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

 

take heed! take heed!

Zen Evening Gatha
Let me respectfully remind you

Life and death are of supreme importance.

Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost.

Each of us should strive to awaken.

Awaken.

Take heed.

This night your days are diminished by one.

Do not squander your life.

offer all of it…

 

today is Teacher Appreciation Day.  there are so many teachers I am grateful for, so many who have influenced my life in small and large ways.  what a gift!

today, though, I would like to highlight Susan Piver.  I trained to be a Meditation Instructor under her guidance and I continue to learn from her practical, grounded practice and teaching.  she is real, direct, humorous, and generous.

below is a teaching I keep going back to.  so beneficial.

“When I’m at my lowest and have no more ideas about what to do, I think, ‘Offer it,’ and something shifts.  Even if only for a moment, I feel lighter.  It’s not a simple offloading into the ether; I intend my feelings as a devotional gift, a kind of mind-Prasad.  Even though I have no idea how my ‘gift’ could be of any value, I offer it anyway…I know not to what or to whom.”  ~Susan Piver

profound.  just “offer it.”  all of it.  the sadness, the anger, the hurt, the confusion, the broken heart.  the swirling chaos, and the shaking ground beneath your feet.  who you are, where you are at, what you are feeling – offer it.  all of it.

~j
05.09.17

bearing witness for the Earth…

On the morning of the Buddha’s enlightenment it is said that the great tempter and deceiver Mara after many failed attempts to deceive and distract the Buddha, asked the Buddha, “What gives you the right to be enlightened?  Who are you to awaken?  Who bears witness to this?”  Silently, calmly the Buddha took his right hand and touched the Earth and in that moment the Earth shook, bearing witness to the Buddha’s enlightenment.  With this, Mara disappeared.

And so it is with every step we take, our feet touching the ground, that the Earth also bears witness to our right to be here and to awaken.

It is now our turn to bear witness for the Earth in her time of need.  The Earth has given us life and sustains us.  In fact, science has shown us that we have the Earth’s elements within us.  Without these elements, without the delicate balance that is our Earth, life as we know it would not be – we would not be.  The only appropriate response for such gratuitous love, is gratitude, a gratitude that manifests in reciprocal love.

Our relationship to the Earth, is just that, a relationship.  How do we show our love?  How do we show our gratitude?  How do we pass this relationship on to our children and grandchildren?

Let us take some time today to touch the Earth.  Feel the dirt between our fingers, feel the ground beneath our feet as we step.  Are our steps, steps of love?  Let us step out into nature and listen, look.  Allowing in all the life that is sustained by the Earth, allowing it into our hearts, blessing it and sending it back out with love.  Let us make new choices that bear witness to our love for the Earth and all of life.

~j
04.22.17
Earth Day