Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Via Daily Dharma: Don't Feed Your Demons

When many demons are struggling inside you, the one that you feed is the one that will become the strongest. You alone are responsible for what you feed.

—Wendy Egyoku Nakao Roshi, “Hold to the Center!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Via Daily Dharma: Engaged, but Not Busy

Though we usually associate busyness with activity and speed, and lack of busyness with stopping or slowing down, this is not always the case. It is possible to be actively engaged and not be busy.

—Marc Lesser, “Do Less, Accomplish More

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - October 29, 2017

People ask me if I believe there is continuity after death. I say that I don't believe it - it just is. This offends my scientific friends to no end. But belief is something you hold with your intellect, and for me this goes way beyond my intellect.

The Bhagavad Gita also tells us, "As the Spirit of our mortal body wanders on in childhood and youth and old age, the Spirit wanders on to a new body: of this the sage has no doubts." As Krishna says, "Because we all have been for all time... And we all shall be for all time, we all for ever and ever." 

-  Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: Tradition's Symbolic Truths

My own teacher . . . said that learning that many of her traditional beliefs were not historically accurate only made her think more deeply about their spiritual meaning. This is really the point. When we cease to confuse history and stories, when we look at traditional stories outside the context of literal truth and sectarian debate, we are freer to appreciate the imaginative truths they convey.

—Rita Gross, “The Matter of Truth

Via Daily Dharma: Treating Fear with Wisdom

In spiritual life, the problem with fear lies in whether we have the wisdom to respond well to it.

—Dharmavidya David Brazier, “The Gift of Fear

Friday, October 27, 2017

Via Daily Dharma: Happiness Requires a Foundation in Compassion

Trying to build happiness on a foundation of ego is like trying to build a tower on quicksand.

—Pamela Gayle White, “A Slow, True Path

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Via Daily Dharma: What We Want: Love and Respect

Everyone wants love and care, but, more than these, human beings want respect for who they are.

—Dzigar Kongtrul, “Old Relationships, New Possibilities

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - October 25, 2017

Who you think you are will always be frightened of change. But it doesn't make any difference to who you truly are. 

-  Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: The Dharma Is an Exhaustible Well

Some people think by giving everything away, you end up with nothing. But the dharma is an inexhaustible well. However much you give of it, you can always go back for more.

—Master Sheng-Yen, “Rich Generosity

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Via Daily Dharma: The Three Most Basic Fears

Every negative emotion, every drama, comes down to one or more of the three most basic fears: the fear of losing safety and control, the fear of aloneness and disconnection, and the fear of unworthiness.

—Ezra Bayda, “The Three Things We Fear Most"

Monday, October 23, 2017

Harvey Fierstein with Barbara Walters on 20/20 (1983)

Via Scientific American: Homophobes Might Be Hidden Homosexuals

A new analysis of implicit bias and explicit sexual orientation statements may help to explain the underpinnings of anti-gay bullying and hate crimes

Homophobes Might Be Hidden Homosexuals
Credit: Wikimedia Commons/thaths
Homophobes should consider a little self-reflection, suggests a new study finding those individuals who are most hostile toward gays and hold strong anti-gay views may themselves have same-sex desires, albeit undercover ones.

The prejudice of homophobia may also stem from authoritarian parents, particularly those with homophobic views as well, the researchers added.

"This study shows that if you are feeling that kind of visceral reaction to an out-group, ask yourself, 'Why?'" co-author Richard Ryan, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, said in a statement. "Those intense emotions should serve as a call to self-reflection."

The research, published in the April 2012 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, reveals the nuances of prejudices like homophobia, which can ultimately have dire consequences. [The 10 Most Destructive Human Behaviors]

"Sometimes people are threatened by gays and lesbians because they are fearing their own impulses, in a sense they 'doth protest too much,'" Ryan told LiveScience. "In addition, it appears that sometimes those who would oppress others have been oppressed themselves, and we can have some compassion for them too, they may be unaccepting of others because they cannot be accepting of themselves."

Via Daily Dharma: Create a Sacred Space

Most of us cannot afford a separate room for zazen [Zen meditation], but all of us can make a corner sacred.

