Thursday, May 31, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Navigating Your Thoughts

We have to be careful not to think that meditation is about getting rid of thoughts. On the contrary, I would say that meditation helps us to creatively engage with our thoughts and not fixate on them.

—Martine Batchelor, “Meditation, Mental Habits, and Creative Imagination

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Buddha Meets Buddha

If on our journey we do not value one face over another—white or black or brown, wrinkled or smooth—we may come in time to see that the face of the whole world is our own face.

—Lin Jensen, “Meeting Heartmind

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - May 30, 2018

The most important aspect of love is not in giving or the receiving; it's in the being. When I need love from others, or need to give love to others, I'm caught in an unstable situation. Being in love, rather than giving or taking love, is the only thing that provides stability. Being in love means seeing the Beloved all around me. 

- Ram Dass -

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Kindness Is Common Sense

Through kindness, through affection, through honesty, through truth and justice toward all others we ensure our own benefit. This is not a matter for complicated theorizing. It is a matter of common sense.

—The Dalai Lama, “Consider Yourself a Tourist

Monday, May 28, 2018

One thing I miss

One thing I miss here in Brasil, besides a big organized LGBTq community, is the uncles we had in Sacramento, who guided us, helped us out - babysat Spencer, sometimes showed me how to fix a sink, or cook a roast.... family

Our lives—the people living right now—are built on the foundation of the lives given by previous generations. We are at the front line of the chain of lives going back to infinite time in the past.

—Interview with Shinso Ito by Rachel Hiles, “Fire + Water

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - May 27, 2018

The more I center myself and meditate, the more I hear how it all is. Even if I don't hear how it all is, the more I am how it all is. If there's an uneven place in me, all I have to do is work on myself. As I give up attachment to knowing how it all works, then the actions come into harmony with the Dao. 

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: Embrace Your Emotional Experience

Only when emotions are truly attended to can they be endured and transformed into useful energies that express our needs and help guide us through life.

—Josh Korda, “A Safe Container for Fear

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Investigate the Present

Our mind wanders incessantly, but our body and senses are always in the present. To investigate our embodied experience is to investigate the living present.

—Anne C. Klein, “Revisiting Ritual

Friday, May 25, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Release the Need to Be Right

Sometimes kindness takes the form of stepping aside, letting go of our need to be right, and just being happy for someone.

—Sharon Salzberg, “A More Complete Attention

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Open to Your Experience

Every time we’re up against the wall, we’re also standing at a threshold. The invitation to open to our experience—whatever it is from moment to moment—is always there, no matter how many times we need to rediscover it.

—Aura Glaser, “Into the Demon’s Mouth

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - May 23, 2018

In religious study, while there is the opening for healthy skepticism, there is another way which is to open Pandora’s box and let it all in. Figure that whatever is supposed to be useful to you, you will hold, and whatever else will fall away.

You don’t have to keep it all away at arms length for fear you will lose your virginity or something. You don’t have to protect your purity against the holy books. You just open up and let it come in, no matter how weird it all seems.

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: The “Middle Way” of Eating

Taking just the right amount of food, as the Buddha discovered, is essential to practicing the middle way of Buddhism.

—John Kain, “Eating Just the Right Amount

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Start Thinking Long-term

We must consider not only our short-term personal advantage but also the long-range impact our choices have on others we will never know or see: on people living in remote lands, on generations as yet unborn, and on the other species that share our planet.

—Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, “The Need of the Hour

Happy Harvey Milk Day! // Feliz Dia de Harvey Milk!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Listen Without Judgement

Call on your natural curiosity as you focus inward. Try to let go of any preconceived ideas and instead listen in a kind, receptive way to your body and heart.

—Tara Brach, “Finding True Refuge

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Don’t Be Stingy with Your Life

To not be stingy with my life, with myself, is to fully express myself at every moment—fully express everything that I am.

—Roshi Nancy Mujo Baker, “On Not Being Stingy

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - May 20, 2018

The transformative process is our job, so that we are not ruled by fear but by love. 

- Ram  Dass -

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: From Sightseeing to Insight

It’s the perspective we choose—not the places we visit—that ultimately tells us where we stand. Every time I take a trip, the experience acquires meaning and grows deeper only after I get back home and, sitting still, begin to convert the sights I’ve seen into lasting insights.

