building peace in the world begins with building peace within our own hearts.

here are some words from Pema Chödrön in honor of yesterday’s World Peace Day – International Day of Peace:

“War and peace start in the hearts of individuals…so the solutions have to come from a change of heart, from softening what is rigid in our hearts and minds…Shantideva says something along the lines of, ‘If these long-lived, ancient, aggressive patterns of mine that wellspring only of unceasing woe, that lead to my suffering as well as the suffering of others, if these patterns still find their lodging safe within my heart, how can joy and peace in this world ever be found?’…(what he is saying is) that as long as we justify our own hard-heartedness and our own self-righteousness, joy and peace will always elude us.”

*from “Practicing Peace in Times of War”

#InThisTogether #Community #Peace #WorldPeaceDay #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #EngagedBuddhist #JMWart #JinpaLhaga


“Touch the earth, love the earth, honor the earth: her plains, valleys, hills and seas; rest your spirits in her solitary places.”

~ H. Beston

there is no shame in loving this earth, our home. there is no shame in caring for this earth, both for the life that inhabits it now and for future generations. could there be a higher priority?

we must be open to seeing the interdependence of life. our life, all life depends on it.

bravo to these kids, boldly making their statement. and bravo to all who join their call for change, for protection of and love for the earth.



#ClimateStrike #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #ClimateChange #earth #life #EngagedBuddhist #EcoSattvas #JMWart #JinpaLhaga

questions for the path…

“So you need to consider, in the deepest part of yourself, what really counts in this life and use the time left to you to live in the most fruitful way possible – for your own sake and for others.”

~ Matthieu Ricard

what matters? what heals suffering? what opens our hearts to others? what offers love and increases light in this world?

this is our path.


#TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #path #practice #OpenHeart #love #light #MattieuRicardQuote #EngagedBuddhist #JinpaLhaga #JMWphotography #BWphotography #photography

the measure of greatness is compassion…

if compassion is our measure of greatness, then America (read: USA) is not being made great again.

there still are children living in camps. children are still being separated from their families. the karma of this will be felt for a long time.

hear the cries.

we are failing.

#TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #compassion #HearTheCries #NoChildSeparation #NoCages #SitDownRiseUp #MeditateAndResist #EngagedBuddhist


“Without darkness, nothing comes to birth – and without light nothing flowers.”

~ May Sarton

#YinYang #Life #AllOfIt #Tao #Balance #Flow #Zen #Buddhist #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #JMWart #JinpaLhaga

fear not…

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

~ Yoda

such wise words. such a succinct quote on how (in a simple, general sense) karma works. the popular notion of karma being “you get what you deserve” is not accurate and feeds the ego with its desire for vengeance and misguided justice (which isn’t really justice at all).

in Buddhism, karma is simply a law of nature, like gravity. you plant a seeds and from that seed, something will grow. you plant love, for example, and that love reverberates and grows. you plant fear or greed, etc and they will grow eventually into some form of suffering. our thoughts, words, and actions are seeds. our thoughts can give rise to words, and words to actions and so forth. i’m not an expert and it gets more complicated than that in the Buddhist cosmology, but the metaphor of planting seeds is helpful. karma is not punitive, it is simply a result and can be affected by other karma – other thoughts, words, actions.

i’ve always liked this quote though, because it demonstrates the slippery slope of these hot emotions. they so easily (and quickly!) grow into each other after being planted.

i also appreciate that fear is noted as the root issue, as the initial seed. i once read, from a Franciscan Priest, that “fear not” (or “be not afraid” etc) is the most repeated phrase in Biblical scripture. isn’t that interesting?

in our evolution fear has played an important role to avoid danger. fear, like anger, can be a beneficial motivator if transformed (into compassion for example), but they are not healthy places to stay. our fear is often misplaced and so many of us live and react out of some level of fear (anxiety) much of the time. fear blinds us and creates tremendous unease. in our discomfort anger can arise, and we can act with desperation to control or avoid, which can lead to horrible harm and suffering.

to quote Biblical scriptures again, “there is no fear in love.”

let’s plant seeds of love.


(#Yoda #BWphotography from a series of #StarWars i did a couple of years ago)

#TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #love #fear #karma #Buddhism #Zen #JMWphotography #JinpaLhaga