Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: An Enduring Love

In this world where everyone dies, where every song ends, where every achievement is undone, where every treasure is lost, all of us are left behind. All of us leave. But everywhere and always there is the hum of continuing. Though always incomplete, always there is the sound of love, forever and at the core unfinished.

—Douglas Penick, “On the Departure of a Beloved Brother”


Monday, November 11, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Benefitting the World

By the time it gets to war, violence is already way down the line. But in the same way love can also start right here, in the home in each one of us. We need to learn ways of expressing the pure energy of our feelings—anger and hate feelings especially—in a healthier direction that’s beneficial to the world.

—Interview with Maxine Hong Kingston by Trevor Carolan, “Helping Veterans Turn War into Art”


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Change Your Mind to Change Your Life

Your problems won’t change; only you can change. That’s the point.

—Gento Steve Krieger, “Growing Ground”


Via Daily Dharma: Can We All Practice Nonviolence?

Nonviolence is not some exalted regimen that can be practiced only by a monk or a master; it also pertains to the way one interacts with a child, vacuums a carpet, or waits in line.

—Kenneth Kraft, “Meditation in Action”


Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - November 10, 2019 💌

"You are existing at many planes simultaneously at this moment. The only reason you don’t know of your other identities is because you’re so attached to this one. But this one or that one; don’t get lost, don’t stick anywhere. It’s just more stuff. Go for broke, awake totally. "

- Ram Dass -


Friday, November 8, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Transforming Suffering into Wisdom

Buddhism is a method of transforming the deep misunderstanding of the world that causes unhappiness into a wisdom that recognizes the impermanent, changing nature of everything we grasp—most significantly our selves.

—David Patt, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who? The Commodification of Buddhism in the American Marketplace”


Thursday, November 7, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: A Precious Opportunity

Gratitude, the simple and profound feeling of being thankful, is the foundation of all generosity…Generosity requires that we relinquish something, and this is impossible if we are not glad for what we have.

—Sallie Tisdale, “As If There is Nothing to Lose

Via Daily Dharma: Center in the Present Moment

The mundane aspects of everyday life can serve as a kind of god or beacon. These are the daily reminders that can center us in the present moment, and that help us to remember the ways in which we are all connected.

—Caitlin Van Dusen, “The Essence of Absence”


Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - November 6, 2019 💌

"There is no best or right kind of experience in meditation; each session is as different and unique as each day of your life. If you have ideas of what should happen, you can become needlessly disappointed if your meditation doesn’t conform to these expectations. At first meditation is likely to be novel, and it’s easy to feel you are changing. After a while, there may be fewer dramatically novel experiences. You may be making the most progress when you don’t feel anything particularly significant is going on—the changes you undergo in meditation are often too subtle to detect accurately. Suspend judgment and let whatever comes come and go. "

- Ram Dass -

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Discover What Rests Beyond Craving

We chase after the illusory happiness of sense pleasures, but unless we start paying attention to the drawbacks, we’re just living in the forward momentum of craving without ever coming to a place of completion, of contentment, of real peace.

—Joseph Goldstein, “Peeling Away the Promise of Desire”


Monday, November 4, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Keeping Your Practice Dynamic

Whatever course our life and practice takes, it is kept vital by consistently going beyond whatever static ideas we bring to it, even Buddhist ideas.

—James Shaheen, “Our Shared Home”


Sunday, November 3, 2019

Gays que Marcaram a HistĂłria da Humanidade

SANTOS DUMONT ERA GAY? - Grandes LGBTs da História - PÔe Na Roda


Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - November 3, 2019 💌

"The final awakening is the embracing of the darkness into the light. That means embracing our humanity as well as our divinity. What we go from is being born into our humanity, sleep walking for a long time, until we awaken and start to taste our divinity. And then we want to finally get free, but we see as long as we grab at our divinity and push away our humanity we aren’t free. If you want to be free, you can’t push away anything. You have to embrace it all. It’s all God." 

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: Where to Find Realization

Our inherent nature is pure. All we have to do is rediscover who we really are, and that’s what the path is for. It’s very simple. It’s not based on faith, but rather on experiments and experience leading to realization.

—Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, “Necessary Doubt”


Saturday, November 2, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Breathe into Renewal

We exhale, and we let go of the old moment. It is lost to us. In so doing, we let go of the person we used to be. We inhale and breathe in the moment that is becoming. We repeat the process. This is meditation. This is renewal.

—Lama Surya Das, “Practicing with Loss”


Friday, November 1, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Practice Makes Progress

Practice, both the athletic and the spiritual kind, is not a manifestation of perfection, but an acceptance of imperfection. One does not achieve or attain compassion; one develops it by meeting the moment over and over again.

—Alex Tzelnic, “(Meta)Physical Education: Temper Temper”


Thursday, October 31, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: How to Navigate Conflict Compassionately

When we feel conflict with others, understanding their suffering is the first step in being able to communicate, forgive, and begin again.

—Michele McDonald, “Finding Patience”


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - October 30, 2019 💌

"The final awakening is the embracing of the darkness into the light. That means embracing our humanity as well as our divinity. What we go from is being born into our humanity, sleep walking for a long time, until we awaken and start to taste our divinity. And then we want to finally get free, but we see as long as we grab at our divinity and push away our humanity we aren’t free. If you want to be free, you can’t push away anything. You have to embrace it all. It’s all God." 

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: Wisdom Leads to Compassion

Compassion is the natural functioning of wisdom. The clearer one sees, the more readily one uses loving words.

—Gerry Shishin Wick Sensei, “Zen in the Workplace”


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Ram Dass - Why Do We Practice?

Ram Dass discusses the intricate internal balance we have to constantly work on in terms of our aversion and attraction towards spiritual practices. Our life becomes a gentle process of constantly reinvesting ourselves into the spirit, and sometimes it does feel forced, sometimes it's frustrating, and sometimes it feels like we're going nowhere. But as Krishna Das says, every time we practice we are planting seeds, and it's not up to us to force them to grow, they sprout in their own time...

Today's Gay Wisdom / The Passionate Shepherd

1618 -
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.
And we will sit upon rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.
And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant poises,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;
A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;
A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs;
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.
The shepherds's swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.
Christopher Marlowe 1599

Raleigh’s Reply
If all the world and love were young,
And truth in every shepherd's tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee and be thy love.

Time drives the flocks from field to fold,
When rivers rage and rocks grow cold;
And Philomel becometh dumb;
The rest complains of cares to come.

The flowers do fade, and wanton fields
To wayward winter reckoning yields:
A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall.

The gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses,
Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies
Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten,—
In folly ripe, in reason rotten.

Thy belt of straw and ivy buds,
Thy coral clasps and amber studs,
All these in me no means can move
To come to thee and be thy love.

But could youth last and love still breed,
Had joys no date nor age no need,
Then these delights my mind might move
To live with thee and be thy love.
Sir Walter Raleigh, 1599

Via Daily Dharma: The Moment You Create Your Karma

With your reaction to each experience, you create the karma that will color your future. It is up to you whether this new karma is positive or negative. You simply have to pay attention at the right moment.

—Trungram Gyalwa Rinpoche, “The Power of the Third Moment”


Monday, October 28, 2019

Via LATimes

Ram Dass on Being Love

Excerpt from an 8/2 webcast on Meditation and Mindfulness. Please click the following link for additional teachings on Love:

Via Ram Dass / Om Namah Shivaya

“One of Shiva’s consorts is Kali. She is that aspect of the mother that dances over death, and she consumes impurities into herself. Tonight, we are going to consecrate a fire to Kali and offer her our impurities. And we’re going to chant to Shiva. The whole process is one of incredible purification. It deepens, quiets, straightens all of our beings. It takes the emotional qualities of the devotion that we have touched here and turns it into the strength of steel. So that our love, which is Shiva’s love, is quiet, clear, and strong. So that we go into the marketplace with the strength of Shiva, and the tenderness of Krishna. That is what the balance is about.” 