—Pico Iyer, “Adventures in Going Nowhere

Friday, May 18, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Confront Suffering

Suffering and its unwholesome causes are not to be escaped but to be confronted—and eventually transformed into wisdom and compassion.

—Reverend Patti Nakai, “Someone Is Jealous of You

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Heart of Fear

The Heart of Fear

‘The point of fear is to frighten you. If you become part of the fear completely, right in it, then fear has no one to frighten. So it’s a question of absolutely getting into the heart of the matter.’

- Chogyam Trungpa, Mindfulness in Action.

Via Daily Dharma: Love Is Beyond Dualism

To commit to love is fundamentally to commit to a life beyond dualism.

—Interview with bell hooks by Helen Tworkov, “Agent of Change: An Interview with bell hooks

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

'PRETTY BOY' Award Winning LGBT Short Film (2017)

New Acharya Gaylon Ferguson - Guided Practice: Compassion Meditation 1

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - May 16, 2018

Christ said to be in the world but not of the world. You are simultaneously living your story line – keeping your ground, remembering your zip code, and having your awareness free and spacious - not caught in anything, just delighting in the richness of this timeless moment.

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: Your Mirror Mind

A mirror reflects everything, yet it is not altered by what it reflects and does not judge those reflections. If the mind is like a mirror, it is not conditioned by what appears in front of it.

—Lama Tsultrim Allione, “Nasty Woman Meditation

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Mindful Eating

When we are able to fully appreciate the basic activities of eating and drinking, we discover an ancient secret, the secret of how to become content and at ease.

—Jan Chozen Bays, “Mindful Eating

Monday, May 14, 2018

Via Reclaiming Jesus / A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis

We are living through perilous and polarizing times as a nation, with a dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership at the highest levels of our government and in our churches. We believe the soul of the nation and the integrity of faith are now at stake.
  It is time to be followers of Jesus before anything else—nationality, political party, race, ethnicity, gender, geography—our identity in Christ precedes every other identity. We pray that our nation will see Jesus’ words in us. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

When politics undermines our theology, we must examine that politics. The church’s role is to change the world through the life and love of Jesus Christ. The government’s role is to serve the common good by protecting justice and peace, rewarding good behavior while restraining bad behavior (Romans 13). When that role is undermined by political leadership, faith leaders must stand up and speak out. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.”

It is often the duty of Christian leaders, especially elders, to speak the truth in love to our churches and to name and warn against temptations, racial and cultural captivities, false doctrines, and political idolatries—and even our complicity in them. We do so here with humility, prayer, and a deep dependency on the grace and Holy Spirit of God.

This letter comes from a retreat on Ash Wednesday, 2018. In this season of Lent, we feel deep lamentations for the state of our nation, and our own hearts are filled with confession for the sins we feel called to address. The true meaning of the word repentance is to turn around. It is time to lament, confess, repent, and turn. In times of crisis, the church has historically learned to return to Jesus Christ.

Jesus is Lord. That is our foundational confession. It was central for the early church and needs to again become central to us. If Jesus is Lord, then Caesar was not—nor any other political ruler since. If Jesus is Lord, no other authority is absolute. Jesus Christ, and the kingdom of God he announced, is the Christian’s first loyalty, above all others. We pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Our faith is personal but never private, meant not only for heaven but for this earth.

The question we face is this: Who is Jesus Christ for us today? What does our loyalty to Christ, as disciples, require at this moment in our history? We believe it is time to renew our theology of public discipleship and witness. Applying what “Jesus is Lord” means today is the message we commend as elders to our churches.

What we believe leads us to what we must reject. Our “Yes” is the foundation for our “No.” What we confess as our faith leads to what we confront. Therefore, we offer the following six affirmations of what we believe, and the resulting rejections of practices and policies by political leaders which dangerously corrode the soul of the nation and deeply threaten the public integrity of our faith. We pray that we, as followers of Jesus, will find the depth of faith to match the danger of our political crisis.

I. WE BELIEVE each human being is made in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). That image and likeness confers a divinely decreed dignity, worth, and God-given equality to all of us as children of the one God who is the Creator of all things. Racial bigotry is a brutal denial of the image of God (the imago dei) in some of the children of God. Our participation in the global community of Christ absolutely prevents any toleration of racial bigotry. Racial justice and healing are biblical and theological issues for us, and are central to the mission of the body of Christ in the world. We give thanks for the prophetic role of the historic black churches in America when they have called for a more faithful gospel.

