The Metta Sutta

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.

~

The Buddha

from “The Metta Sutta”

#TheMettaSutta #LovingKindness #Metta #wisdom #life #bodhisattvas #Buddhism #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #MindfulResistance #JMWart

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

no one superior…

the basic Buddhist understanding of life is one of interdependence, that we have no independent self, that many co-arising conditions have come together to manifest this body and life.  this is the case with all things, including all people.  as it has been often quoted and re-quoted (to paraphrase) we are related to each other biologically, to the earth chemically, and to the entire Universe atomically.  all have their rightful and honored place in this web-like tapestry of Life.

understanding this, how can anyone say that one thing is more important or superior to another?

this is Achilles Heel of the White Supremacist movement, the White Nationalists movement, the Nazis, the Neo-Nazis, the KKK, the Alt-Right movement, and all the other racist movements that have sprung up through time over and over pitting one group of people against another manifesting in physical violence, economic/structural/institutional violence, and political violence.

They are all eventually doomed.  Why?  Because they act contrary to Life itself which is at its foundation interdependent and always changing.  Yet, these movements rise up again and again – sometimes hiding under a rock sheltered in darkness, until finding home once more in fragile egos and closed hearts.  This is why it is so important that we stand as allies to Life and to all who are oppressed.  Life acts through us, and sometimes in spite of us, so it is each one of us who have to wake up, listen, stand, speak, write, create art, practice and serve, as allies to Life and all who are oppressed finding themselves on the receiving end of the fear, anger, bigotry, racism, aggression and violence that has found its way into the light.  We MUST be engaged.  Naming the darkness and what lies beneath it, so that we can defeat it, without becoming it.

in this moment our greatest enemies are what we call in Buddhism, The 3 Poisons – our tendency to avoid the discomfort of our situation of this life by either grasping (greed), being aggression (hatred), or lost in our ignorance (delusion – ignorance is NOT bliss).  these are the driving reactive force for those who would put themselves above others, the roots of the fear and anger we see motivating racism and these hostiles groups.  we counter these by authentically engaging life in all of its challenge and discomfort with an open heart through practicing The 4 Immeasurables, which are lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity.  these aren’t to be confused with being “nice” as we may think.  compassion can be fierce, cutting and precise.  we need the fiercest compassion at this time.

the rock has been turned over again and what has been hiding underneath once more is in the light.  what will we do?  the world is watching and history will record these moments.

~j
08.14.17

Metta…

~ Metta Prayer ~
 May all beings be peaceful. 

 May all beings be happy. 

 May all beings be safe. 

 May all beings awaken to 

 the light of their true nature. 

 May all beings be free.
(photo-Gregory Colbert)

Palm Sunday reflection…

doing lovingkindness meditation today for so many at the receiving end of horrific violence including Egypt today, and Syria.  sitting with the darkness of such anger and violence, in contrast to the Palm Sunday message of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem on the humble donkey as a prince of peace, as opposed to a king of war.

the transformative message of the deep and lasting power (love) present in openness and vulnerability – seemingly powerlessness – is still waiting to take hold. it has to take hold in each of our hearts first…  
#LovingKindness #metta #meditation #love #vulnerability #peace #PalmSunday #Jesus #war #violence #anger #darkness #light #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds