Monday, April 29, 2019

Via NYT: How Gay Are You? A new film explores the many shades of human sexuality.

On a scale of one to 10, with one being “completely straight” and 10 being “completely gay,” what number are you?

Make the jump here to read the full article

Via Daily Dharma: Joyful Optimism

Buddhism is optimistic, joyful with the possibility of our liberation. We can find harmful tendencies in ourselves, begin to free ourselves from our conditioned responses, guilt, and grief. Individuals do this; communities do this; religions and nations can do this.

—Sallie Tisdale, “Lost Stories

God loves all the people - April 2019

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Knowing Our Mind

Don’t feel disturbed by the thinking mind. You are not practicing to prevent thinking, but rather to recognize and acknowledge thinking whenever it arises.

—Sayadaw U Tejaniya, “Observing Minds Want to Know

Via Daily Dharma: Freshness in Every Moment

One of the hardest things to remember about practice is that we’ve truly never experienced this moment before.

—Alex Tzelnic, “How to Resist the Comfort of Repetition

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - April 28, 2019 💌

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 just ripping off the experience of helping them for yourself, give up helping anybody. And then just be with them and see what happens.

- Ram Dass -

Friday, April 26, 2019

Via JustaBahai: R.I.P. My Friend

Sonja wrote:

April 26, 2019

My friend Lucas Lucas (17 years) started communicating with me in 2014 because of our common interest in Esperanto. He was living and studying in Brazil and had declared as a Bahai 3 months earlier through one of his professors who is a
Bahai. Upon learning that my main concern in the Bahai community was for the wellbeing of gay and lesbian Bahais, his response was: 

“Really?? This is new to me.”

To read the full article and more, make the jump here

Via Daily Dharma: Wise Emotion

We find the antidotes to our most painful states of mind by leaning directly into the emotion itself. Our emotions are full of wisdom. They are the keys for deepening our practice and our relationships with our world.

—Judith Simmer-Brown, “Transforming the Green-Ey’d Monster

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Justifying Ends and Means

In the Buddha’s teachings, the end and the means must share a similar voice; there has to be constructive engagement from the beginning. Finding ways to engage in direct communication and bring people together is both the process and the resolution.

—Christopher Titmuss, “Rising to the Challenge: A Step Toward Peace

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Via Betty Bowers / FB:

Via Daily Dharma: Return Again

Train to return to attention whenever you become aware that you are lost. And then just do it. Place attention and rest. Return and rest. Again and again.

—Ken McLeod, “Forget About Consistency

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - April 24, 2019 💌

The Chinese philosopher, Chung Tsu, said, “Know the clear, but remain in the tarnished.” Stay in the marketplace, but keep God there too. Remember—serve, love, remember. You’ve got to be in the marketplace and remember.

- Ram Dass -

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: A Joyful Mind

When our mind is undisturbed by any concept that might arise, the natural joy and clarity of the mind will dawn.

—Ogyen Trinley Dorje, “Calm Abiding

Monday, April 22, 2019

Via FB:

Via Daily Dharma: You Are Worthy of Love

To see ourselves as just another person deserving love is a valuable exercise. Here we start to disidentify with ourselves, see ourselves in more objective terms. When we can see ourselves as just another imperfect human, equally deserving of love as anyone else, it becomes easier to offer love to ourselves.

—Kevin Griffin, “May All Beings Be Happy

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Giving Our All

There may be no greater sense of fulfillment in life than the simultaneous feelings of human interconnection and pure freedom that arise from an authentic act of selfless generosity.

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

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - April 21, 2019 💌

It’s important to respect the intellect, not to demean it by any means, but to realize that it has taken control, when it should be a resource that’s available for you to use when you want to.
What has happened to me over the past several decades, I’m sure partly through psychedelics, partly through meditation, and through grace, and through evolution, is that when I don’t need to think about something my mind is empty. I’m not thinking. I’m just empty. I’m just here.