THEREFORE, WE REJECT the resurgence of white nationalism and racism in our nation on many fronts, including the highest levels of political leadership. We, as followers of Jesus, must clearly reject the use of racial bigotry for political gain that we have seen. In the face of such bigotry, silence is complicity. In particular, we reject white supremacy and commit ourselves to help dismantle the systems and structures that perpetuate white preference and advantage. Further, any doctrines or political strategies that use racist resentments, fears, or language must be named as public sin—one that goes back to the foundation of our nation and lingers on. Racial bigotry must be antithetical for those belonging to the body of Christ, because it denies the truth of the gospel we profess.

II. WE BELIEVE we are one body. In Christ, there is to be no oppression based on race, gender, identity, or class (Galatians 3:28). The body of Christ, where those great human divisions are to be overcome, is meant to be an example for the rest of society. When we fail to overcome these oppressive obstacles, and even perpetuate them, we have failed in our vocation to the world—to proclaim and live the reconciling gospel of Christ.

THEREFORE, WE REJECT misogyny, the mistreatment, violent abuse, sexual harassment, and assault of women that has been further revealed in our culture and politics, including our churches, and the oppression of any other child of God. We lament when such practices seem publicly ignored, and thus privately condoned, by those in high positions of leadership. We stand for the respect, protection, and affirmation of women in our families, communities, workplaces, politics, and churches. We support the courageous truth-telling voices of women, who have helped the nation recognize these abuses. We confess sexism as a sin, requiring our repentance and resistance.

III. WE BELIEVE how we treat the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the stranger, the sick, and the prisoner is how we treat Christ himself. (Matthew 25: 31-46) “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” God calls us to protect and seek justice for those who are poor and vulnerable, and our treatment of people who are “oppressed,” “strangers,” “outsiders,” or otherwise considered “marginal” is a test of our relationship to God, who made us all equal in divine dignity and love. Our proclamation of the lordship of Jesus Christ is at stake in our solidarity with the most vulnerable. If our gospel is not “good news to the poor,” it is not the gospel of Jesus Christ (Luke 4:18).

THEREFORE, WE REJECT the language and policies of political leaders who would debase and abandon the most vulnerable children of God. We strongly deplore the growing attacks on immigrants and refugees, who are being made into cultural and political targets, and we need to remind our churches that God makes the treatment of the “strangers” among us a test of faith (Leviticus 19:33-34). We won’t accept the neglect of the well-being of low-income families and children, and we will resist repeated attempts to deny health care to those who most need it. We confess our growing national sin of putting the rich over the poor. We reject the immoral logic of cutting services and programs for the poor while cutting taxes for the rich. Budgets are moral documents. We commit ourselves to opposing and reversing those policies and finding solutions that reflect the wisdom of people from different political parties and philosophies to seek the common good. Protecting the poor is a central commitment of Christian discipleship, to which 2,000 verses in the Bible attest.

IV. WE BELIEVE that truth is morally central to our personal and public lives. Truth-telling is central to the prophetic biblical tradition, whose vocation includes speaking the Word of God into their societies and speaking the truth to power. A commitment to speaking truth, the ninth commandment of the Decalogue, “You shall not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16), is foundational to shared trust in society. Falsehood can enslave us, but Jesus promises, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32). The search and respect for truth is crucial to anyone who follows Christ.

THEREFORE, WE REJECT the practice and pattern of lying that is invading our political and civil life. Politicians, like the rest of us, are human, fallible, sinful, and mortal. But when public lying becomes so persistent that it deliberately tries to change facts for ideological, political, or personal gain, the public accountability to truth is undermined. The regular purveying of falsehoods and consistent lying by the nation’s highest leaders can change the moral expectations within a culture, the accountability for a civil society, and even the behavior of families and children. The normalization of lying presents a profound moral danger to the fabric of society. In the face of lies that bring darkness, Jesus is our truth and our light.

V. WE BELIEVE that Christ’s way of leadership is servanthood, not domination. Jesus said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles (the world) lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant” (Matthew 20:25-26). We believe our elected officials are called to public service, not public tyranny, so we must protect the limits, checks, and balances of democracy and encourage humility and civility on the part of elected officials. We support democracy, not because we believe in human perfection, but because we do not. The authority of government is instituted by God to order an unredeemed society for the sake of justice and peace, but ultimate authority belongs only to God.

