Category Archives: Blog

Art Inspired Mindfulness

Art Inspired Mindfulness

What secrets beckon this deep

forest dwelling?

Solitude indulges the hidden recesses

stored in my mind.

Contemplative nature among the spaces, 

between the old growth standing upright

Curiosity enchants this gift of time and place.

The invitation to enter beckons…

By Lhasha

In the spiritual traditions of Zen Buddhism, we find many forms of artistic expression. Beginning with the Rinzai lineage of the koan, a form of asking a question that goes beyond ordinary discursive thinking and invites one to be with the ‘riddle-like’ thought put before them. Wikipedia provides this description: Kōan (公案) is a story, dialogue, question, or statement which is used in Zen practice to provoke the “great doubt” and to practice or test a student’s progress in Zen.

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Climate Change and Mindfulness in 2021

Climate Change and Mindfulness in 2021

As President Biden recently inferred, climate change left unchanged and free to wreak havoc on our lives, is one of the most dangerous forces we face. As deadly as the pandemic, and over time more completely destructive of quality of life, more consuming of wealth, and used as a force of international terrorism, it portends mass ruination on a global scale. The planet heating up and the effects on the oceans, are problems we have ignored for way too long.

We are all suffering and being overwhelmed by nature’s reactions. From the melting of the Polar ice caps, some of the land sinking and the oceans rising; to the floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes that are stronger and fiercer than ever before; to the raging fires in the Western US and the gigantic bushfires in Australia, “what you sow, ye shall reap”. Our continued indulging and overuse of carbon intensive processes promises more trouble and deaths. This state of fact can be depressing but yet calls us to action.

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The Way to Peace of Mind : Buddhist Ethics

The Way to Peace of Mind : Buddhist Ethics

Sila, is the Pali word for “moral discipline”. Although it appears to have some overlapping meanings, it primarily refers to right conduct and practicing a moral mind state. It often includes adherence to right speech, right action, and right livelihood as part of the Noble Eight Fold Path which are guidelines for establishing noble character through inner and outer behaviors.

Today, we are exposed to an abundance of reckless and violent behavior emanating from  certain individuals and groups who adhere to views and opinions that reflect the beliefs and bias of domestic terrorists, and engender socially destructive actions and harm. Examples of this harm are the recent murders  of eight Asian massage therapists, and of the ten people shot to death at a King Soopers Grocery in Boulder, CO.

What does the Buddha say about this?

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Loving Awareness

Loving Awareness

Remembering who we really are during these times of challenge and difficulty presents obstacles for so many of us, and yet is the source from which consciousness, freedom, and wisdom are born. It is when we are most faced with the causes of suffering: illness, grief, bias and racial prejudice, poverty and homelessness, that we can open to the possibilities of waking up to the goodness within us and the world around us. These ancient words, often spoken by Jack Kornfield reflect this truth:

“Oh nobly born, oh you who are the sons and daughters of the awakened ones, the Buddhas and the bodhisattvas. Do not forget who you really are, do not forget your true nature.”

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Freedom from Harm, Cultivating Love in 2021

Freedom from Harm, Cultivating Love in 2021

As we birth ourselves into 2021, and all it brings with it, we can take time to look purposefully toward the next four years, and what we will create. The past carries a great deal of heavy baggage that we seek to find a way to dismantle — even though it is messy and complex. We look forward to a future of intentionality where we can reconstruct healing modalities and build new relationships with a focus on mutual consideration and no harm for all.

The Buddha spoke these words 2,600 years ago, putting forth the path to this end:

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Bringing the Sacred to 2021

Bringing the Sacred to 2021

When we recognize the sacred in our daily life we can relish the simplest action, opening our heart, and transforming mundane activities into meaningful experiences.

The word sacred has many uses and synonyms. At times, it represents a form of reverence and respect symbolized by some special object, place, or event that manifests as a wise and balanced mind and heart. It is associated with the word sanctity and embodies qualities of holiness, blessings, devotion, spirituality, goodness, uprightness, and virtue.

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What’s Enough this Holiday Season?

lotus
Trailing my stick I go down to the garden edge,
Call a monk to go out the pine gate.
A cup of tea with my mother,
looking at each other, enjoying our tea together.
In the deep lanes, few people in sight;
the dog barks when anyone comes or goes.
Fall floods have washed away the planks of the bridge;
shouldering our sandals, we wade the narrow stream.
By the roadside, a small pavilion
Where once there used to be a little hill:
it helps our hermit mood;
Country poems pile one sheet on another.
I dabble in the flow, delighted by the shallowness of the stream,
gaze at the flagging, admiring how firm the stones are.
The point in life is to know what’s enough—
Why envy those otherworld immortals?
With the happiness held in one inch-square heart
You can fill the whole space between heaven and earth.
—Anonymous

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Practicing the Three Refuges

Practicing the Three Refuges

How do we face and live with life’s ever-changing flow of circumstances that can bring the unexpected loss of loved ones, sickness and injury, uncertain economic security, aging, fear, the loss of control, and the accompanying anger that can arise in response to unpredictable conditions? Our hearts and minds yearn for a way to meet these challenges.

There is a way to find peace, ease, faith, happiness, and freedom amidst all this. In Buddhist teachings, there is a training called the Three Refuges, a practice that brings solace and serenity to an aching heart and mind. Continue reading

The Way of Contentment

The Way of Contentment

This has been an extended and beautiful spring season. 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. 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. Continue reading