the work of love…

rather than merely some romantic expression or light sentiment, love is a prime agent of transformation and change. love is both the fuel and the vehicle (we call compassion). this love is found in our hearts. our work, is to keep our hearts open through all the experiences in this life, so that love can be free and flow. this is work. hard work. brave work. dirt beneath the nails kind of work and we begin with ourselves.

I read once that transformation comes from either great suffering or great love. the world has enough pain and loss, and our minds in relationship to these create enough suffering, so we don’t need to contribute to suffering. our role is to contribute to love and life being loved. our work is keeping our hearts open and helping others to do the same.

genuine transformation and lasting change happens at the heart level. our hearts, our family’s hearts, our community’s hearts, our nation’s hearts, our world’s hearts.

not everyone is ready or willing to do the work on themselves, so pain continues, suffering continues. that’s ok. we who are ready and willing, do the work. the work is never really done, but we continue because the work is worthy in and of itself. by its very nature, the work of love is worthy.

an additional point: we don’t wait for everyone’s hearts to change so harm ends. while we do the work of keeping our hearts open, of embodying love, to allow love to flow, to benefit others and bring about genuine transformation and change, we can still put pressure on elected officials to enact policies that benefit and do not harm, we can still advocate through nongovernmental organizations to bring about benefit and ending harm. those actions are also actions of love, and voting can also be an act of love.

let’s do the work. the world needs it, life depends on it.


#VOTE #SpeakOut #SitDownRiseUp #EngagedBuddhism #bodhisattvas #love #JinpaLhaga

interdependence, a reverence for life…

for me the foundation of Buddhist wisdom is an awareness of our interdependence. we do not exist in a vacuum, as an independent “self.” we exist, because other life exists. without the elements, without the sun, the rain, minerals, our parents, those who support us in a myriad of ways (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually), we would not be here in this form as this “me” or have this life as we have it now. waking up to this can give rise to great humility and gratitude. and in waking up to this, we can see the value in all life around us, treating all life with reverence – because we are that life and that life is us, there is no separation.

is this so different from Jesus’ words in Mark, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”?

the inequity and injustice we see, the individual and structural racism we see, the lack of empathy we see, the rhetoric of aggression we see, the incitement of violence we see are all evidence of our failure in recognizing our interdependence and loving our neighbor as ourself.

live with reverence for yourself and others.

…and #VOTE.


#interdependence #LoveYourNeighborAsYourself #SitDownRiseUp #EngagedBuddhism #JinpaLhaga #YogiTea

fire enso…


darkened orange skies rain ash

over grieved nation



may all be safe, may all be well 🙏🏻





#zen #enso #haiku

#JinpaLhaga #JMWart

for now and the future…

our investment in developing empathy, in acts of compassion, in justice building and peacemaking are investments not just for us, but for future generations.

these investments are made in the way we speak, the actions we choose to make, our relationships, our art, and our politics.








19 years later…

19 years.

today continues to grieve me.

not just because of the horrific events that I woke up to 19 years ago on September 11th and the sadness that still lingers, but because we still appear to have learned so little from that experience – an experience, that should be noted, happens elsewhere in the world and at times on a greater scale.

immediately after that tragic day the world outstretched its arms to us and our nation opened our hearts to each other. nearly 3000 people lost their lives that day and now as many people lose their lives every 3-5 days during this pandemic, yet people refuse to wear masks. where did the empathy go? in the years that have followed we’ve lost tens of thousands of our troops in ongoing wars that were a response to the tragic events of that day. and now, in the past 7 months we’ve lost nearly 200,000 people due to a pandemic, yet people refuse to wear masks and we have a preventable failure of leadership from the top. where did the empathy go?

it seemed on that day that our hearts opened and we relearned empathy and compassion. even in the horror of that tragedy, there was a glimmer of hope. 19 years later we are living through increased division, rage, hate and cruelty from the highest office, where we are also seeing white nationalism and conspiracy cults like QAnon embraced.

we say “never forget” yet it seems we have failed to remember, failed to remember our initial unity, our empathy, our compassion even amid the horror of that day.

caught up in fear, we give rise to selfish individualism, anger, aggression and hate. these feed division and opportunity for unscrupulous people in power.

if we truly want to honor the victims of 9/11, the lives lost since, and our humanity, we must reject ideologies of division, lies, aggression, cruelty and hate we are bearing witness to and perhaps participating in.

may truth, open-heartedness, empathy, and compassion prevail.




#TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #SitDownRiseUp #EngagedBuddhist #zen #enso #JMWart #JinpaLhaga

care about everything…


care about everything.

allow your heart to be touched,

to be moved.

the stirring of

your heart is

what awakens





all the things a








#OpenHeart #empathy #compassion #kindness #generosity #SitDownRiseUp #EngagedBuddhist #


His Holiness the Dalai Lama: “Anger that is motivated by compassion or a desire to correct social injustice, and does not seek to harm the other person, is a good anger that is worth having.”

A few notes about anger from Roshi Joan Halifax:

Anger that is rooted in ego, including narcissistic rage (the rage and outrage of the privileged), the anger of helplessness, or the anger that endeavors to harm or get revenge, is not what HHDL is speaking about. Nor is this moral outrage, indignation, or self-righteousness, again often indirect expressions of privilege or direct expressions of those subjected to harm. Fierce compassion, the healthy anger that HHDL is referring to has clarity at its core. We can ask then: What is anger devoid of aggression? What is it before the narrative takes over? It is energy of wrathful wisdom, of clear seeing, of ruthless compassion, maybe hard to stomach, but bare and true. It means “Pay attention.” It is saying, “Awaken.” It is saying, “Do not fall into aggression.” “Do not by-pass.” “Keep grounded.” Use the energy to free others from suffering. This kind of anger is power with, not power over. Thanissara Mary Weinberg puts it thus: “Anger is traditionally thought to be close to wisdom. When not projected outward onto others or inward toward the self, it gives us the necessary energy and clarity to understand what needs to be done.” Rebecca Solnit puts it this way: “Buddhism offers an elegant model of anger management. Harness the emotion, feel it without inflicting it.”

photo credit: Buddhist Peace Fellowship

VOTE #FierceCompassion #anger #SitDownRiseUp #bodhisattvas #EngagedBuddhsim

Book to read – “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From The Twentieth Century” by Timothy Snyder

hey friends –

I’m strongly recommending you read “ON TYRANNY: Twenty Lessons From The Twentieth Century” by Timothy Snyder. He is a Professor of History at Yale University, a member of the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and hold a permanent position with the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna, Austria.

It’s a quick read with a lot to absorb and ponder, especially given our current circumstances and leadership. In fact, it is deeply striking and concerning the similarities between our current situation and actions by leadership to that of authoritarianism in Germany, the Soviet Union, and others in the distant and not so distant past. For many of us, this has been apparent for some time, but reading it so starkly…well.

Our representative democracy is not a forgone conclusion. It is kept healthy and alive only insofar our populace is engaged and willing to participate.

We cannot say there have not been signs, that there have not been warnings.

A rise in authoritarianism power depends on us not caring or getting involved.

#VOTE and get involved. Hope is alive in the words and actions of those who care and are willing to get involved.


#SitDownRiseUp #BeEngaged #tyranny #authoritarianism #democracy #EngagedBuddhism #JinpaLhaga




there is still beauty…

with so much happening and so much at stake, it is easy to fall into a malaise, but there still is beauty in this world.

take time to just sit and observe, especially in nature. allow the time and space for the beauty in this world to reveal itself to you.

there still is beauty in this world and it is worth fighting for.



#SitDownRiseUp #PlantingSeeds #Beauty #nature #EngagedBuddhism #JinpaLhaga #JMWphotography #bwphotography #photography