THEREFORE, WE REJECT any moves toward autocratic political leadership and authoritarian rule. We believe authoritarian political leadership is a theological danger that threatens democracy and the common good—and we will resist it. Disrespect for the rule of law, not recognizing the equal importance of our three branches of government, and replacing civility with dehumanizing hostility toward opponents are of great concern to us. Neglecting the ethic of public service and accountability, in favor of personal recognition and gain often characterized by offensive arrogance, are not just political issues for us. They raise deeper concerns about political idolatry, accompanied by false and unconstitutional notions of authority.

VI. WE BELIEVE Jesus when he tells us to go into all nations making disciples (Matthew 28:18). Our churches and our nations are part of an international community whose interests always surpass national boundaries. The most well-known verse in the New Testament starts with “For God so loved the world” (John 3:16). We, in turn, should love and serve the world and all its inhabitants, rather than seek first narrow, nationalistic prerogatives.

THEREFORE, WE REJECT “America first” as a theological heresy for followers of Christ. While we share a patriotic love for our country, we reject xenophobic or ethnic nationalism that places one nation over others as a political goal. We reject domination rather than stewardship of the earth’s resources, toward genuine global development that brings human flourishing for all of God’s children. Serving our own communities is essential, but the global connections between us are undeniable. Global poverty, environmental damage, violent conflict, weapons of mass destruction, and deadly diseases in some places ultimately affect all places, and we need wise political leadership to deal with each of these.

WE ARE DEEPLY CONCERNED for the soul of our nation, but also for our churches and the integrity of our faith. The present crisis calls us to go deeper—deeper into our relationship to God; deeper into our relationships with each other, especially across racial, ethnic, and national lines; deeper into our relationships with the most vulnerable, who are at greatest risk.
The church is always subject to temptations to power, to cultural conformity, and to racial, class, and gender divides, as Galatians 3:28 teaches us. But our answer is to be “in Christ,” and to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable, and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)
The best response to our political, material, cultural, racial, or national idolatries is the First Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Jesus summarizes the Greatest Commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, and your mind. This is the first commandment. And the second is like unto it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:38). As to loving our neighbors, we would add “no exceptions.”

We commend this letter to pastors, local churches, and young people who are watching and waiting to see what the churches will say and do at such a time as this.

Our urgent need, in a time of moral and political crisis, is to recover the power of confessing our faith. Lament, repent, and then repair. If Jesus is Lord, there is always space for grace. We believe it is time to speak and to act in faith and conscience, not because of politics, but because we are disciples of Jesus Christ—to whom be all authority, honor, and glory. It is time for a fresh confession of faith. Jesus is Lord. He is the light in our darkness. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
  • Bishop Carroll A. Baltimore, President and CEO, Global Alliance Interfaith Network
  • Rev. Dr. Peter Borgdorff, Executive Director Emeritus, Christian Reformed Church in North America
  • Dr. Amos Brown, Chair, Social Justice Commission, National Baptist Convention USA, Inc.
  • Rev. Dr. Walter Brueggemann, Professor Emeritus, Columbia Theological Seminary
  • Dr. Tony Campolo, Co-Founder, Red Letter Christians
  • Dr. Iva Carruthers, General Secretary, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference
  • The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Dr. James Forbes, President and Founder, Healing of the Nations Foundation and Preaching Professor at Union Theological Seminary
  • Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, General Secretary Emeritus, Reformed Church in America
  • Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale, Senior Pastor, Ray of Hope Christian Church, Decatur, GA
  • Rev. Dr. Richard Hamm, former General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
  • Rev. Dr. Joel C. Hunter, Faith Community Organizer and Chairman, Community Resource Network
  • Rev. Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, General Superintendent Emerita, The Wesleyan Church
  • Bishop Vashti McKenzie, 117th Elected and Consecrated Bishop, AME Church
  • Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr., Co-Convener National African American Clergy Network
  • Dr. John Perkins, Chair Emeritus and Founding Member, Christian Community Development Association and President Emeritus, John & Vera Mae Perkins Foundation
  • Senior Bishop Lawrence Reddick, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Fr. Richard Rohr, Founder, Center for Action and Contemplation
  • Dr. Ron Sider, President Emeritus, Evangelicals for Social Action
  • Rev. Jim Wallis, President and Founder, Sojourners
  • Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, Director, NCC Truth and Racial Justice Initiative
  • Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, Co-Convener, National African American Clergy Network; President, Skinner Leadership Institute
  • Bishop Will Willimon, Bishop, The United Methodist Church, retired, Professor of the Practice of Ministry, Duke Divinity School


Thursday, May 24th, 7 p.m., National City Christian Church (5 Thomas Circle, Washington, DC 20005)

We believe two things are at stake: the soul of the nation, and the integrity of faith. We believe the issues are more deeply theological than merely political or partisan. We believe it is a time for prayer and response, for contemplation and action.