– Ram Dass

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - October 27, 2019 💌

"When you say, 'I am,' followed by any other words, you are already trying to stand somewhere. There’s nowhere to stand in this whole dance. You can’t stand somewhere when you say, 'I am good.' There is stuff in you that isn’t so good. You say, 'I am young,' yet get old. 'I am alive,' you will be dead. Every definition of yourself is a prison you put yourself in, seemingly to protect yourself. But it ends up creating anxiety and fear. Most of the behavior that our society performs is motivated by fear. And it is the fear of what is. "

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: Trust Your Compassionate Intentions

When a compassionate intention arises, don’t evaluate it. Trust it. Just do it.

—Colin Beavan, “Intuitive Action”


Via Daily Dharma: How to Benefit from Unavoidable Suffering

Suffering can be our greatest source of transformation. The dharma teachings show us how to use all the stuff of life—particularly those unavoidable experiences of pain, loss, and suffering—as fodder for awakening.

—Carolyn Gregoire, “Buddhist Thank-You Cards”


Saturday, October 26, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: The Dharma of Our Hearts

There’s a level where this dharma is just human dharma—it doesn’t have any special language. It’s just about our hearts—whether they’re suffering or not, and how they can bind or how they can open.

—Interview with Ayya Tathaaloka and Thubten Chodron, “The Whole of the Spiritual Life”


Friday, October 25, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Choosing the Present Moment

The present moment is not defined solely by letting go of past and future, nor by accepting and appreciating what arises right now, but by choosing in this very moment how we make sense of the world.

—Jack Petranker, “The Present Moment”


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Expressing Your Needs without Clinging

Expressing my needs, without making them into demands, can be as much a path to growth as letting them go. Needs aren’t the problem; it is rigidly clinging to a particular strategy to meet them that produces suffering.

—Katy Butler, “Say It Right”


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Aditya Hridayam Punyam Sarva Shatru Vinashanam

“Loosely translated, it means, ‘As for the being who keeps the sun in the heart, all evil vanishes for life.’ That is, when you remember the Atman, the Buddha, the place in your heart, the being, the inner guru, the light that comes from your own heart, then you no longer live with that which takes people from God, because all you see is God and that which brings you to it. When you do this mantra sometimes, you sit in front of the sun, and you let the sun come into your heart until the warmth in your heart becomes like a thousand suns and the light pours out from you.” 

– Ram Dass 


Via Daily Dharma: Learning Buddhism

When we become fundamentally aware of the mind’s incessant need to reify experience into fixed categories that are convenient to the self, then we are learning Buddhism.

—Victor Hori, “Sweet and Sour Buddhism”


Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - October 23, 2019 💌

"Open and stay centered. If you remain centered, your calm presence helps to free all those around you. Go inside yourself to that quiet place where you are wisdom. Wisdom has in it compassion. Compassion understands about life and death. The answer to dying is to be present in the moment."

- Ram Dass -

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Resting Comfortably with Emotions

Instead of either controlling or sequestering our feelings, we can learn to both contain and feel them fully. That containment allows us to feel vulnerable or hurt without immediately erupting into anger; it allows us to feel neediness without clinging to the other person. We acknowledge our dependency.

—Barry Magid, “No Gain”


Monday, October 21, 2019

'Compassion, Truth and Adversity' with Ram Dass and Sharon Salzberg

There’s no doubt that we all have adversity, and these days it’s even more obvious in our very difficult world. In this new film, Compassion, Truth and Adversity, Ram Dass and Sharon Salzberg pinpoint the ways in which we can transform our adversity, by being honest with ourselves, and compassionate and truthful with others. This film and all other offerings on RamDass.org are only possible with the support of friends like you. Please consider a donation of any amount before, during or after the event, which will allow Ram Dass' Love Serve Foundation to continue to present more projects like this and to help him share these transformational teachings with current and future generations. 

Donate Here: http://goo.gl/d3a8JT

Via Ram Dass / Metta Meditation... from the Heart

First thing is to acknowledge what you’re feeling: “My heart is closed.”

