Saturday, December 29, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: One Continuous Life

With practice, one day we will recognize that all phenomena are composed of and dependent upon the interaction and merging of [the] four elements. We will realize that all of it—the entire universe—is just one continuous manifestation. And that we, ourselves, are no different.

—Ayya Khema, “The Elemental Self

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: One Continuous Life

With practice, one day we will recognize that all phenomena are composed of and dependent upon the interaction and merging of [the] four elements. We will realize that all of it—the entire universe—is just one continuous manifestation. And that we, ourselves, are no different.

—Ayya Khema, “The Elemental Self

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Staying Steady

Buddhist practice can help us enormously in continuing to give our attention to what’s actually appearing, as opposed to being swept away by the drama of the process.

—Frank Ostaseski, “On What to Do When the Going Gets Rough

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - December 26, 2018 🌟

What is common to all forms is not another form. What is common to all forms is choiceless awareness, it is pure love, it is flow and harmony with the universe. It is the absence of clinging. How does it all come together? If you follow all of the forms to the apex, you are pushed beyond form and into the moment. The passing show of forms, being created and existing then disappearing into formlessness.

 - Ram Dass -

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: How to Love

Being is the source of love because learning to love means learning to be content with the life you have been given. Being fully present to what is—without judging or evaluating or wanting something different—is the most basic act of love.

—C. W. Huntington Jr., “The Miracle of the Ordinary

Via Daily Dharma: A Gift Beyond Value

When we stop being busy and productive and switch to just being still and aware, we ourselves will also feel support, intimacy, and happiness, even if no one else is around. These positive feelings are a product that is much desired but that cannot be bought.

—Jan Chozen Bays, “The Gift of Waiting

Via Words of Wisdom - December 23, 2018 🌟 Inbox x

The minute you project a future, you've just trapped yourself in your mind. You say, "Well, I'm gonna get enlightened next December," then that changes everything you do until then, and then in December you're going to have to give up that model anyway. It's like those guys who said the end of the world would come. When the end of the world didn't come, they were confronted with the fact that they had been caught in their own minds.

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: Taking the First Step

This wish for perfect enlightenment for the sake of others is what we call bodhicitta, and it is the starting point on the path. By becoming aware of what enlightenment is, one understands not only that there is a goal to accomplish but also that it is possible to do so.

—H.H. the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, “The Bodhisattva Vow: Eight Views

Via Daily Dharma: Renewal

From the macro to the micro, life seems to suggest that renewal is not only possible but also the great way of all things.

—Taylor Plimpton, “Starting Over, Again

Via Daily Dharma: Keeping Our Balance

Equanimity acts like the ballast of a ship. Although the ship is blown one way or the other by the winds of life, it neither sinks nor goes too far off-course.

—Christopher Willard, “How Parents and Children Can Learn Balance and Equanimity from the Eight Worldly Winds

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Via Lion's Roar: Nichiren Shonin: A Teacher of Equality

I see all living beings equally.
I have no partiality for them.
There is not “this one” or “that one” to me.
I transcend love and hatred.

I am attached to nothing.
I am hindered by nothing.
I always expound the dharma
To all living beings equally.
I expound the dharma to many
In the same way as to one.

I always expound the dharma.
I do nothing else.
I am not tired of expounding the dharma
While I go or come or sit or stand.
I expound the dharma to all living beings
Just as the rain waters all the earth.

Lotus Sutra, Murano version 

Via Daily Dharma: Greet Fear with Curiosity

When fear arises, practice can be a very powerful aid to the whole spirit. Don’t be afraid of the fear. Be curious.

—Interview with Rick Fields, “In Light of Death

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - December 19, 2018 🌟

Everybody you know, you see, you remember, you will meet, is another face of God, is another doorway through. Is another way that God has come to you to awaken your attachments, to bring them to the forefront, to allow you to see through them.

- Ram Dass -

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Finding Meaning in the Moment

Abandoning any hope of fruition does not mean abandoning our projects and ambitions. Instead it points to a way of going about things that is present focused rather than fixated on results.

—Judy Lief, “Train Your Mind: Abandon Any Hope of Fruition

Monday, December 17, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Illuminating the Mind

When addressed skillfully, darker energies can be resolved and transmuted—to become powerful guardians of the dharma, supporting us as we find our way through the often turbulent waters of the psyche.

—Lawson Sachter and Sunya Kjolhede, “The Mind’s Dragons

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Find Joy in Being Here

Renunciation, though often understood to mean “giving up,” is, more accurately, the willingness to experience things as they are, not as we want them to be. Here you discover true freedom, the deep, quiet joy that has always been present in you.

—Ken McLeod, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - December 16, 2018 🌟

For a relationship to remain as Living Spirit, one of the best ingredients to put into the stew is truth. Gandhi spent his life in what he called experiments in truth. Learning how to just be straight.

- Ram Dass -

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Letting Go and Reaching Out

If we’re able to catch an angry thought as it’s budding, we can let it go. The same is true of despair or hopelessness. And when letting go is too difficult, a good medicine for dealing with these emotions is to reach out and help others, healing them and ourselves.

—John Daido Loori Roshi, “Between Two Mountains

Friday, December 14, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: A Recipe for Compassion

It is not sufficient merely to see that sentient beings are suffering. You must also develop a sense of closeness with them, a sense that they are dear. With that combination—seeing that people suffer and thinking of them as dear—you can develop compassion.

—Jeffrey Hopkins, “Everyone as a Friend

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Cultivating Insightful Curiosity

We need to be able to utilize the positive energy of wondering, of wanting to know the truth for ourselves and working to do that, and not get lost in cynicism or endless speculation.

—Sharon Salzberg, “Sitting on the Fence

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - December 12, 2018 🌟

The Living Spirit, the Beloved, is always right here. It is merely your mind that prevents you from acknowledging its existence. The minute you either quiet your mind or take your heart and open it out so that it draws your mind along with it, only then do you rend the veil and do you see that the Beloved is right there.

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: The Right Time for Meditation

You should not limit your meditation to only in the morning or only in the evening: you should do it any time, all the time. Practice time is always now—it’s never in the future.

—Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, “Do Nothing

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Seeing Things Clearly

What’s the world? [It’s] any preoccupation that gets you stirred up, that disturbs you right now… If it arises in the mind, make yourself understand: The world is nothing but a preoccupation. Preoccupations obscure the mind so that it can’t see itself.

—Ajahn Chah, “The Last Gift

Via Tmblr: Map of Homosexual Rights Worldwide

Monday, December 10, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Effortless Ease

Perhaps the greatest irony of healing is that it occurs when we accept our felt experience, rather than rely on willpower or focused effort to get rid of the unwanted.

—Josh Korda, “A Safe Container for Fear

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Inside-Out Happiness

The Buddha taught that true happiness, or fulfillment, is independent of outer causes and conditions. So for Buddhists, the pursuit of happiness involves training in looking inward.

—Pamela Gayle White, “The Pursuit of Happiness

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - December 9, 2018 🌟

For a long time I thought truth had to mean only words, but it doesn't. There are truths that are only communicated in silence. And you have to figure out when to use words and when to use silence, because the absolute truth is silent.

- Ram Dass -

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: An Invitation to Kindness

Imagine for a moment that everything you are experiencing is your very, very best friend saying hello… Such a hello is much more than just a passing handshake or kiss on the cheek… The sights and sounds around us when fully acknowledged are quite an invitation indeed.

—Michael Carroll, “Gently Bowing

Friday, December 7, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Looking Deeply Into Life

Concentration will bring stability, stillness, and spaciousness; inquiry will bring alertness, vividness, brightness, and clarity. Combined, they will help you to develop creative awareness, an ability to bring a meditative mind to all aspects of your daily life.

