy to arise, perhaps compassion will be our compass & we will do what is needed. if we choose to do this, i still have hope. life is resilient.

Posted @withregram • @bbcnews Former US President Barack Obama has told the COP26 climate conference: “We are nowhere near where we need to be.”

(📷 Reuters)
#BarackObama #COP26BBC #BBCNews
#COP26 #climatechange #climatecrisis #life #interdependence #OpenHeart #empathy #compassion #path #practice #JinpaLhaga

don’t hate. vaccinate…or at least agree to test regularly 🙏🏻

it is so deeply concerning to see so many, including first responders, refuse to vaccinate and then also refuse to test regularly. i don’t understand this resistance to everything approach.

perhaps it is nefarious, perhaps cynical political gamesmanship, perhaps people who have lived in an alternate timeline, now living in this one. whatever the case. in this timeline, in this reality, vaccine mandates are nothing new. 

as we’ve been reminded, George Washington mandated the smallpox vaccine during the Revolutionary War. he wrote to John Hancock issuing the mandate in February of 1777: “Finding the smallpox to be spreading much and fearing that no precaution can prevent it from running through the whole of our army, I have determined that troops shall be inoculated…This expedient may be attended with some inconveniences and some disadvantages, but yet I trust in its consequences will have the most happy effects. Necessity not only authorizes but seems to require the measure, for should the disorder infect the army in the natural way and rage with its virulence we should have more to dread from it than from the sword of the enemy.”

in regards to schools, in 1922 the Supreme Court upheld laws requiring vaccination for entry into public schools. and although we are seeing attacks on iconic children’s tv figures for promoting vaccination, this too is nothing new. Big Bird being attacked? well what took so long, Big Bird has been promoting vaccination for decades and he’s not the only one (see pictures attached along with some other childhood heroes promoting vaccinations decades ago.)

so don’t hate. vaccinate – if you are eligible and able…or agree to regular testing. it isn’t a personal attack on individual rights to end a pandemic that has taken nearly 800,000 lives just in our country alone, and 5 million lives worldwide.


#vaccines #immunization #pandemic #COVID19 #community #empathy

crop circles 101…

so that’s how it’s done – i knew it!

*if you like this art, you can have it as a variety of prints or on various products found at JMWart, my online Redbubble store. you can visit directly at or via my website (link in bio) 👍🏻🙏🏻

#CropCircles #aliens #alien #ufo #art

#illustration #cartoon #JMWart

may we be the light…

sharing some more of my candlelight art for Diwali 🕯
may light overcome darkness and knowledge overcome ignorance💫


*if you like this art, you can have it as a variety of prints or on various products found at JMWart, my online Redbubble store. you can visit directly at or via my website (link in bio) 👍🏻🙏🏻

#Diwali #light #knowledge #love #OpenHeart #path #practice #JinpaLhaga #JMWart #art

Happy Diwali 🕯🙏🏻

happy Diwali to my friends who observe!
may light overcome darkness and knowledge overcome ignorance. 🕯


*if you like this art, you can have it as a variety of prints or on various products found at JMWart, my online Redbubble store. you can visit directly at or via my website ( 👍🏻🙏🏻

#Diwali #light #knowledge #love #OpenHeart #path #practice #JinpaLhaga #JMWart #art #calligraphy