I’ll tell you there are numerous practices for this, and you have to find one that’s comfortable for you. For example, I work a lot with my breath, and I breathe in and out of my heart, and when I’m breathing out in my heart, I allowed whatever love I can muster for anything to be offered to people, to beings around me, and when I’m breathing in, I’m taking the existence of the universe into myself, and I keep feeling this breath going back and forth, and the breathing out is, “May all beings be free of suffering, may all beings be peaceful, may all beings be happy,” and I say:

“Hard-hearted though I am, and closed hearted though I am, I am going to use my energies to the extent that my mind and my heart can do it for the benefit of others. I’m gonna wish them well.

 - Ram Dass


Via Daily Dharma: An Interconnected Experience

Our experience is not primarily that of a separate consciousness trapped in its head; rather, when we look out at a sunset, we experience ourselves out-there, at the sunset.

—Matthew Abrahams, “A More Human Nature”


Sunday, October 20, 2019

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - October 20, 2019 💌

"Wherever you are, be it at the beginning of the journey, well on your way, or resting comfortably at some height, you must acknowledge where you are. That is the key to further growth. You should keep some perspective about the entire journey, so that you will not sink into complacency – feeling you have finished the journey when you have not even begun to approach liberation."

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: Every Moment Is Significant

Life is mostly about mundane experiences. When you start thinking that only your most thrilling experiences are significant, you have already lost the most precious thing in life, the ability to fully immerse yourself in every experience.

—Brad Warner, “It’s the Journey, Not the Trip”


Saturday, October 19, 2019

Via This Day in Gay History : Divine

1945 -
DIVINE, American actor born (ne Glenn Milstead) (d. 1988); best known for his drag persona, Divine. In the 1970s, Milstead starred as Divine in a number of New York City theater pieces, including Tom Eyen’s classic camp women's prison drama, Women Behind Bars, which was a major off-Broadway hit in 1976, playing the lead role of the evil matron, Pauline. Divine returned to the stage in another Tom Eyen off-Broadway play, The Neon Woman, where he played the role of Flash Storm, the owner of a sleazy strip club plagued by a series of murders.
Eyen's play was loosely based on famed burlesque entertainer Gypsy Rose Lee's book, "The G-String Murders". He appeared with the Cockettes in San Francisco. After their New York bomb, the Cockettes came back to San Francisco and performed their final show in the summer of 1972, "Journey to the Center of Uranus." Divine, joined the group, in her San Francisco debut, performing her song "The Crab at the Center of Uranus" dressed as a lobster.
Milstead starred in a number of films and was part of the regular cast known as the Dreamlanders. The Dreamlanders appeared in many of John Waters' earlier works such as Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Polyester, and Hairspray.
In 1985 Milstead appeared opposite Tab Hunter in their hit Lust in the Dust, repeating their successful pairing in Polyester. He is also remembered as a major character in the documentary homage Divine Trash by Steve Yeager, covering the life and work of John Waters.
In 1988, the British film The Fruit Machine, also known as Wonderland in the United States, used Milstead's songs in a nightclub disco dance sequence that showcased an early Robbie Coltrane in drag as "Annabelle", the club's owner (a cross between Divine and Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz).
Late in his career, Milstead also played in non-drag roles in his last three films: Trouble in Mind, Hairspray, and Out of the Dark. In Hairspray he played two roles, one male and one female (which he had first done in the earlier Female Trouble).
Here’s what Divine had to say about his “Edna Turnblad” (and honey...he ain’t no John Travolta!):
“For all those people who always thought I was nothing more than a drag queen, wait until they see what I agreed to look like in Hairspray! Drag queens are supposed to be hung up on glamooouur. Meanwhile, on my first day on location, I came out as Edna Turnblad--in my flip-flops and hideous housedress, with varicose veins drawn on my nubble-shaved legs and everything that is wrong with me accentuated, schlepping along in these pin curls and barely any makeup--and I walked right by the crew. Just kept going. Not one person on the set recognized me or even noticed me, because I looked like half the women in Baltimore. I had to go up to John and stand face-front for him to realize who I was. He was thrilled. I was crushed.”
Divine was the inspiration for the design of Ursula the Sea-Witch in the Disney classic The Little Mermaid.

