to yield…

in my own life and in the lives of others i’ve seen it time and again. the effort to control, to grasp, to always go to battle leads to increased suffering. it exhausts us and our relationships. and though it may demonstrate a short term success, it rarely lasts and the cost can be very high.

we think to yield is to surrender, to give up, and we are severely averse to such a notion. our egos just won’t have it.

however, to yield is quite different than surrendering or giving up. to skillfully yield, we are called to employ our creativity, alternative thinking, and wisdom. to skillfully yield, is to demonstrate a great strength.

~j

#yield #strength #StayOpen #StayGentle #TheLongArc #LoveWins

listen…

we could all benefit from better listening. listening, is an undervalued quality and skill. I think, especially in an era where everything is so fast moving and immediate.

true listening, conscious listening, is an act of patience, an act of openness, and an act of generosity.

true listening is also an act of letting go and allowance. it involves releasing our own agenda, and truly listening to what is being said, what we are hearing.

our participation is one of silence, which is something most of us seem uncomfortable with. but, if we are willing to be curious – to be open, then when we truly listen, we learn new things and we grow, and our awareness is heightened.

true listening it’s not just with the ears, it is also with the heart.

~j

#listening #listen #StayOpen #StayCurious #NoAgenda #LetGo #LetGoAndGrow #awareness #practice #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #enso #Zen #Buddhism #JMWart

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

the Light…

“Close your eyes. Feel it. The light…it’s always been there. It will guide you.”

~

Maz Kanata

stop. sit. breathe. let go. allow.

(rinse and repeat)

when renewed, get back up and do generous, kind, compassionate work to benefit a world that is suffering.

~j

#StarWarsWisdom #StarWarsQuotes #MazKanata #TheForce #StarWars #LucasFilm #Disney #light #meditation #JustSit #breathe #LetGo #bodhisattvas #EngagedBuddhism #JMWart

maintain your sanity…

let go enso orange

 

It doesn’t really work to let go of things in the abstract. Letting go takes place in the chaos of life, knee-deep in the mud, when we feel like we are drowning, with that all too familiar, desperate feeling to cling, to find some security.

So we practice letting go in meditation. Grounded, balanced in our breathing. Thought after thought, feeling after feeling, we let go. They arise, we recognize them and let go. They fall away. We do this thousands of times.
It never stops. No real extraordinary effort. We just show up, we stop, we allow space, and we let go.

It’s an act of bravery, it’s an act of generosity, it’s an act of peace.

We still have goals, we still work to benefit, to reduce harm, to end suffering. But we do so, with an openness and non-attachment to the results. It is an act of trust, trusting that the seeds planted – seeds of love, seeds of empathy, seeds of compassion, seeds of justice, seeds of equality, seeds of peace – will come to fruition in their time, when the appropriate conditions arise to support and nurture them.

This will be how we maintain sanity, in this time. Show up, act with love, let go, and get to work again, and again.

~j
11.27.17

climb…

“These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.”~ Najwa Zebian

#inktober #inktober2017 #inktoberdaytwentyseven #inktoberclimb #mountain #burden #brushpainting #inkbrush #zen #JMWart #artistsoninstagram 

why wait?

Sooner or later life catches up with us and we come to the realization that there is no avoiding our problems, there is no running away from our demons, there is no going to war to win over this life or force our way through.  It never lasts.  There is nothing to grasp in desperation.  It only adds to the suffering in the world.

We come to realize, often through experiencing or bearing witness to suffering, that the only true option is to meet life with authenticity in all of its rawness with an open heart, right here in this moment.

Meditation is the practice of not waiting until later, but gently and persistently meeting life as it is and as we are in this moment.  Staying put.  meeting our demons with compassion and gentleness.  Moving beyond winning and losing.  Letting go.  Transforming suffering rather than transmitting suffering.  Then we have no need to go to war with ourselves, with others, with life.  Then we have peace.

~j