let go…

“Let go of the illusion of control.” ~ Master Oogway

To “let go” may be the greatest teaching and perhaps the most challenging. We find security in control, but it is only an illusion. All things in life arise and pass, all things are changing moment to moment. And control, like all things, is fleeting. Holding on to that which by its nature will change, trying to keep it from changing, brings us suffering. We are chained to a self-imagined outcome. We are not free. Life is not free. This can hurt us and those around us. Letting go, staying open, brings some peace to us and those around us.

I have a phrase I sometimes use when meditating. Breathing in I say in my mind, “May I hold all of life in love.” Breathing out I say in my mind, “And in love, may I let go…”

The great teacher Ajahn Chah has said, “If you let go a little, you will have a little happiness. If you let it go a lot, you will have a lot of happiness. If you let go completely, you will be free.”

Letting go should not be confused with inaction or indifference. Especially in a time of activism, as we are in now. We are still called forth by the suffering in the world, from our empathy and compassion, to tend to this life and those in it, to relieve and end suffering where we can. We do the good work, the kind work, but we do so not dependent on the outcome. We do so regardless of praise or blame. This can be really challenging in a culture such as ours, so driven on outcomes and a particular vision of “success.” Can we do good and kind work, simply because it is good and kind? Can we do good and kind work, knowing that we may not see fruition in our day, but we are perhaps planting seeds that may bring benefit in the days ahead?

~j

#TheLongArc #LetGo #BeFree #PlantingSeeds #NoControl #Flow #peace #empathy #compassion #suffering #enso #Zen #Buddhism #JMWart

#interdependence

You can survive on your own; you can grow strong on your own; you can prevail on your own; but you cannot become human on your own.

~

Frederick Buechner

#interdependence #InThisTogether #TheOther #TheOutsider #TheImmigrant #TheRefugee #family #sangha #PlantingSeeds #TheLongArc #LoveWins #empathy #compassion

#GOPTaxPlan

possibly both houses of Congress are voting on the #GOPTaxPlan today.
The Tax Policy Center, an independent organization, has stated the within ten years 83% of tax-cuts income will go to the top 1% and the bottom 60% (that’s most if not everybody i know…if it isn’t you, please adopt me) will be paying more a lot more in taxes. Analysis is that we will increase our deficit by $1.5 trillion.
recently both Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio made statements that savings to help pay for this, will likely be taken from entitlements (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid) which would undeniably and adversely hit the poor, the elderly, those with disabilities.
this isn’t a partisan issue. this is a moral issue. how we treat the most vulnerable cuts through everything else and is at the heart of who we are and who we want to be.
there’s a lack of #empathy from those in power toward those not in power. i was listening Chuck Grassley and Orin Hatch recently and as they talked about those on assistance programs, it wasn’t even indifference that i heard, i heard disdain. it was gross, but mostly sad.
this is an issue of the heart and soul, a lack of awareness of our interdependence, a lack of recognition that our destinies are tied to each other. the story will not end with what is possibly passed today, with this tax plan. but, the story will be deeply changed – initially for the most poor and vulnerable, but also and eventually for those in power. we cannot escape our actions, if not outwardly, then inwardly. neither is burden we want to carry as a country.
if this concerns you or speaks to your heart, please call your Senator, your Representatives, send faxes, and use your social media platforms.
may all be well, safe, at peace and free from suffering.

practice gratitude…

Compassion Meme
aware that the history behind “Thanksgiving” is really not something to be thankful for, especially for the indigenous American community, I instead like to call this day “Gratitude Day”…which is worthy of celebration, and available everyday.

there is so much to be grateful for.
I am grateful for family and friends both near and far.

I am grateful for my practice, the stillness within the chaos.

I am grateful for nature, so humble and present just by Being, pointing us to the inherent beauty of all things.

I am grateful for empathy and compassion, which break down walls and borders, both from the outside and from within our own making.

I am even grateful for the darkness, which provokes and challenges our light from within to come forth.

may it come forth.

may the gift of gratitude, the practice of gratitude, expand our ever opening hearts to a world in need. may we journey forward in that love, together.

grateful for you all. may you be happy, may you have peace, may you be free from suffering.

~j
11.23.17

 

what are we waiting for?


in case you are wondering, now is the time to engage this life, to stand up and speak out for justice, equality and peace.we do so with empathy, compassion and courage. we do so with open hearts and steady minds rooted in meditation and contemplative practice.

we are interdependent and each of us has a role to play, a job to do, working to retain sanity and peace and to heal suffering for the benefit of all people.

~j

09.04.17
#Bodhisattvas #MeditateAndResist #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #TheMettaGarden

there is hope…


[photo credit: Hu Yuanjia]
i keep these photographs in my phone to look at every once in a while. 
briefly, the story around them, goes as so: the photographer heard someone yelling and then people gathering around an elderly man sitting on a bench in a train station. he had apparently fallen asleep and then passed away. out of the crowd, a Buddhist monk walked over and began chants and prayers over the deceased man, holding his hand. after completing the ritual, the monk bowed to the deceased man and then disappeared into the crowd.
i find this story and these images so moving. there’s so much beauty in seeing such empathy and compassion in action. the monk, treating the deceased man with an incredible depth of dignity and compassion.
keep images and stories like this close to your hearts during this time, friends. where we don’t see it, we can be it.
we are currently seeing a grave lacking of empathy, of treating others with dignity, of compassion from the highest offices. it is worrisome. however, these values, these ways of being still exist, and where they exist there is hope.
~j