So that when you ask me a question, I stop for a moment. I go empty. I’m not thinking about the answer. I’m going empty because in the emptiness is the answer—a better answer than I can come up with when I use my analytic mind to figure out what I should say to you.

-Ram Dass -

Saturday, April 20, 2019

CHOIR sings OM SO HUM Mantra (Must Listen)

Very, very beautiful! 'Soham' means I am That'. 'That' means the very source of creation. If you bring some awareness into to your breath, become conscious of it, every inhalation makes the sound 'SO' and exhalation has the sound 'HAM'. Try it and see. Our breath itself reminds us that we are part of something much bigger, we are THAT. We aren't individuals but life, there's just life all around. And fundamentally we are all ONE. But we are too caught up in our psychological drama. If only we look beyond that and see, the very way we live life will change. It'll be all inclusive. Which is the most beautiful way to be. :)

Via Daily Dharma: Taking the First Step

Even very basic beginning practice, like mindfulness of the breath or sound, begins to relieve suffering, reduce our stress levels, and motivate us to practice more.

—Interview with Mirabai Bush by Alex Caring-Lobel and Emma Varvaloucas, “Working with Mindfulness

Via Daily Dharma: Inner Awakening

The taste of freedom that pervades the Buddha’s teaching is the taste of spiritual freedom, which from the Buddhist perspective means freedom from suffering. In the process leading to deliverance from suffering, meditation is the means of generating the inner awakening required for liberation.

—Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, “The Path of Serenity and Insight

Race and Religion in American Buddhism: White Supremacy and Immigrant Adaptation

Race and Religion in American Buddhism: White Supremacy and Immigrant Adaptation

Oxford University Press
While academic and popular studies of Buddhism have often neglected race as a factor of analysis, the issues concerning race and racialization have remained not far below the surface of the wider discussion among ethnic Buddhists, converts, and sympathizers regarding representations of American Buddhism and adaptations of Buddhist practices to the American context. In Race and Religion in American Buddhism, Joseph Cheah provides a much-needed contribution to the field of religious studies by addressing the under-theorization of race in the study of American Buddhism. Through the lens of racial formation, Cheah demonstrates how adaptations of Buddhist practices by immigrants, converts and sympathizers have taken place within an environment already permeated with the logic and ideology of whiteness and white supremacy. In other words, race and religion (Buddhism) are so intimately bounded together in the United States that the ideology of white supremacy informs the differing ways in which convert Buddhists and sympathizers and Burmese ethnic Buddhists have adapted Buddhist religious practices to an American context. Cheah offers a complex view of how the Burmese American community must negotiate not only the religious and racial terrains of the United States but also the transnational reach of the Burmese junta. Race and Religion in American Buddhism marks an important contribution to the study of American Buddhism as well as to the larger fields of U.S. religions and Asian American studies.

About the author

Joseph Cheah is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies and Theology at Saint Joseph College in West Hartford, Connecticut.

Via Daily Dharma: Touching Freedom

When the tug of sense desire and aversion has been quieted, when restlessness and sluggishness have been balanced out, and when doubts are put aside for a time, the mind is able to attend to experience more openly and with much greater freedom.

—Andrew Olendzki, “The Ties that Unbind

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Quality Time

Free time is of a different order than freedom. Freedom, at least in the dharmic sense, depends on the quality of attention that we bring to our interactions. Only to the extent that we can be fully present in our relationships with ourselves, with our children, and with each other, are we free.

—Soren Gordhamer, “Finding What’s Right in Front of Us

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - April 17, 2019 💌

As you progress with your sadhana you may find it necessary to change your occupation. Or you may find that it is only necessary to change the way in which you perform your current occupation in order to bring it into line with your new understanding of how it all is. The more conscious that a being becomes, the more he can use any occupation as a vehicle for spreading light.

The next true being of Buddha-nature that you meet may appear as a bus driver, a doctor, a weaver, an insurance salesman, a musician, a chef, a teacher, or any of the thousands of roles that are required in a complex society—the many parts of Christ’s body. You will know him because the simple dance that may transpire between you—such as handing him change as you board the bus—will strengthen in you the faith in the divinity of man. It’s as simple as that.