Via Daily Dharma: Discovering Truth

Grief can lead us to a profound understanding that reaches beyond our individual loss. It opens us to the most essential truth of our lives: the truth of impermanence, the causes of suffering, and the illusion of separateness.

—Mark Matousek, “A Splinter of Love”


Friday, October 18, 2019

Via Ram Dass

Maharajji said, “The best form in which to worship God is all forms.” Everyone you meet is Ram who has come to teach you something. Mantra is remembering that place in the heart – Ram, Ram, Ram. Say it, mouth it, think it, feel it in your heart. You are continually meeting and merging into perfection.

- Ram Dass

Via Daily Dharma: How to Hold Your Mind Open

Thoughts are endless, and they rush in to fill the yawning well of awareness. But one might learn to hold that space open, with practice. It may not stay empty—but one can choose what to let in.

—Jeff Greenwald, “The Great Indoors”


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: What Questions about the Self Really Matter?

Puzzling over the metaphysics of the self, the Buddha said, pulls us away from what really matters, and from posing the question about ourselves that really matters: what can I do, right now, that will lead to lasting well-being and happiness?

—Mary Talbot, “Saving Vacchagotta”


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Via Utne / Entangled by the World

Photo by Getty Images/Aydinmutlu

“Wisdom seems to sprout from the most unusual places and in the most unexpected moments.” 

“If you want to find your way, you must become lost. Generously so.” I asked, “How does one become lost?” He replied, “Shall I turn you into a goat?” 

The fire hissed softly as another piece of coal collapsed into white ash, overcome by the steadying flames. Still African to my bones, and quite used to warmer climates, I was grateful for the heat the juvenile bonfire emitted. But even its heat was no match for the wintry sternness and eeriness of the ‘Wodge,’ Schumacher’s Forest School site in Northwoods, Dartington. Except for the amber glow that danced uneasily across the faces of the cohorts in the circle, the whole place was dark and silent, with only tall proud trees and the bits of sky that fell through their interconnecting branches that bore witness to this hushed ring of seekers.

Fire. Witnessing trees. A desperate chill. And a whiff of collective madness. These were the elements that ordained this mysterious circle of 17 persons.

Manish signalled to me that it was time, so I went first — not before telling the group that one of the edges we had to explore in the days ahead was disgust, and how the things we feel repulsed by hold clues about the kinds of social-material frameworks we already inhabit. I then sat on a log of wood, raised my head to meet Manish’s gaze, and held out my hands as one would do when making supplication to the gods above. For what I was about to receive in return for my prayerful gesture, the moment was thick with perverse irony. Clad in a camo winter jacket, awkward head gear, and a blanket-scarf, Manish stirred the contents of the white ceramic bowl with his fingers, scooped up a generous amount, and pressed it on my face — covering my forehead, my cheeks, my chin, and nose with the stuff. He asked the circle to make a clicking sound with their tongues as I — and others after me — received this blessing. This anointing of sorts. I closed my eyes as the cold grimy mixture kissed my skin. When he was done, he placed a huge lump of the stuff between my cupped palms.

It was cow shit. Glorious cow shit. Green, brown, wild, and overpoweringly alive. We had obtained a fresh bucketful a farm away, mixed it with neem leaves and the spirit of a bonfire. Now it was on my face, like bees on a jar of honey. I stood up and retook my place in the circle. An hour or so later, we were all covered in shit (except two students who opted out for personal reasons), our faces a mishmash of toothy grins and green grime. The jokes came easy (“This is some good shit!” “We are having a bit of a shit-uation here!”) and then we shared stories and wise sayings in the womb of the forest as the shit dried up and stiffened our faces, so that many of us could hardly talk. I looked around, taking in all the faces: given that we had advertised that session as a “cow dung ritual,” it was amazing to me that everyone showed up. I had expected the students to scoff at some of the other processes we had earmarked for the week — “Death Walk,” “Powerful Questions,” “Composting Ourselves,” “Shop of the Open Heart” — but that didn’t happen.