In this moment of political, moral, and theological crisis in America we are deeply concerned about the resurgence of white nationalism, racism, and xenophobia; misogyny; attacks on immigrants, refugees, and the poor; the regular purveying of falsehoods and consistent lying by the nation’s highest leaders; and moves toward autocratic political leadership and authoritarian rule.

We invite you to join us for a service of prayer and gospel proclamation, followed by a procession to the White House and a silent prayerful candlelight vigil as a witness that the church will not be complicit, but faithful.

Via Daily Dharma: Unlimited Self

[That which] is deepest and most real about each of us cannot be limited by any transitory state, shape, or event.

—Noelle Oxenhandler, “Mind the Gap

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Via Tumbuddhist / Alan Watts on Pure Land Buddhism

Popularly, Amitabha is somebody else. He is some great compassionate being who looks after you. Esoterically, Amitabha is your own nature; Amitabha is your real self, the inmost boundless light that is the root and ground of your own consciousness. 

You don’t need to do anything to be that. You are that, and saying Nembutsu (NAMU-AMIDA-BUTSU) is simply a symbolical way of pointing out that you don’t have to become this, because you are it.

And Nembutsu, therefore, in its deeper side builds up a special kind of sage, which they called myoko-nin. Myoko-nin in Japanese means “a marvelous fine man,” but the myoko-nin is a special type of personality who corresponds in the West to the holy fool in Russian spirituality, or to something like the Franciscan in Catholic spirituality. I will tell you some myoko-nin stories because that is the best way to indicate their character. 

One day a myoko-nin was traveling and he stopped in a Buddhist temple overnight. He went up to the sanctuary where they have big cushions for the priests to sit on, and he arranged the cushions in a pile on the floor and went to sleep on them. In the morning the priest came in and saw the tramp sleeping and said, “What are you doing here desecrating the sanctuary by sleeping on the cushions and so on, right in front of the altar?” And the myoko-nin looked at him in astonishment and said, “Why, you must be a stranger here, you can’t belong to the family.”

In Japanese, when you want to say that a thing is just the way it is, you call it sonomama. There is a haiku poem that says, “Weeds in the rice field, cut them down, sonomama, fertilizer.” Cut the weeds, leave them exactly where they are, and they become fertilizer, or sonomama. And sonomama means “reality,” “just the way it is,” “just like that.“ 

Now, there is a parallel expression, konomama. Konomama means "I, just as I am.” just little me, like that, with no frills, no pretense, except that I naturally have some pretense. That is part of konomama. The myoko-nin is the man who realizes that “I, konomama-just as I am-am Buddha, delivered by Amitabha because Amitabha is my real nature." 

If you really know that, that makes you a myoko-nin, but be aware of the fact that you could entirely miss the point and become a monkey instead by saying, "I’m all right just as I am, and therefore I’m going to rub it in-I’m going to be going around parading my unregenerate nature, because this is Buddha, too.” The fellow who does that doesn’t really know that it’s okay. He’s doing too much, and he is coming on too strong. The other people, who are always beating themselves, are making the opposite error. 


The Middle Way, right down the center, is where you don’t have to do a thing to justify yourself, and you don’t have to justify not justifying yourself. So, there is something quite fascinating and tricky in this doctrine of the great bodhisattva Amitabha, who saves you just as you are, who delivers you from bondage just as you are. 

You only have to say “NAMU-AMIDA-BUTSU.“

Esoterically, Amitabha is your own nature; Amitabha is your real self, the inmost boundless light that is the root and ground of your own consciousness.