- Ram Dass -

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Greeting Pain with an Open Heart

We can’t always transform pain from meaningless suffering into a sense of spaciousness, but at least we can practice seeing into the layers of beliefs and resistance that hold our suffering in place, thereby coming closer to gently opening to what is.

—Ezra Bayda, “When It Happens to Us

Monday, April 15, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Interconnectedness in Action

Everything is contingent upon everything else… People, animals, and other plants flourish, and give themselves in turn. The Buddha suggested that human beings can get along best by following this natural way of things. Giving creates happiness; greed creates misery.

—Robert Aitken Roshi, “Giving Full Circle

Via Daily Dharma: Freedom Is Here

The two things that you are always free to do—despite your circumstances—are to be present and to be willing to love.

—Jack Kornfield, “Set the Compass of Your Heart

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - April 14, 2019 💌

Whether you are a parent or a teacher, anything; whatever your gig is, the only thing you can offer to another being is your consciousness. You are an environment for everyone you meet, in which they can become as conscious as they are ready to become. Offer your most conscious being to others. 

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: The Best Time Is Now

The best time to meditate, the best place, the best length of practice is the one that you actually do. Showing up for the practice today, however long or short, is enough.

—Kate Johnson, “Calming the Not Now Mind

Via Daily Dharma: Creating Real Change

When meaningful change happens, it doesn’t mean a change in position but a change in how we live together and how we treat each other.

—An interview with Krista Tippett by James Shaheen, “Talking with the Other Side

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: The Beauty Within Us

Our practice exposes us to the underlying reality of the universe. And that underlying reality is not just dead matter interacting at random. There is order and beauty and truth. And our universe is fully alive. We ourselves are expressions of that life, order, beauty, and truth.

—Brad Warner, “How to Practice with God

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Youngbloods - Get Together

Love is but a song we sing
Fear's the way we die
You can make the mountains ring
Or make the angels cry
Though the bird is on the wing
And you may not know why
Come on, people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another right now
Some may come and some may go
He will surely pass
When the one that left us here
Returns for us at last
We are but a moment's sunlight
Fading in the grass
Come on, people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another right now
Come on, people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another right now
Come on, people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another right now
If you hear the song I sing
You will understand, listen
You hold the key to love and fear
All in your trembling hand
Just one key unlocks them both
It's there at your command
Come on, people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another right now
Come on, people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another right now
I said come on, people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another right now
Right now
Right now
Songwriters: Jesse Colin Young
Get Together lyrics © Sony/ATV Tunes LLC, Bernard'S Other Music, Pigfoot Music, IRVING MUSIC, INC., IRVING MUSIC INC.

Via LionsRoar/ 10 Great Buddhist Books, Recommended by 10 Buddhist Teachers

Pile of books.
Photo by John-Mark Smith.

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunyru Suzuki (Weatherhill 1970) 
Recommended by Sharon Salzberg: “I read this book soon after it came out in 1973, during my time of dedicated practice in India. It was the book I continually returned to for years to help me remember that we practice not to attain buddhanature, but rather to express it. The book changed my motivation for practice and my entire sense of right effort.”

Peaks and Lamas by Marco Pallis (Readers Union 1939)
Recommended by Gary Snyder: “I started reading it for the mountaineering section, at seventeen, and got drawn into the Tibetan Buddhism section as well. I found my spiritual home there, even before discovering Zen.”

Life of the Buddha by Bhikkhu Nanamoli (Pariyatti Publishing 2003)
Recommended by Ajahn Amaro: “Through his expert translations and flawless feel for the wisdom and wit of the ancient texts, Bhikkhu Nanamoli succeeds in drawing the reader into the dusty paths of India and into the presence of the Buddha himself.”