—Martine Batchelor, “A Refuge Into Being

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: The True Value of Waking Up

Every moment of heightened consciousness is precious beyond price, for awareness is the primary currency of the human condition.

—Lama Surya Das, “Buddha Standard Time: Awakening to the Infinite Possibilities of Now

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Bahá'í Faith is Homophobic

A few months ago I wrote this letter to the National Spiritual Assembly of Brasil:

A Assembléia Espiritual Nacional dos Bahá'ís do Brasil
Sede Nacional
SHIS QL 08 Conjunto 2
casa 15 - Lago Sul
CEP 71625-220 Brasília/DF

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

My name is Daniel Orey. I live in Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais. Both my husband and I have been professors here at the Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto since 2011.

In 2009, when we were still living in Sacramento, California my voting rights were removed because of my marriage (08.08.08) to Milton, my non-Bahá’í Brazilian husband.  I later resigned from the Faith because I was hurt by feeling treated as a 2nd class citizen by the Bahá´ís, and our deep disappointment with the Bahá’í Administration in regard to its inability to welcome and protect all people from prejudice.
I am still happily married and living with my husband here in Ouro Preto, in fact, this year we are celebrating our 20th anniversary together, and our 10th as a legally married couple. The Brazilian government has allowed me a permanent visa because of our marriage and I have applied for dual citizenship. The Consulate General of Brazil in San Francisco and the Federal Police have always been encouraging, inclusive and welcoming to us, I spoke about this in 2013 in a TEDx talk, see:

My husband and I are both tenured professors. Together we have spoken at numerous international congresses, and participate in research groups in Costa Rica, Peru, Chile, Nepal, Ohio and California. No one, but the Bahá’ís, seem to have a problem with our status as a legally married couple.

Recently, when discussing this dilemma with a gay Bahá’í, he informed me that now, there is more tolerance within the Bahá’í community for gays and lesbians. He said he was discussing this with other LGBTq Brazilian Bahá’ís and that there is no problem anymore with LGBTq Bahá’ís and that we would be welcome and will not face any prejudice.

I am somewhat surprised by this.

My point in writing is this, I am curious if the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Brasil is able to respect my marriage to my non-Bahá’í husband and therefore accept me and other LGBTq people in similar circumstances, that is as full members of the community. In so doing, would I be required to divorce my husband?

Thank you so very much for your time.



Via Daily Dharma: Reaping the Rewards

Whoever you are, if you have a true and sincere mind, if you are not careless in the least, if you do not go along with what worldly people do, but do the contrary, then you will be able to attain the benefit of Buddhism.

—Master Hsuan Hua, “After the Monastery

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - December 5, 2018 🍁

I would say that most of us stay locked in our separateness and we are very frightened of coming out of it, we feel very vulnerable. In truth you’re not vulnerable at all. Who you think you are is vulnerable. Who you are is not vulnerable. This is the truth of it.

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: Complete in Connectedness

Pervading all is a groundless awareness, delicate and strong at the same time. Everything becomes we, a beating heart with a transparent, radiant smile. And we are awake.

—Judith Simmer-Brown, “Insomnia

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: The Subtlety of Effort

There’s no switch that turns on enlightenment. You move toward it with your effort. It’s an effort that might be unrecognizable to those who think “effort” means trying hard. You have to try soft—to be curious and open to whatever it is that results.

—Nancy Thompson, “Being Held by the Dharma

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - December 2, 2018 🍁

Part of your curriculum with aging is to shift your game in order to honor the systems of which you're a part so that you finish your work on earth. In other words, you get free. 

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: The Middle Path

Anyone who enjoys inner peace is no more broken by failure than he is inflated by success. He is able to fully live his experiences in the context of a vast and profound serenity, since he understands that experiences are ephemeral and that it is useless to cling to them.

—Matthieu Ricard, “A Way of Being