there is another option
though it is hot, stay
what is old shall fall away
you are born from love
#stay #StayPresent #StayWoke #presence #MeditateAndResist #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #meditation #love #LoveWins #haiku #poetry #JMWpoetry
Today our friend Vu Dang passed. I write “our friend” because anyone who embodies love and light as Vu does is truly a friend to this world, to all life. I am holding in my heart his dear wife/partner Chris, his family, his friends, and all touched by his teaching at Dang Good Yoga. I sat and meditated today with Vu in my heart, practicing Metta (lovingkindness). Vu was a friend to anyone he encountered, a beloved teacher and Yogi. I would say (though he’d disagree) that he was also a Zen master. In the face of suffering, he remained the epitome of courage, of open-heartedness, of kindness and gentleness, of presence. He practiced with Thich Nhat Hanh’s community and embodied Thay’s gatha – “I have arrived, I am home.” And to be in Vu’s presence was to surely feel that we had also arrived and were home.
A few years ago, I had created some artwork to be raffled at a fundraiser put together by wonderful friends to benefit Vu in his struggle with cancer. I also created a piece specifically inspired and for Vu, for his birthday. It took me a year to finally give it to him in person (he was so patient and gracious about that, of course). It is pictured below. It touched my heart deeply and with gratitude to see him post the art from time to time as a reminder to others that they too “are the sound of life, the song of love” to “just be” – most recently as his New Year’s greeting/post and another time with the note to “Please remember…”
I am grateful to have first met Vu in high school so many years ago, grateful to reconnect, grateful to learn from his presence – I know I will continue to learn from his presence as I continue the practice, of being open-hearted, kind, and brave. I hope to one day have his grace, his wisdom, his presence. I know a light like his doesn’t dim, that such a light is with us as we practice, as we live and love.
I will repost specific details on donations to the UCSD Moore Cancer Center, when his family provides them. In the meantime, please keep them in your heart, in your prayers, and let us live as open-hearted with love as Vu 😌❤️🙏🏻📿
“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 message of Christmas is so much more radical than the welcome and beneficial sentiments of warmth and familial love.
That a small refugee infant with parents trying to find safe haven in a foreign country, fleeing from their home and the danger there, poor and homeless, would become a symbol of divine and sacred love, a messenger of peace and generosity of heart, speaking truth to power, standing up for the vulnerable and powerless, giving space and attention to the outsider, the outcast.
An incredible message and life changing if we open our hearts to it.
We need this Christmas message today.
May it strike our hearts at their core, opening us to love all, including and most especially the refugee, the homeless, the foreigner, the poor, the vulnerable and outcast.
May it be so.
And may you and your family and friends have a Merry Christmas.
Wishing you all that is beautiful and beneficial today and everyday.
May you be happy, may you be safe and at ease, and may you be free from suffering.
#Christmas #NoBansNoWalls #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #LoveWins
remember, you are a warrior. you are a healer, born for this time, to bring balance and counter that which destroys.
with an open heart, do what you can, where you are at.