Make the jump here to read he rest of the article and more

Via Coventry Spiritualawareness / FB:

Via Lion´s Roar / Extinction Rebellion activist Mark Ovland on bringing climate activism & Buddhism together

Mark Ovland (center) at an Extinction Rebellion protest in November 2018. Photo by Steve Eason.

Buddhadharma editor Tynette Deveaux talks to Buddhist Extinction Rebellion (XR) activist Mark Ovland about his decision to join the XR movement and why he feels it’s aligned with the dharma.

Mark Ovland left behind his Buddhist teacher training earlier this year to join the Extinction Rebellion (XR) movement as a climate activist. Monday, October 7 marked the beginning of a two-week campaign of action by XR in 60 cities around the world, and I spoke to Ovland just days before the protests began.

When we spoke, police were preparing to raid the XR warehouse in London, where the group was storing equipment for their demonstrations. Ovland said police had blocked every road out, and were arresting anyone trying to get things out of the warehouse, including solar panels, portable toilets, and kitchen equipment.

Police used a battering ram to break into the building after activists barricaded themselves inside, and 10 people were arrested for “suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance.” Hours after the raid on the XR warehouse, the group says it received £45,000 from the public to replace items confiscated by police. Nearly 300 people were arrested in London during Monday’s protests.

Make the jump here to read the full article and more


Via Words of Wisdom - October 16, 2019 💌

The sooner one develops compassion on this journey, the better. Compassion lets us appreciate that each individual is doing what he or she must do, and that there is no reason to judge another person or oneself. You merely do what you can to further your own awakening.

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: Gifts at the End of Life

The end of life often offers rare opportunities to affirm and deepen our highest human values—reconciling conflicts, sharing forgiveness and gratitude, deepening a sense of loving intimacy, and rising above our myopic experience of ourselves, our lives, and the world.

—Joseph Loizzo, “So the Darkness Shall Be the Light”


Via Daily Dharma: Sitting with Vulnerability

By putting things in a bigger context, [we are] able to enter a whole realm of practice—learning to stay with the rawness or vulnerability of being human.

—Pema Chödrön, “On Not Losing Heart”


Monday, October 14, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Offer Yourself a Comfortable Refuge

Any diligent practice of watchfulness, including meditation, requires routine and rhythm. During meditation, when we offer the body a familiar seat and comfortable environment, we create a refuge in which we can better discern and understand what’s going on in our constantly shifting private landscape.

—Lauren Krauze, “A Watchfulness Routine for Writing”



Sunday, October 13, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Seeking Wiser Motivation

When we wake up to how human life on this planet actually is, and stop running away or building walls in our heart, then we develop a wiser motivation for our life.

—Ajahn Sucitto, “From Turning the Wheel of Truth: Commentary on the Buddha’s First Teaching”


Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - October 13, 2019 💌

It’s a little more like the image of a caterpillar - enclosing itself in a cocoon in order to go through the metamorphosis to emerge as a butterfly.

The caterpillar doesn’t say, “Well now. I’m going to climb into this cocoon and come out a butterfly.” It’s just an inevitable process.

It’s inevitable.

It’s just happening.

It’s got to happen that way.

from Be Here Now

- Ram Dass -

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Can You Change Your Relationship to Your Life?

There’s no question that hard and difficult things happen to us. The question is, what is our reaction to it? What is our relationship to what happens? The Buddhist teachings are both revolutionary and simple in that they attempt to change our relationship to our life experience, whatever that is.

—Larry Rosenberg, “The Weather Is Just the Weather”


Friday, October 11, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Celebrate Who You Are

Life is given to us for free. How can we repay such a gift except with the fullness of our own life?

—Caitriona Reed, “Coming Out Whole”


Thursday, October 10, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: The Salve of Self-Compassion

Self-blame is an internalized second aggressor that can victimize us long after external damage is done. Self-compassion is like applying first aid to a wound and is the necessary first step to any process of healing.

—Miles Neale, “How to Heal After Your Teacher Crosses the Line”


Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Via Lion's Roar / Happiness in Every Breath by Thich Nhat Hanh

When we stop feeding our cravings, says Thich Nhat Hanh, we discover that we already have everything we need to be happy.

