Sunday, September 22, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: The Gift of Every Breath

There was just no telling which breath would be my last. And so I breathed. And breathed again. And each breath was better than the one before because it was a gift, an unexpected bonus.

—Leath Tonino, “The Ground Under Our Feet”


Via Words of Wisdom - September 22, 2019 đź’Ś

"I always have the same response - I will work on myself since the work on myself is going to be the highest thing I can do for it all. I understand that as man up-levels his own consciousness, he sees more creative solutions to the problems that he’s confronting."

- Ram Dass -

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Via FB:

Via Daily Dharma: How Can You Forget the Self?

One forgets the self by becoming one with the task at hand. Zazen, or seated meditation, is the quintessential form for this focused awareness, but it can be practiced anywhere and anytime.

—Andrew Cooper, “Spirit in Sport”


Via Be Here Now Network...

In this special episode of the Heart Wisdom Podcast, Jack Kornfield honors the life and wisdom of his early Vipassana teacher, S.N. Goenka.

S.N. Goenka was a pioneer in making Vipassana meditation widely available to a secular audience. Over 170 meditation centers have been established around the globe in his honor. Goenka was an inspiration and teacher to thousands of students from around the world, including Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Ram Dass, Daniel Goleman, and many other western spiritual leaders. Discover the legacy of S.N. Goenka:

make the jump here to listen

Via Gayety: Marriage Could Be Good for Your Health – Unless You’re Bisexual

Is marriage good for you?

A large number of studies show that married people enjoy better health than unmarried people, such as lower rates of depression and cardiovascular conditions, as well as longer lives.

However, these findings have been developed primarily based on data of heterosexual populations and different-sex marriages. Only more recently have a few studies looked into gay and lesbian populations and same-sex marriages to test if marriage is related to better health in these populations — and the evidence is mixed.

Our study, published online on Sept. 19, evaluates the advantages of marriage across heterosexual, bisexual, and gay or lesbian adults. We discovered that bisexual adults do not experience better health when married.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Continuous Renewal

Buddhist psychology urges that we recognize that dying is a continuous process, going on all the time—a “perpetual succession of extremely short-lived events.” To recognize this authentically is to experience some form of enlightenment.

—Dean Rolston, “Memento Mori”


Thursday, September 19, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: The Purpose of Mindfulness

The purpose of nirvanic moments of mindfulness is to create an ethical space from which to see, think, speak, act, and work in ways that are not conditioned by reactivity.

—Stephen Batchelor, “A Buddhist Brexit”


Via Ram Dass // Words of Wisdom - September 18, 2019 đź’Ś

There is great delight in tuning through a variety of different methods, and really looking to each method to move you in its own unique way, but also keep opening you. So be very generous in your opening to methods, because if you bring to them a pure heart and a yearning to be free, they will serve you in that way.
The way you get your karmuppance with method: You use them for power, you get power. Then you are stuck with the power. If you use them to reinforce your separateness, you get left in your separateness.

I do my spiritual practices because I do my spiritual practices. What will happen will happen. Whether I will be free and enlightened now or in ten thousand births is of no concern to me. What difference does it make? What else do I have to do? I cannot stop anyway, so it does not make any difference to me. But one concern is to watch that you do not get trapped in your expectations of a practice.

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: How to Combat Burnout

Well-being, self-care, and self-love bring me joy, inner peace, hope, and happiness daily. This, I think, is the core of sustainability for activists and activism and is a foundation for transforming difficulties in work and in personal life and especially our own ego.

—Interview with Ouyporn Khuankaew by Caitlin Dwyer, “Toward a Thai Feminist Movement”


Via Daily Dharma: The Outcomes of Wisdom

Wisdom does not alter the world; it lets the sage transcend the world.

—Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano, “The Phone Rings”


Monday, September 16, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Acknowledging Our Blindspots Inbox x

The capacity to recognize and accept where we are and to investigate what must be changed to minimize the harm that our own views and blindspots cause others is essential to the work of racial justice. And the capacity to do all of this with as little attachment and identification to the outcome is essential to true liberation.

—Rhonda Magee, “Making the Invisible Visible”


Via Words of Wisdom - September 15, 2019 đź’Ś Inbox x

"...For every teacher, every life experience, everything we notice in the universe is but a reflection of our attachments. That is just the way it works."

- Ram Dass  -

Via Daily Dharma: Dissolve Insecurity by Releasing Your Ego

We often think that insecurity comes from a weak ego, but in my experience it is the result of an inflexible ego that has mistaken itself as the center of the universe, which keeps contradicting it on this key point.

—Shozan Jack Haubner, “Middle Way Manager”


Friday, September 13, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Practicing to Benefit All Beings

As we cultivate the ability to see clearly, to understand one another, all beings benefit in ways we comprehend and ways that are still beyond our grasp.

—Nina Wise, “The Psychedelic Journey to the Zafu”


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Via Tricycle: Bartelby the Buddhist / A legal proofreader brings his practice to work.

Has your life delivered you to the very place you expected it would? Mine hasn’t. At this moment, late on a Saturday night, I find myself working the swing shift in a windowless room on the sixteenth floor of a mostly deserted Los Angeles skyscraper, where I am a legal proofreader. Since I’m also a Buddhist, committed to integrating Zen into my everyday life, I decide to practice mindfulness as I pore over a stack of public offerings and credit agreements. Unfortunately, awakening to this moment, I find no fresh breezes, no grass growing of itself, no V-shape of geese migrating against the autumn sky. Instead, I tune in to the incessant hum of fluorescent lights, underscored by a deeper, even more unpleasant multiple-machine drone; stale, recycled air; and the fact that, for some reason, the toes of my left foot have gone cold and clammy. 

