the responsibility is ours…

this is our world.

this is our family.

this is our home.

this is our life.

Arkansas denying healthcare and insurance to trans youth.

Georgia, Texas and so many other states with Republican Legislatures enacting racist modern day Jim Crow voter suppression laws.

a rise in aggression and violence toward the AAPI community.

growing income equality and a widening gap between obscene wealth and desperate poverty.

family, friends, neighbors refusing to wear a piece of cloth in order to help save lives.

an unbridled, unrestricted love affair with weapons of death and turning a cold cheek to mass shootings.

a planet sick and suffering from over accumulation and over consumption, wreaking havoc on ecosystems.

this is us.

this is on us.

and it is up to us to engage this world, to use our lives – our words, our actions, our art, our love – to heal the harm and wounds, to rebuild that which has been destroyed, to reduce suffering where we can, and create the reality we want to live in.

we have the hearts, the intelligence, and the raw bravery to do it, if that is what we want.

~j

#TransYouth #TransLivesMatter #BlackLivesMatter #VotingRights #StopAsianHate #StopAAPIhate #IncomeEquality #ClimateChange #GunReformNow #engage #SpeakUp #StandUp #OpenHeart #EngagedBuddhism #JinpaLhaga

together…

“The food we eat, the clothes we wear, the air we breathe have all arisen interdependently. We cannot survive alone. We cannot eat, wear clothes, or breathe alone. The more keenly we are aware of this, the more we will begin to take responsibility for the welfare of other beings.”

~ Ogyen Trinley Dorje,

HH The 17th Karmapa

it is a myth, this

individualism

all life can attest.

~j

#interdependence #together #community #path #practice #EngagedBuddhism #HHThe17thKarmapa #JMWart #haiku #JinpaLhaga

#TransDayOfVisibility

today is #TransDayOfVisibility. a day when we raise our voices to lift up the lives of trans and non-binary people and also raise awareness about the discrimination they continue to face.

the beauty of life is its diversity. i’m grateful to my trans and non-binary friends for making this life more beautiful, for teaching the world how to love better.

thank you for being.

if we want to be people of love, then this is our path and this is our practice:

to love is to trust the experience of others, to encourage and support them living their life in its full authenticity freely, to stand in solidarity, to speak out, to defend their embodiment of life and love.

there has been an increase in discrimination and violent attacks against trans and non-binary people, especially trans women of color. most recently, Arkansas became the first state to pass legislation to ban healthcare for trans youth. HB 1570 passed both chambers, banning trans youth from accessing and receiving healthcare and insurance coverage. such actions are the very embodiment of cruelty and hate. if we want to be a people of love, we must speak out and work to name and dismantle such cruelty and hate.

~j

#TransLivesMatter #TransYouth #life #beauty #OpenHeart #path #practice #EngagedBuddhism #JinpaLhaga

whether the blue iris or weeds – pay attention…

yesterday was a “weeds in a vacant lot” kind of day.

one of those days with a general haze of crumminess, where things just don’t seem to flow or work out very easily.

i had the urge to just put on my blinders, run the errands i had to run for my family, and then hide.

i didn’t want to sit with all of that, so i thought about not meditating, but then i saw this quote i had saved from a poem by Mary Oliver. i recalled my aspiration for meditation – to pay attention, to make friends with myself, to open towards all of life…not just the blue iris.

it’s not just the blue iris that calls for our attention, it is also the weeds in the vacant lot, the small stones. it’s the light, easy days, and it’s the dark, challenging days.

our attention is what we have available to offer to our lives. our attention is our presence. when we offer our presence, we are allowing space for gentleness, for openness, for possibility.

this is all we really have, when all else falls away, isn’t it? we cannot control or manipulate our outside circumstances (as hard as we try and strive to), but we can offer our attention. we can offer ourselves. we can offer our open heart.

when i did sit down to practice, grounded, lifted, with my attention on my breath, the thoughts and feelings of the day arrived as expected, but their assumed power was no longer so assuming. not so thick, not so solid, and they didn’t stick around.

we all have moments of feeling stuck, that our experience is quite solid and unchanging, but if we can allow some space and not feed the story, not continuously ruminate on the thoughts and feelings, we may see a bit clearer into the impermanence of these and into the ever changing flow and possibility of life.

~j

#BlueIris #weeds #thoughts #emotions #impermanence #life #attention #presence #meditation #path #practice #JinpaLhaga

even modest practice bears fruit…

our little lemon tree.
small and modest and yet it bears beautiful, beneficial fruit!

this is not so different from our meditation practice.
even a modest meditation practice, just 20 minutes a day, can bring benefit and bear beautiful fruit within our lives.
~j


#meditation #benefit #BearingFruit #nature #LemonTree #path #practice #EngagedBuddhism #JinpaLhaga

movement and change…

life is constant movement and change. this can be incredibly exciting and can feel like great news when we are dissatisfied with our current situation and want it to change. this can also be upsetting news when we are really enjoying our current situation or experience and it comes to an end. if we don’t like change in any form and are resistant, this can also be uncomfortable and we may work awfully hard at avoiding any change altogether.

in all of these scenarios, we are bouncing around between grasping at what we like and attacking or avoiding what we don’t like. because life is constant movement and change, this can become really disorienting and exhausting.

we have another option though. we can learn to move with life. after all, we are life also. meditation practice can help us see clearly the movement and change of life, its impermanence (which one can also view as potential and opportunity and ever-opening) as thoughts, sensations, emotions, sounds, sights arise and fall away. meditation practice can also help us to see that it is possible to abide in awareness throughout without grasping or becoming aggressive or avoiding, and even deeper still, come to know or remember that we are abiding awareness itself.

~j

#awareness #life #flow #meditation #path #practice #JinpaLhaga

befriending ourselves…

life has enough challenges, hurdles, and struggles.

so often we are our own worst critic throughout.

why not befriend yourself, along this journey?

remember yourself in your warmth and lovingkindness, and extend out toward others.

~j

#lovingkindness #warmhearted #OpenHeart #path #practice #meditation #JinpaLhaga

this is our family…

lives lost. lives that loved and are loved.

please read each name. allow them into your heart.allow the grief, the sense of failure, the anger. feel it.allow your heart to break open, so the insanity of such senseless and avoidable loss becomes clear.
this is our family.
may they be held in love.
may they be free.
may they be abiding in peace.may they be at ease.
~j

#GeorgiaShooting #ColoradoShooting #GunViolence #death #interdependence #metta #path #practice #EngagedBuddhism #JinpaLhaga

be with your life…

a lot of unnecessary suffering and harm comes from not allowing ourselves to fully experience pain and grief. we ignore or push away these experiences and feelings, because they are uncomfortable, and horribly so at times. it’s completely understandable, but the cost can be high. we see the neurosis that can occur, the insanity and sometimes the violence from individuals who have not come to terms with life, with their fear, with their anger, their pain, their suffering. i heard it once said by (i think) Richard Rohr, “what we don’t transform, we transmit.”

but we could take even the smallest brave step toward meeting our life where it is. not just in the happy, easy moments, but also in the sad, tragic and challenging moments. we may find that out of our fully lived human experience, out of our tender, open heart, wisdom arises. the wisdom that arises may give us the insight, the ground upon which we can build more beneficially, remove that which is unskillful and harmful, and reduce suffering for ourselves and others.

~j

#OpenHeart #tenderness #wisdom #heal #transform #SkillfulAction #path #practice #EngagedBuddhism #JinpaLhaga