The Eight Worldly Winds (The Eight Vicissitudes)
From the Mungalla Sutta
This time of year in Tucson is daily filled with breezy or windy weather, which blows dust in the air, knocks over trash cans and carries them away, burns and stings eyes, and much more. It often makes a mess and causes us irritation; and, interestingly, some of us enjoy its impact, variability, spacious blowing, and unexpected outcomes.
We are all different and so how we relate to these life winds varies, as do the winds themselves.
The definition of vicissitude is “the quality or state of being changeable, mutability; natural change or mutation visible in nature or in human affairs” or “a favorable or unfavorable event or situation that occurs by chance; a fluctuation of state or condition the vicissitudes of daily life; a difficulty or hardship attendant on a way of life, a career, or a course of action and usually beyond one’s control; alternating change, succession.” These vicissitudes seem to be endless and out of our control; yet how we choose to respond to life’s conditions and events may be part of our path to cultivating happiness or being dragged down into a whirlwind of suffering. Continue reading
How to Transform Anger
When most of think about anger we have images of people yelling at each other, getting red in the face, tightening of the jaw and fists, nasty or insulting speech, actions that may involve some type of physical or psychological abuse, fear of being harmed, blaming, irritation, frustration, feeling annoyed just to name a few manifestations of this mind state.
Much of this type of anger when taken out on another person is actually a form of rage; a deep seated emotion that was likely triggered by some trauma or childhood abuse. It can be deeply destructive to oneself and to another. Often it is an ‘out of control’ reaction to suppressed wounds that have never been faced and healed. When the causes and conditions are ripe for these ‘angry behaviors” to manifest they emerge so quickly that they bypass our ability to even be aware of what is happening. They take over and we react. Continue reading
How Do We Practice Compassion in a World of Terrorism?
This question goes to the heart of the Buddha’s teaching. Over 2,600 years ago when the Buddha had his “Awakening” he came away with several epiphanies that would revolutionize his own life and bring practical wisdom to the difficulties and troubles of that world. One of the most significant of these is that there is suffering in the world, which he named a truth of existence. He said t this is both personal and universal and that it manifests in illness, injury, aging, death, warfare, and impermanence. We call this the First Noble Truth. Continue reading
What is the Way of Contentment?
As I sit here this morning I am aware that the morning temperature was cool at 53 degrees, the air was refreshing, sweet, a gentle breeze stirred the tree leaves which were animated and dancing, the sky was a true sky blue, bright and clear. This has been an extended and beautiful spring season. At times like this my heart swells and I feel so grateful to be living this life. I hope you are also filled with this deep contentment.
What Does Generosity Mean to You?
Generosity is a wisdom teaching found in many cultures of the world. In Buddhist practice it has a special place. Generosity was one of the first teachings of the Buddha and it began when he was establishing the first “Four-Fold Sangha”. The sangha, community, was comprised of male and female monastics and laity, both men and women who learned to support each other through the giving of ‘alms” in exchange for receiving of teachings and blessings. Continue reading
How Can We Practice Gratitude Simply?
Gratitude includes mindfulness practice, awareness, meditation and prayer please take some time to see what form of practice is suitable for you.
GRATITUDE Is not a passive response to something we have been given, gratitude arises from paying attention, from being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without us. Gratitude is not necessarily something that is shown after the event, it is the deep, a-priori state of attention that shows we understand and are equal to the gifted nature of life. Continue reading
Can Wise Speech Buddhism Help the World?
Learning wise speech Budhism can be a healing balm to a world often troubled by major conflicts, acts of terrorism, devastating wars, political scandals and false accusations, international spying, ethnic cleansing and many more abusive and violent actions. Continue reading
Can We be with Nature Wilderness with Mindfulness, Equanimity, Patience and Ease?
I remember my first backpacking trip on my own. I wanted to go and I felt afraid to be on my own. At the time we lived in New Hampshire and I took an early autumn trip into the secluded Pemigewasset Wilderness area in the White Mountains. I decided to go to an area called “Seven Falls” where there was a confluence of seven rivers merging together. Continue reading
How do I speak and listen with compassion and wisdom individually and globally?
As a child I was told by my parents in order to protect myself from harm to say to other children “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never harm me.”
I said it and perhaps this prevented further mocking by other nasty children but the damage was already done. The words they said stung, they hurt, there was harm; I felt afraid and embarrassed. Continue reading
Mindfulness and Breath Meditation
Welcome to mindfulness meditation. Let’s begin this meditation by relaxing your eyes and beginning to bring your attention inward. Slowly settle into your body. Continue reading