Sunday, September 29, 2013

We are but whirlpools

"We are but whirlpools in a river of everflowing water. We are not stuff that abides, but patterns that perpetuate themselves." (Norbert Wiener, Human Use of Human Beings, p.130).

Some patterns lead to suffering, some to happiness and balance. Take care. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Compassion, opening, integrating, responding

Compassion the purpose and heart of practice, with insight and clarity as methods and tools for seeing how my experience and the world around me are connected and interdependent.

Rather than focusing or generating special states or attacking patterns in an attempt to get rid of them, softening and opening to the reality I'm experiencing. Bringing together the sensations, feelings, stories, and behaviors that arise: integrating, healing, whole-ing.

Taking responsibility, cultivating response-ability: responding to suffering, rather than trying to fix a problem or save the world.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

When craving becomes grasping

By all means, honor your heart's aspirations and let them form deep intentions. But when craving becomes grasping, suffering surely follows.

Time is a river, a tiger, a fire

Our destiny is not frightful by being unreal; it is frightful because it is irreversible and iron-clad. Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.” 

~ from A New Refutation of Time by Jorge Luis Borges

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Without complete understanding

We can love completely without complete understanding...

~ A River Runs Through It

Wear the teachings

Vast is the robe of liberation, 
a formless field of benefaction. 
I wear the Buddha's teachings, 
caring for all sentient beings

~ Dogen Zenji 

Monday, September 2, 2013

The universal host

Invite open awareness of the totality, the universe of experience: no picking and choosing, no ignoring, no indifference.

Regard yourself as the host of everything and everyone that appears: you don't control what happens but you have infinite space, infinite resources, and infinite rights, skills, and interests.

Exclude no one who shows up; everyone is your guest: acknowledge their arrival, invite them in with utter enthusiasm, serve them whatever they need, introduce them to the other guests, and enjoy their presence.

Act directly, freely, and quickly in response to whatever arises, without hesitation or calculation: you don't control the consequences of your actions, but you are infinitely responsive, you have unlimited capacity, free of fear, with nothing to defend.

Accept all consequences and conditions, favorable or unfavorable, as equally appropriate and fitting: every situation is auspicious.

Stability: awareness is open, unbounded, without distraction or dullness.

Clarity: perception is vividly clear, making the finest distinctions in each thing and situation.

Knowing: directly sees how everything inside and outside is equally empty, vivid, pure, and unceasing.

Effective: responses are direct, free, without hesitation or conflict.

Union: these four aspects of awareness~compassion arise together, inseparable, spontaneous, complete.

"Free of fear" means fear is no obstacle to knowing and effective action: thoughts and emotions arise empty, pure, vivid, and transparent, like a rainbow, like a storm, like a magic show.

Vajrayana practice and activity does not cancel out the other levels. Hinayana means purifying behavior and doing no harm. Mahayana means purifying intention and doing good. Vajrayana means purifying perception and enjoying. The ability to keep all three vows is power. Power is linked with joy. Joy is unconditional gratitude.

Dedicate every effort and every benefit to the well-being of all. Sarva mangalam.


Dedicating virtue and merit to sentient beings

Throughout my many lives and until this moment,
whatever virtue I have accomplished,
including the merit generated by this practice,
and all that I will ever attain,
this I offer for the welfare of sentient beings.

May sickness, war, famine, and suffering
be decreased for every being,
while their wisdom and compassion
increase in this and every future life.

May I clearly perceive all experiences
to be as insubstantial as the dream fabric of the night
and instantly awaken to perceive the pure wisdom display
in the arising of every phenomenon.

May I quickly attain enlightenment
in order to work ceaselessly
for the liberation of all sentient beings.

~ from a Red Tara dedication by Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Seems to me when we're overwhelmed by circumstances, and our physical and / or mental health are stressed, we can respond on several levels:

  • Stay gently grounded in the body; disengaging physically can trigger a racing mind or conflicted heart. Just gently and naturally drop back into awareness of the body as often as possible.
  • Exercise, eat well, and make time and conducive conditions for healthy sleep.
  • Engage the best medical and natural healing treatments, without expecting magic or miracles.
  • Seek the ongoing support of genuine friends; tell them you are having a difficult time and that you appreciate their understanding and would like their support.
  • Call on spiritual, emotional, or physical energies of the universe that you long for and sense would be helpful to you. The heart-felt, wordless, intuitive calling out is itself the practice. 
  • Regard gratitude, hope, love, and awe as practices, as seeds that have manifold practical results. Invite them to arise, and notice when they do, and appreciate their power.