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

know who you are…

in the thick of things, the darkness and difficulty, don’t forget who you are. you are Love, luminous and open.meet life with empathy, with compassion, and the steady, purposeful, and unshakable strength that comes from being grounded in Love.

~j
[…if you want a master class in what happens when we allow our wounds to close up and drag us into a bitter anger, and then what happens when this is met with empathy, compassion, and courage, watch the end scenes of Moana. be a healer. meet life with empathy, compassion and courage grounded in Love.]

the kindness that transcends…


it seems, we may need this now more than ever. so much going on that encourages division, that encourages anger and aggression, that encourages the dismissing of individuals as well as whole groups of people.

the good news is that this kindness that transcends is always available, right here, right now in your very own heart.

~j

anger…

  

in my anger

i became a ghost
here, in my love

i become human
~j

Zen Parable of the Monk and the Samurai
A big, tough Samurai once went to see a little monk.
“Monk!”
He barked, in a voice accustomed to instant obedience.
“Teach me about heaven and hell!”
The Monk looked up at the mighty warrior and replied with utter disdain,
“Teach you about heaven and hell? I couldn’t teach you about anything. You’re dumb. You’re dirty. You’re a disgrace, an embarrassment to the samurai class. Get out of my sight. I can’t stand you.”
The Samurai got furious. He shook, red in the face, speechless with rage. He pulled out his sword, and prepared to slay the Monk.
Looking straight into the Samurai’s eyes, the Monk said softly,
“That’s hell.”
The Samurai froze, realizing the compassion of the Monk who had risked his life to show him hell! He put down his sword and fell to his knees, filled with gratitude.
The Monk said softly,
“And that’s heaven.”

Commentary:

anger in and of itself is just energy. like any other emotion. we are human and we experience anger. and when the sometimes intense, hot energy of anger is put into responsible use, it can be beneficial too! anger can be a powerful motivating force in our work to end injustice, for instance.

our experience of anger can also be an opportunity to investigate what gets under our skin and eats at us. what makes us lose our cool, how fast do we lose it? are we acting out of anger with our words and actions, adding to the harm and suffering in the world?

the celebrated Franciscan, Richard Rohr has said, “What we don’t transform, we transmit.” if we allow the experience of anger and the investigation of anger to transform us, we may find as the Samurai did in the Zen parable above, the healing energy of compassion as we connect to our own humanity and the humanity of others. 

in this way, our experience of anger is just another teacher on the path to our own transforming and expanding heart, rather than the further transmission of aggression and suffering in this world.

~j