You don’t need to do anything to be that. You are that, and saying Nembutsu (NAMU-AMIDA-BUTSU) is simply a symbolical way of pointing out that you don’t have to become this, because you are it…

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - May 13, 2018

Once we get a taste of the freedom that comes with letting go of our stuff – anger, righteousness, jealousy, our need to be in control, the judging mind, just to name a few – we start to look at those things in new ways. That is the teaching of being in the moment. For someone who understands that this precious birth is an opportunity to awaken, is an opportunity to know God, all of life becomes an instrument for getting there – marriage, family, job, play, travel, all of it. You just spiritualize your life. 

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: Practice Giving Thanks

The Buddha encouraged us to think of the good things done for us by our parents, by our teachers, friends, whomever; and to do this intentionally, to cultivate it, rather than just letting it happen accidentally.

—Ajahn Sumedho, “The Gift of Gratitude

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Via Helpful Words

We Need Not be Defined by How we Feel

‘There’s an old koan about a monk who went to his master and said, “I’m a very angry person, and I want you to help me.” The master said, “Show me your anger.” The monk said, “Well, right now I’m not angry. I can’t show it to you.” And the master said, “Then obviously it’s not you, since sometimes it’s not even there.” Who we are has many faces, but these faces are not who we are.’

- Charlotte Joko beck, Everyday Zen.

Via Acharya Buddhadasa / 30 Second Explanation of Buddhism

Let me explain Buddhism in this way:

The universe is God, the divine - called the Dharmakaya in Philosophical Buddhism and personified as Amida Buddha in the Pure Land Tradition.

Everything is part of the universe and so part of God.

Everything is Divine, including ourselves.

Everything has a divine nature, Buddhists call this the Buddha-nature.

This Divine is our true nature and real identity.

We are Buddha, the ego/self is just a character we are role-playing as the Divine Universe expresses itself.

Mindfulness of the Buddha, through the chanting of mantras, is simply Mindfulness of the Divine and our own divine nature, and thus liberation from the illusion of Self.

Namo Amitabhaya 🙏🏻
buddhist buddha buddhism amida pure land amitabha zen zazen theravada tantra taoism tao meditation mindfulmeditation vipasanna advaita pantheism enlightenment esoteric insight paganism pagan wiccan wicca witchcraft witch druid illumination

Via Acharya Buddhadasa

Buddhist Practice

Sila: keep the precepts

Samadhi: practice meditation

Prajna: study the teachings

Via Daily Dharma: Unlikely Teachers

Both our pain and our suffering are truly our path, our teacher. While this understanding doesn’t necessarily entail liking our pain or our suffering, it does liberate us from regarding them as enemies we have to conquer.

—Ezra Bayda, “When It Happens to Us

Friday, May 11, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Experience Emotions with Equanimity

We can be angry, jealous, or scared without having to act on those emotions or let them take over our lives. We can experience joy or love without becoming attached to the object that we think is the cause of our joy.

—Tsoknyi Rinpoche, “Allow for Space

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Via spiritualwarrior

“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.”

— Thich Nhat Hanh

Via thecalminside

Throw away holiness and wisdom, and people will be a hundred times happier. Throw away morality and justice,and people will do the right thing. Throw away industry and profit, and there won’t be any thieves. If these three aren’t enough, just stay at the center of the circle and let all things take their course.
- Lao Tzu

Via thecalminside

“Express yourself completely, then keep quiet. Be like the forces of nature: when it blows, there is only wind; when it rains, there is only rain; when the clouds pass, the sun shines through.”

- Lao Tzu

Via Daily Dharma: Spring Cleaning for Your Mind

If I view [everyday chores] as tasks to rush through on the way to something more important, they become a crushing waste of time. But from the perspective of Buddhist teachings, each of these activities is a golden moment, an opportunity for full awakening.

—Anne Cushman, “Clearing Clutter

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Via Calm in Side

“If you want to become whole, let yourself be partial.
If you want to become straight, let yourself be crooked.
If you want to become full, let yourself be empty.
If you want to be reborn, let yourself die.
If you want to be given everything, give everything up.”

Via Daily Dharma: Agree to Disagree

It is inevitable that there will be a wide range of beliefs, opinions, practices, and behaviors in this large and diverse world. It is not inevitable that people must hate one another on account of this.

—Andrew Olendzki, “Advice for Conflict

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - May 9, 2018

Within the spiritual journey you understand that suffering becomes something that has been given to you to show you where your mind is still stuck. It’s a vehicle to help you go to work. That’s why it’s called grace.