Moon in Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dogen edited by Kaz Tanahashi (North Point Press 1995)
Recommended by Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara: “This translation of essential writings of Dogen has been a vital book for me. Kaz Tanahashi’s insightful and transparent renderings of Dogen’s texts changed my experience of Zen from a supportive practice to a transformational one. I am so grateful to have the opportunity, as an English speaker, to study and practice with these profound teachings.”

Mind in Comfort and Ease by His Holiness the Dalai Lama (Wisdom Publications, 2007)
Recommended by B. Alan Wallace: “This is an outstanding introduction to the Great Perfection tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, and it includes His Holiness’s oral commentary on a major text by Longchen Rabjam. His Holiness places the Great Perfection within the broader context of Buddhism as a whole and also elucidates areas of inquiry that are relevant to science and Buddhism.”

Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Awakening by Analayo (Wind Horse Publications 2004)
Recommended by Joseph Goldstein: “This is an engaging and thorough presentation of the Buddha’s teachings on the four foundations of mindfulness. Ven. Analayo offers an in-depth analysis of this essential text, including a range of interpretations on different points of controversy. His work inspired my own more careful investigation of the depth and breadth of this extraordinary discourse.”

Meditation on Emptiness by Jeffrey Hopkins (Wisdom Publications 1983)
Recommended by Georges Dreyfus: “It brought for the first time a sophisticated account of Tibetan interpretations of Madhyamaka, which was an enormous resource for those interested in Buddhist philosophy.”

Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Master Hongzhi translated by Taigen Dan Leighton and Yi Wu (Tuttle Publishing, 2000) 
Recommended by Sojun Mel Weitsman: “This is a work of outstanding inspiration. I never get tired of reading it.”

Words of My Perfect Teacher by Patrul Rinpoche, translated by the Padmakara Translation Group (Shambhala 1991)
Recommended by Anne Carolyn Klein: “Almost every teacher I’ve studied with has taught or cited this text, finding within it places of rest and wisdom. Its many famous stories are mini-movies that frame and support the practice of sutra, tantra, and Dzogchen. Straight from the expansive heart of Heart Essence traditions.”

Lankavatara Sutra by D. T. Suzuki (Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers  1978)
Recommended by Jeffrey Hopkins: “It presents in grand detail the horizons of Mind-only and Middle Way thought.”

Make the jump to read this article and more here

via FB

Via Daily Dharma: Our Perfect Nature

According to the Buddhist teachings, buddhanature is present in every living being. The natural state of one’s mind, when it is not misconstrued by the power of negative thoughts, is perfection.

—Matthieu Ricard, “Beauty Beyond Beauty

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

You want to get to the place where, when there is depression, instead of running and hiding from the depression, trying to grab at the next high, you turn around and you look at the depression as though you were looking the devil in the eye, and you say to the depression, "Come on depression, do your trip, because you're just a depression, and here I am." 

-  Ram Dass -

Monday, April 8, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: A New Way of Seeing

Enlightenment is always grounded in our own direct experience of mind and its activities, no matter what they may be. When we trust our creative energy, we encounter a supreme kind of enjoyment—an amazement at the natural unfolding of life beyond our ordinary way of looking at things.

—Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, “Free Expression

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Via Buddhist Cheat Sheet 2.0 (minimal edition)

Via JustaBahai: Is it better to walk away?

When a gay friend wrote:

“My energy could be better served not fighting for inclusion but by focusing on doing good works. I’m starting to see why many people just give up on God completely and decide that, dogma, worship and religious labels get in the way of working towards creating a better world. A world that doesn’t exclude or hurt people.“

I was reminded of ‘Abdul-Baha who said that if religion is not a cause of love and unity then it better not to have a religion. [footnote 1] Some have suggested to me that it is always better to walk away, that unity is most important. I don’t think Baha’u’llah nor ‘Abdul-Baha intended their teachings to be a mouthpiece for the majority. I think Baha’u’llah was serious when he said that ” [t]he best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice” [Hidden Words] but more importantly I think any community, religious or not, needs to value diversity because of the fresh inputs diverse people bring. If those from minority backgrounds are to have a voice, those from a majority perspective need to make it clear that there is ‘space’ for them in their community. In my view, it isn’t about tolerance or sympathy or looking good, but about developing a community where diversity is valued. Diversity doesn’t just happen, it needs to be worked at just as many Baha’i communities have and do work at racial diversity.