The human mind is always searching for possessions and never feels fulfilled. This causes impure actions ever to increase. Bodhisattvas, however, always remember the principle of having few desires. They live a simple life in peace in order to practice the Way and consider the realization of perfect understanding as their only career.
The Sutra on the Eight Realizations of the Great Beings
The Buddha said that craving is like holding a torch against the wind; the fire will burn you. When someone is thirsty and drinks only salty water, the more he drinks, the thirstier he becomes. If we run after money, for example, we think that a certain amount of money will make us happy. But once we have that amount, it’s not enough; we think we need more. There are people who have a lot of money, but they are not happy at all. The Buddha said that the object of our craving is like a bone without flesh. A dog can chew and chew on that bone and never feel satisfied.

We all experience moments when we feel lonely, sad, empty, frustrated, or afraid. We fill up our feelings with a movie or a sandwich. We buy things to suppress our pain, despair, anger, and depression. We find a way to consume, in the hopes that it will obliterate the feelings. Even if a TV show isn’t interesting, we still watch it. We think anything is better than experiencing the malaise, the ill-being in us. We have lost sight of the reality that we already have all the conditions we need for our own happiness.

Each of us has our own idea of happiness. It’s because of this idea that we run after objects we desire. We sacrifice our time and, to a certain extent, destroy our bodies and our minds. According to the Buddha, happiness is simple—if we go home to the present moment, we realize that we have more than enough to be happy right here and now. All the wonders of life are in us and around us. This realization can help us release our craving, anger, and fear.

The more we consume, the more we bring in the toxins that feed our craving, anger, and ignorance. We need to do two things to return to mindful awareness. First, we can look deeply into the nutriment that is feeding our craving, examining the source. No animal or plant can survive without food. Our craving, just like our love or our suffering, also needs food to survive. If our craving refuses to go away, it’s because we keep feeding it daily. Once we have identified what feeds our craving, we can cut off this source of nutriment, and our craving will wither.

The second practice is mindful consumption. When we end our consumption of things that feed our craving, ignorance, and wrong perceptions, we can be nourished by the many wonderful things around us. Understanding and compassion are born. Joy in the present moment becomes possible. We have a chance to transform our own suffering.

The Four Nutriments

The Buddha spoke of four kinds of nutriments, the four kinds of foods that we consume every day. Our happiness and suffering depend very much on whether what we consume is wholesome or unwholesome.

Via Daily Dharma: Becoming the Stream

Meditation is not just a rest or retreat from the turmoil of the stream or the impurity of the world. It is a way of being the stream, so that one can be at home in both the white water and the eddies.

—Gary Snyder, “Just One Breath”


Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - October 9, 2019 💌

"If we only work with our intellects and with the emptying of our minds, as in some yogas, and we fail to open our hearts, our journey becomes very dry and brittle. Ultimately, no matter what our methods, we have to find a very even balance between our energy, heart and mind. "

- Ram Dass -

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

ViaWhite Crane Institute / Today's Gay Wisdom

Reverend Nancy Wilson

"In such a toxic environment, the poor, the minorities, and the politically vulnerable populations will be the first to exhibit signs and symptoms of the deteriorating immunological picture. It is the canary-in-the-mines syndrome. When miners wanted to know if a particular mineshaft was safe from poisonous gases, they sent a canary in first. If the canary returned, the miners felt safe to go in. On our planet today, poor people, people of color, women and children, and gays and lesbians are the canaries (or sitting ducks if you prefer). Those who have any kind of privilege (gender, race, class, sexuality, age) are better able, for a time, to buffer and insulate themselves from the toxic environment — from AIDS, cancer, and other diseases. But not forever.
"There is also a moral and religious toxicity in reaction to so much upheaval, change, and worldwide political challenges. This phenomenon is called in many religions fundamentalism. In a century of increasing relativity in values, morality, and religion, fundamentalism provides absolutes and identifies the enemies. It is a kind of collective mental illness that includes obsessive thinking, tunnel vision, and functions much like other addictions." 
- Rev. Nancy Wilson, Our Tribe: Queer Folks, God, Jesus and the Bible