“Be a lamp, a lifeboat, a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”
“We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way.”
~St. Francis of Assisi
#bodhisattva #healing #service #kindness #compassion #wisdom #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #OpenHeart #LoveWins
there is so much pain, so much fear and anger. we can get lost in the suffering of it all. we can lose sight of the miracle of the moment, the love in the moment.
i have a practice i do (if i can step out of my suffering long enough to remember to do so!) that i would like to share with you.
when the suffering of the world, wars, poverty, discrimination, violence, corruption, indifference seem too overwhelming, i practice this. i bring my focus down to small stuff, the stuff we generally overlook. nature is a great aid in this. take a few moments to sit and breathe while observing nature, listening to birds’ song, the swaying of branches with the breeze dancing through, watching some insects (ants and bees are great!). even taking some time to observe your own body. have you ever stopped and looked at your skin for a while? fascinating! an appreciation arises naturally when we slow down, when we open and observe smaller, overlooked things.
when your personal suffering seems a burden too great to bear, go big. pull your focus out to a wider view, not centered on your smaller arena of life that can seem overwhelming. stand outside at night, be still, breathe, and observe the night sky as your eyes adjust and the stars begin to reveal themselves – spoiler alert, you can do this during the day as well, it is incredible how nuanced the blue sky can be and how magnificent clouds shapes can be. reflect on the good you see in the world, people opening their hearts, being kind, how history has a way of moving forward and improving even in the face of sometimes grave darkness and opposition. reflect on how the cycle of nature continues regardless – day into night into day, summer into fall and winter, into spring and summer. reflect even on your own life as a whole – observing all that has changed in your life from as a little kid until now. be aware of the rollercoaster of highs and lows, of drops and climbs. you have suffered before and have gotten through it. accept, forgive and love the journey thus far. everything changes. life persists.
love the moment.
#TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #LoveTheMoment #life #journey #suffering #meditation #zen #enso #JMWart
The wave is free when it realizes it is part of the sea.
This is what should be done by one who is skilled in goodness and who knows the path of peace. Let them be able and upright, straightforward and gentle of speech, humble and not conceited, contented and easily satisfied, unburdened by duties and frugal in their ways, calm and wise and skillful, not proud or demanding in nature. Let them not do the slightest thing that the wise would later reprove. Wishing in gladness and in safety, may all beings be at ease, whatever living beings there may be. Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none: — the great or the mighty, medium or short or small, the seen and the unseen, those living near or far away, those born and to be born. May all beings be at ease.
Let none deceive another or despise any being in any state that none through anger or ill will wish harm upon another. Even as a mother protects the life of her child — her only child, so with a boundless heart should we cherish all living beings. Radiating kindness over the entire world, spreading upward to the skies, downward to the depths, outward and unbounded, free from hatred and ill will. Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down, free from drowsiness one should sustain this recollection. This is said to be the sublime abiding. By not holding to fixed views the pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision, being freed from all sense desires, is not born again into this world.
from “The Metta Sutta”
#TheMettaSutta #LovingKindness #Metta #wisdom #life #bodhisattvas #Buddhism #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #MindfulResistance #JMWart
Just as water, through consistent interaction, smooths the rough edges of the rock, so too can consistent love and compassion smooth the rough edges of our hearts as we continue to open to all of life around us.
#TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #LoveWins #CompassionWins #OpenHeart #life #Zen #Buddhism
#BWphotography #photography #JMWphotography #JMWart
“Light, landscape and sky.
There is no language of the holy.
The sacred lies in the ordinary.”
#JustThis #presence #sacred #Tao #nature #life #Zen #Buddhism #enso #JMWart
Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.
#water #paradox #LaoTzu #wisdom #Tao #Taoism #FlowLikeWater #Zen #Enso #JMWart
Over 2500 years ago, deeply moved by the suffering he saw in life (sickness, aging, and death), disenchanted with the excess from which he came, and the practice of extreme ascetism, the historical Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) set out to meet life face to face, as it is. He sat until he woke up. And in waking up he became the Buddha, which means awakened or awakened one. Seeing the middle way – not running away from or grasping at life, rather meeting life with an open heart – he found freedom from suffering.
Today, December 8th, we Buddhists commemorate the Buddha’s awakening under the Bodhi Tree, as Bodhi Day. A day to remember the event, but to also be reminded that we too can wake up, we too have within us the ability to be with life as it is, to be free and at peace.
This morning I practiced, I sat and meditated, and then painted this “wake up” enso to honor not just this one man who decided to sit beneath a tree and meet life authentically with an open heart, but to honor all who sit, all who practice, all who meet this passing life with all of its beauty and heartbreak with an open heart.
May we all wake up to the preciousness of this life, may empathy and compassion be born from our open hearts, to light the world with our love.