I think most Baha’is care very deeply about the importance of diversity, except, it seems, when it comes to our gay and lesbian brothers. I am often told that there is no such thing as a “LGBTQ” voice because we are all one. We are all equal. I agree with the sentiment but by ‘voice’ I mean a particular perspective on the world and society that is different to a majority voice.

I am a human being first and this means acknowledging others as equals, acknowledging that their differing perspectives are of value, however odd or ‘wrong’ they might seem to me personally.

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - April 7, 2019 💌

When you have your game all together, and there is still a yearning inside of you, and you say "I don't understand why I'm still unhappy, I've got it all." Well, that yearning is your ticket to spiritual awakening.

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: Perfect Wisdom

Wisdom has to do with seeing clearly, seeing things as they are, that is, coming to terms with the way things are. “Perfect seeing” is one translation of vipassana.

—Larry Rosenberg, “Death Awareness

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Via Tumblr: Yo creo en la cura de las personas homosexuales

Yo creo en la CURA de las personas GAY. 

¿Sabes cuándo esa cura ocurre?

Cuando el padre pide que el hijo le dé un beso a su novio para sacarles una foto.

Cuando el nieto le pregunta a la abuela: “¿Que harías si trajese mi novio a tu casa?” Y ella responde: "Café”.

O cuando alguien pregunta: “¿Qué piensas de que un hombre se casa con otro hombre o si una mujer se casa con otra mujer?” Y le responden: “Que va a estar buena la pachanga”.

La cura ocurrirá por completo cuando la culpa inculcada desaparezca y el amor incondicional sea infinito.

Cuando el SER prevalezca sobre la sexualidad. Cuando la felicidad sea alcanzada sin miedo. Cuando sea posible ser feliz sin pensar en el “pecado”. Cuando prevalezca la tolerancia.

La cura vendrá cuando el peso de las críticas pueda ser finalmente retirado, cuando se acabe el sentimiento de ser un “extraño” en tu familia y en la sociedad, cuando todos amemos a todos y a todo por igual sin importar lo que son o prefieren ser, cuando no temas por ser asesinado por alguien que no entiende que tu también puedes ser libre, cuando el mundo aplique el sentido real de la palabra “RESPETO”.

De esa cura es de la que necesitamos todos.

Porque cuando aceptamos que el otro sea… simplemente sea, y lo dejamos SER de la manera que quiere SER, es el momento en el que el mundo se vuelve más fácil y más amoroso.

Así que ya sabemos la cura 😉💛💚💙🧡🧡💜

Friday, April 5, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Building our Practice

With a strong foundation in how to practice meditation, we can begin to live in a way that enables us to respect ourselves, to be calm rather than anxious, and to offer caring attention to others instead of being held back by notions of separation.

—Sharon Salzberg, “Sticking With It

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

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

If we’re going to be free, we’re going to be free about the preoccupation with our worldly conditions. It doesn’t mean we won’t notice them, it doesn’t mean we won’t try to optimize them. The question is: how much emotional, attached mind are we investing in optimizing them?  

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: A Greater Vision

The force needed to empower wisdom is compassion. Both wisdom and compassion shift our sense of identity away from ourselves toward the wider human, biotic, and cosmic community to which we belong.

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

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Via Daily Dharma: Embrace It All

Meditation practice should always be inclusive and workable. A wholehearted, mindful embrace of everything that arises in your mind is the only path to true freedom. It is critical that all thoughts be included in meditation practice.

A prática da meditação deve ser sempre inclusiva e viável. Um abraço sincero e atento de tudo o que surge em sua mente é o único caminho para a verdadeira liberdade. É essencial que todos os pensamentos sejam incluídos na prática da meditação.

—Interview with Gavin Harrison, “When Inspiration Strikes