“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences,” said Seng-ts’an, third Zen patriarch. I reflect on this teaching at times like this, when my eyes are tired and my back sore and I really want out of this room. And then I know, frankly, that I haven’t had a preference-free moment in my life. I grumble that maybe old Seng-ts’an set the bar just a little too high—I mean, no preferences? Right. Try proofreading for eight hours in an air-conditioned sarcophagus. But part of me knows Seng-ts’an simply stated it the way it is. So I aim for no preferences, have them anyway, and find that the effort helps.
This is the challenge that daily perplexes and fascinates me: How to bring my Zen practice into the workplace, even when that place seems so cold, inhospitable, and, well, corporate. Coming to my aid are the skills cultivated over fourteen years of at-least-once-a-week meditation and the wisdom that flows from my incomplete mastery of the dharma. The wonderful thing is, these seem to be enough. Enlightenment and mastery are great goals, but not required to reap the benefits of Buddhism. The main thing is to have a practice, and to keep it alive, personally relevant, and engaged. Make it your own, and bring it with you everywhere.

I’m sure that my Buddhism makes me a better employee. My concentration is good, my disposition willing, my listening empathic. But these things are easy; they aren’t where I feel the daily stretching of practice. No, practice begins for me when my separate little self springs to life, judging, comparing, and clenching. These moments are easy to identify: To one degree or another, they always involve suffering. It might happen like this: I step onto the elevator, a stack of documents to be delivered under my arm, and find I’m sharing the ride up with three hotshot young attorneys. Then, in an instant—in a vivid illustration of the Buddhist principle of codependent origination—my full-blown separate self springs into existence, co-arising with the young attorneys, the society beyond these walls, which so values wealth and success, and my own internalization of those values. It’s all there!

I stare at my feet like the diffident bottom-dweller I am, a grown-up delivery boy, while they happily jaw about the firm’s skybox at the Lakers game or the latest billion-dollar merger, and I feel a flush of envy and embarrassment. I should be going to Lakers games! I should be negotiating billion-dollar mergers! I get off the elevator with my feathers a little ruffled.

Now, behold the beauty of practice. It was all transparent. I saw my feelings come into existence and made no attempt to stop them. I saw my preferences and shrugged; they seemed understandable enough. I knew that my feelings of discomfort were “empty”—that is, they have no fixed or permanent existence in themselves; they are transitory, conditioned by time and place—and sure enough, in the absence of further judgment or resistance, they pass. I am putting into practice a fundamental skill learned in meditation. Each time we let go of distractions to return to our focus, whatever that is, we practice letting go. 

Letting go of thoughts, scenarios, judgments, conceptual thinking—little chunks of self.

So I return to my desk under the humming lights to tackle another stack of documents. There’s still no meadow in here, no grass growing, no tableau of geese against the autumn sky. For a moment, there were some ruffled feathers—but now they are smooth. Practice!

Make the jump here to read the original and more

Via Daily Dharma: Keeping an Ongoing Practice

Enlightenment and mastery are great goals, but not required to reap the benefits of Buddhism. The main thing is to have a practice, and to keep it alive, personally relevant, and engaged. Make it your own, and bring it with you everywhere.

—Erik Hansen, “Bartelby the Buddhist”


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Via Bhavana Society of West Virginia / FB: MINDFULNESS OF SKILLFUL SPEECH


If someone approaches you and speaks irritatingly-nagging or gossiping about one of your friends, for instance- and you notice yourself getting upset, simply stop talking. Remind yourself silently, "I must not be reactive. I must not fall into the same lack of mindfulness as this person. This conversation is not going anywhere. I chose to engage only in meaningful conversation." In many cases, the other person will respond to your silence by stopping the irritating talk. You can use the pause that follows to turn the conversation in a better direction.

Actually, as someone following the Buddha's path, the moment you know that a conversation is heading in the wrong direction you should take responsibility for putting it back on track. It is so easy to get carried away with emotional talk and start shouting. A shouting match causes unhappiness to everyone involved. With mindfulness recall how awful you feel when you are out of control emotionally. Remind yourself that it may take hours or days before you calm down enough to talk to this person again. A lot of good feelings will be lost, perhaps permanently.

In spite of all your good efforts, however, sometimes you still get angry. If another person continually provokes you, assaulting you with verbal daggers, you may become completely confused and bewildered. Then it is very easy for anger to arise. When you see your confusion building up, say "Wait a minute !" to the other person, with the hope of finding a moment to clear you mind. But what if the other person responds with "No , you wait a minute!" and continues to attack - then what ?

In these situations, when the conversation spins out of control, your task is to bring mindfulness back quickly and use Skillful Effort to overcome the anger. Even if your feelings of anger cause your heart to beat fast, your body to break into a sweat, and your hands to shake, mindfulness of your resolution to avoid all harsh speech can help you stay in control. Simply refuse to let your anger tell you what to say. Concentrate on your breathing to reestablish mindfulness until your anger has died down.

Calming yourself gives both you and the other person a chance to open your hearts in a more friendly way. As your heart begins to warm, you see the other more clearly, and maybe you will understand why you both got upset. You can also see how confused an angry state of mind makes you. As you feelings of respect and concern grow, you can resolve to use this moment to being a new and more loving relationship and to strengthen the companionship between you. That is what you should always hope to do.

From Bhante Gunaratana's - Eight Mindfulness Steps to Happiness

Via Daily Dharma: Learning to Love with Your Whole Heart

Most of us haven’t been taught that to receive love deeply and transmit it wholeheartedly is a real human possibility, that it can be learned, and that to do so is the key to our deepest well-being, our spiritual life, and our capacity to bring more goodness into this world.

—Lama John Makransky, “Love Is All Around”