we must be willing…

someday a love for life and other people will outweigh attachment to fear, aggression, and a love for weapons, but it won’t happen without us embodying it so.

~j

#path #practice #OpenHeart #embodiment #love #JinpaLhaga

we don’t have to be ruled by thoughts…

so many of us are ruled by our thoughts, but we don’t have to be.

thoughts are a bit like little bubbles that arise and fall away. they really are quite impermanent and passing if we can allow them to just be without pushing them away or grasping after them. the pushing and pulling are how storylines are created and then we return to these storylines again and again. the thought bubbles begin to solidify and we become ruled by the storylines. we can create a lot of suffering for ourselves and others.

but with meditation, we can learn to allow the spaciousness necessary to undo these storylines, these patterns of thought. it doesn’t matter the color, the tone, the taste of these thought bubbles. we just allow them to arrive and leave.

Suzuki Roshi’s quote is a perfect and humorous expression of this practice.

~j

#thoughts #meditation #path #practice #EngagedBuddhism #Zen #JinpaLhaga

our life as an offering…

there is plenty, too much really, of selfishness, aggression, and destruction in the world already. why add to it?

instead, we can live our life as an offering. we can practice relating to the world in an aware, abiding way. we can relate in a way that is not reactive, that isn’t grasping or aggressive. we can see clearly what is in front of us and choose to be beneficial in our words and our actions.

meditation practice can help develop this way of relating to the world and those around us.

~j

#meditation #path #practice #life #EngagedBuddhism #JinpaLhaga

#StPatricksDay

#HappyStPatricksDay friends! 💚🍀

May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rains fall soft upon your fields.

it is interesting how similar this Irish blessing is to the words used in the practice of Lovingkindness:

May you be safe

May you be healthy

May you be happy

May you be at ease

well wishes from a warm heart ring true across traditions and cultures.

since late adolescence and early adulthood i’ve been drawn to celtic imagery and spirit. my second tattoo is a trinity knot. so imagine my surprise when a couple of years ago, after a lifetime of thinking my ancestry was basically German and Italian, my DNA revealed the majority of my ancestry being Northern England, Scotland, and within that, Northern Ireland. no wonder the heat gets to me!

anyway, no matter where we or our ancestors are from, we can take some inspiration from the beautiful art and symbolic interdependence of celtic knots – all is connected, which means all of us are connected. let’s embody that truth with our open hearts and love.

~j

#StPatricksDay #interdependence #CelticKnots #ancestry #Irish #JMWart #photography #BWphotography

#StopAsianHate

mourning the loss of the 8 lives and those injured in this latest act of domestic terrorism and what appears to be a latest racist attack on our AAPI family and friends in Georgia this evening. these lives lost are lives that are loved and will be missed. their families, their friends, and the lives of those injured will be forever changed.

white supremacist ideology is an affliction in this country that must be rooted out, called out, and exorcised from the highest office in the land using phrases like “the China virus”, to systemic and structural racism, to friends who share racist jokes. don’t allow space for racism. be actively anti-racist. words matter. actions matter.

we must stand with our #AAPI family and friends, speaking out, and taking action to #StopAsianHate.

may hearts open and may sanity prevail.

please visit gofundme.com/aapi to see a list of fully vetted organizations and charities that are supporting victims of violence, increasing local community safety along with organizations to address the broader more systemic problems, so that real lasting change can be created. please consider donating if able 🙏🏻

~j

a year later…

i posted this image on 3/14/20, “make sure you stock up on compassion.”

we knew so little in those early moments, but the speed and uncertainty in which things were changing was unsettling and stressful. compassion seemed needed…still does.

3/14 was supposed to be opening day for Spring Break shows at work. we had an incredibly talented staff of performers and costume character performers who had been working hard under the direction of my amazing assistant managers. we thought we’d be back in a couple of weeks. i walked out not knowing that i wouldn’t be back.

soon after, my mom went to the ER by ambulance. her oxygen was low and she had pneumonia symptoms. i said i loved her, thinking i may not see her again. as it turned out, it was only pneumonia and she was released that evening.

what a year. over 500,000 lives gone. i knew a couple. others belonged to friends’ families and strangers who are not really strangers. societal inequities became apparent to many of us who were blind to just how deep and wide they exist.

i spent the year quarantined, going out occasionally for groceries or doctor visits. no socializing with friends in person. i don’t regret it. it hasn’t been easy, but i felt like my role was to protect my parents and care for them as best i could. they are alive and they just received their 2nd vaccine dose. who knows, they may not have gotten the virus anyway, but i wasn’t willing to gamble and felt it was worth the sacrifice.

i leaned into my meditation practice and had the opportunity in the Fall, after my tenure at LEGOLAND ended, to continue my meditation teacher training through a program with Tibet House US. ironically, an opportunity i would not have had if it weren’t for the pandemic.

what’s ahead is a mystery, but i feel hopeful. i’ve seen heroism in health care professionals that fills me with awe and by so many i know and do not know who really embodied empathy and compassion wearing their masks and social distancing even though it was/is a sacrifice.

whatever is ahead, we will still need compassion, so we may as well not forget to stock up on it.

~j

#COVID19

no hate…

be free!

our natural awakened state is free and spacious, yet we tether ourselves to suffering, through ignorance and our grasping and aggression.

let us not soil our natural beauty with hate. let go, let go, let go, and love.

be free! 🙏🏻

~j

#NoHate #AllLove #OpenHeart #LetGo #spacious #free #path #practice #EngagedBuddhism #JinpaLhaga

endings are beginnings…

we tend to think of impermanence as an ending or endings, but that isn’t the whole story, is it? why settle for half truths? impermanence also means new beginnings, a fresh start.

~j

#impermanence #change #NewBeginnings #whole #meditation #path #practice #EngagedBuddhism #enso #JinpaLhaga #JMWart