- Ram Dass -

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Via / Daily Dharma: Focus on Giving, Not Getting

On the spiritual path, there’s nothing to get, and everything to get rid of. Obviously, the first thing to let go of is trying to “get” love, and instead to give it. That’s the secret of the spiritual path. One has to give oneself wholeheartedly.

—Ayya Khema, “What Love Is

Monday, May 7, 2018

Via Tricycle / Unpacking Bodicitta

The sudden lightning glares and all is clearly shown,
Likewise rarely, through the Buddhas’ power,
Virtuous thoughts rise, brief and transient, in the world.
Virtue, thus, is weak; and always
Evil is of great and overwhelming strength.
Except for perfect bodhichitta,
What other virtue is there that can lay it low?

Via Daily Dharma: The Path of Understanding

Bodhicitta is the path of understanding who you are in the fathomless nature of infinite contingency, and then developing the skills to navigate this reality—your life—in a way that is awakening for both yourself and for others.

—Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel, “Nurturing the Intelligent Heart

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - May 6, 2018

When I meditate I sit quietly, I withdraw the awareness of my ears hearing, my eyes seeing. I don’t move around much. I sit quietly and I go deep inside. What happens when you grow old? You lose your hearing, you lose your sight, you can’t move around very much. What an ideal time for doing inner work.

Aging has its own beauty. It is a beautiful stage for doing inner work. You have a chance to not be so dependent on social approval. You can be a little more eccentric. You can be more alone. And you can examine loneliness and boredom instead of being afraid of them. There is such an art and a possibility of aging...

- Ram Dass - 

Via Daily Dharma: The Power of Simplicity

The principle of renunciation is not to encourage a state of lack, but to establish as complete a state of simplicity as possible. In that simplicity you can more clearly see those patterns of wanting, not wanting, fearing, hoping, as they take shape.

—Interview with Venerable Ajaan Amaro by Mary Talbot, “Just Another Thing in the Forest

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Embrace Uncertainty

We have a choice. We can spend our whole life suffering because we can’t relax with how things really are, or we can relax and embrace the open-endedness of the human situation, which is fresh, unfixated, unbiased.

—Pema Chödrön, “The Fundamental Ambiguity of Being Human

Friday, May 4, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Buddhahood Is Within You

Some people think that one can become a buddha through meditation. This is wrong. The potential for Buddhahood is within your own nature.

—Master Sheng-Yen, “Being Natural

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Connecting to the Body

In body awareness meditation, we open to a reunion of body and mind by exploring the sensations of our thoughts and feelings.

—Ruth King, “Soothing the Hot Coals of Rage

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - May 2, 2018

Don’t get caught in righteousness; don’t get caught in helping somebody. It doesn’t mean don’t help them; just don’t get caught in it… If you really want to help somebody, instead of helping them for yourself, give up helping anybody. And then just be with them and see what happens. 

-  Ram Dass  -

Via Daily Dharma: Open to Your Feelings

When we open to our feelings as they arise, we create the causes and conditions of mental and physical health.

—Josh Korda, “Flowing Feelings

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Via JMG: Majorities In 44 States Now Back Same-Sex Marriage

Just in from PRRI Polling:
Recent dramatic shifts in support for same-sex marriage are also evident at the state level. Today, majorities in 44 states believe gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to legally marry, compared to only 30 states in 2014.
In only six states does the issue of same-sex marriage garner less than majority support: Alabama (41%), Mississippi (42%), Tennessee (46%), West Virginia (48%), Louisiana (48%), and North Carolina (49%). But notably, only one state, Alabama, has a majority of residents who oppose same-sex marriage.
Substantial regional disparities in views of same-sex marriage are evident. New England is generally more supportive of same-sex marriage than any other region in the U.S. Roughly eight in ten residents of Vermont (80%), Massachusetts (80%), and Rhode Island (78%) support the policy.
And nearly three-quarters of Americans living in Connecticut (73%), New Hampshire (73%), and Maine (71%) support it. A number of Southern states have only a slim majority expressing support for same-sex marriage, such as Kentucky (51%), Arkansas (52%), and Georgia (52%).

Read the original and more at JMG here

Via Daily Dharma: True Peace

Suffering comes to an end only when a person is so in touch with life that he or she is completely at peace, regardless of physical or emotional circumstances.

—Ken McLeod, “Bodhicitta Explained