—Robert Aitken, “Setting Up Your Home Altar

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - October 22, 2017

One doesn’t have to beat down one’s ego for God. That isn’t the way it works. The ego isn’t in the way. It’s how we are holding the ego. It is much better to just do the spiritual practices and open to God and love God and trust your intuitive heart. As the transformation happens, the ego then becomes this beautiful instrument that’s available to you to deal with the world. It’s not in the way anymore.  

-Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: Buddhism in a Shell

Buddhism is nothing other than a set of practices to open up the mysteries of the human heart.

—Reggie Ray, “Looking Inward, Seeing Outward

Friday, October 20, 2017

Via Daily Dharma: Don't Confuse Awakening with Bliss

There may be bliss with awakening, because it is actually a by-product of awakening, but it is not awakening itself. As long as we are chasing the byproducts of awakening, we will miss the real thing.

—Adyashanti, “Bliss Is a By-Product

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Via Sri Preem Baba

Via Daily Dharma: Do You Know Where to Look for Spiritual Awareness?

There is always a need for experience and knowledge rooted in traditions, but it is not a spiritual given that these are the places where peace, union, and spiritual awareness are found.

—bell hooks, “Waking Up to Racism

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Via Lionsroar / Buddhist author George Saunders wins Man Booker Prize for “Lincoln in the Bardo”

George Saunders has won the Man Booker Prize — awarded for the best original novel published in the UK — for his novel Lincoln in the Bardo. Saunders is a Buddhist, and his novel is based on the idea of bardo, the Tibetan Buddhist concept of a state between death and life.

The book tells the story of Abraham Lincoln visiting the crypt of his son, William, who died at age 11. In an interview, Saunders told Lion’s Roar editor-in-chief Melvin McLeod:
“I’d been reading some Buddhist texts and was aware of the bardo as a sort of transitional state between the moment when you die and the moment you’re reincarnated. That struck me as an interesting way to destabilize the usual ghost story.”
On announcing the award, Baroness Lola Young, chair of the Man Booker Prize, said, “The form and style of this utterly original novel reveals a witty, intelligent, and deeply moving narrative.”
Young said that Lincoln in the Bardo stood out from the other books shortlisted for the prize, “because of its innovation – its very different styling and the way in which it paradoxically brought to life these not-quite-dead souls in this other world.”

In 2014, Saunders gave a convocation speech at Syracuse University that went viral and was adapted into a book. Shortly afterward, he spoke with McLeod, and explained how Buddhism comes into his writing:
“In my writing work, I’ve noticed that if you do anything with real intensity, and with a real interest in the truth of the matter, then it ends up being dharmic somehow. If you’re really, really interested in the truth, then you’ll end up with something that looks and feels very much like dharma.”
The Man Booker is widely regarded as one of the top prizes in fiction, assuring success and renown for its winners.

Make the jump here to read the original and more

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - October 18, 2017

When you look back at the suffering in your own life, each time you would have avoided it if you possibly could. And yet, when you look at the depth of your character now, isn’t part of that a product of those experiences? Weren’t those experiences part of what created the depth of your inner being?

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: Don't Mix Rigidity with Meditation

Global rules, where you have to do the same thing in all instances, are not as helpful as rules that have specific contexts in which they are used.

—Jason Siff, “The Problem with Meditation Instructions

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Via Daily Dharma: Mind the Gap (between Object and Mind)

Nonself only begins to be clear when the illusion of seamlessness disappears and we experience the gaps in the continuity, when we actually see the mind and its object arising and dying together from instant to instant.

—Cynthia Thatcher, “Disconnected the Dots

Monday, October 16, 2017

Via Daily Dharma: Struggle Can Lead to Future Courage

For anyone working to become more courageous, suffering can become an ideal source of growth. An indolent life without hardship of any kind is just like an empty ship, easily overturned by a storm.

—Khenpo Sodargye, “Working through Suffering

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Via LA Times

Via Daily Dharma: Learn When to Quit

Strange as it may seem, stopping is as much an important aspect of practice as starting.

—Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, “The Aim of Attention

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - October 15, 2017

To see through the veil of what our senses and thinking minds make real, to the true self, feels often like the highest aspiration of humanity. When we do this, it’s as if we find our rightful place in the order of things. We begin to recognize a harmony that’s been waiting for us to feel and once we do this, it’s not only for the life hereafter or some abstract thing for later, it’s for now, and for the way in which we live our lives day by day.

-  Ram Dass -

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - October 11, 2017

Being peacefully in relationship to everything made me realize that my happiness isn’t based on the situation being 'this way' or 'that way' – my happiness is one which embraces my sadness, and my love is one which embraces my own hate…

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: Meditation Off the Cushion

When I put so much stock in formal meditation, I forget that it’s only one way of helping me see the magic that surrounds me and that is me.

—Barry Evans, “I Like It ...but Is It Meditation?

Via Daily Dharma: Attention Reveals Connection

Paying attention provides the gift of noticing and the gift of connecting. It provides the gift of seeing a little bit of ourselves in others, and of realizing that we’re not so awfully alone.

—Sharon Salzberg, “A More Complete Attention

Via Daily Dharma: Everyone Has a Purpose

Each of us has something to do in this lifetime; we have to find out what it is and do it.

—Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, “No Excuses

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Via Daily Dharma: Forgiving Yourself Be Done

One of the most difficult people to forgive can be yourself. Yet with patience and gentle determination, it can be done.

—Allan Lokos, “Lighten Your Load

Via Daily Dharma: Resist the Mental Clock

Meditation teaches us to be wary of allowing ideas of time to interfere with our activity. Through experience, we discover how not to lose our self, but instead to be fully engaged in the “doing” of whatever it is we decided that we must do.

—Les Kaye, “The Time Is Now

Via Daily Dharma: Let Go Strategically

The key is not to grasp, or swim against the tide, but to go along and allow the elements to balance. By skillfully and strategically letting go, I can safely reach the shore.

—Kim Larrabee, “Drowning on My Cushion

Friday, October 6, 2017

Via Daily Dharma: Inner Simplicity

Our lives may be complicated on the outside, but we remain simple, easy, and open on the inside.

—Tsoknyi Rinpoche, “Allow for Space

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - October 4, 2017

If you want to be in a peaceful world, you damn well better be peaceful, because if you are full of anger you are not going to bring about much peace.

The qualities in yourself determine what qualities are in the world.

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: Uncover Your Limiting Beliefs

The moment you leave the circumstances you’ve grown accustomed to, you are in foreign territory, and it’s easier to realize how much narrow-mindedness you are carrying around, including all your opinions, judgments, habits, and so on.

—Dawa Tarchin Phillips, “What to Do When You Don't Know What's Next

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Leonard Cohen - Leaving the Table

For more about Cohen’s life and his relationship to Zen Buddhism, read Pico Iyer’s “Leonard Cohen Burns, and We Burn With Him.”

Via Daily Dharma: Discipline Is Wedded to Joy

Without spiritual discipline we are never going to wake up or advance on our journey through this life. But our discipline must be wedded to joy, and we must find pleasure in the myriad wonders that this life offers.

—Joan Gattuso, “The Balancing Buddha

Monday, October 2, 2017

Via Daily Dharma: The Heroes Within You

The superheroes we need don’t come from faraway planets or live in secret hideouts on remote islands. Our heroes must be summoned from within.

—Andrew Olendzki, “Guardians of the World

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Via Ram Dass: Words of Wisdom - October 1, 2017

What love has been for me has been the whole ‘heart’ part of my journey. I have gone from having special people that I loved and others that I hated to realizing that everybody I meet is the ‘beloved’ in drag. Everybody is ‘the one’ and my job is to see through the story line their mind is caught in, not to reject the story line, not to judge it, it’s not better or worse than my storyline. It’s about not getting caught in it, and being able to see what is behind it.

It’s behind the soul, and because we can’t talk about it, touch it, smell it, taste it, we tend to think it doesn’t exist, and yet here we are - that’s the beautiful perplexity of it all.

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: Why You Must Accept Who You Are

Understanding and accepting who you really are right now is as important as the commitment to become someone more open and generous.

—Dale S. Wright, “The Bodhisattva's Gift