Practicing with Terrorism

Am I terrorized?  That’s what the extremists want.  They want the “other”, the West, to be paralyzed by fear.  My husband told me a quote from the paper that the extremists said, paraphrased something like this:  “The West is afraid of death.  We are going to win because we are not afraid of death.”  This … Continue reading Practicing with Terrorism

The disease of wanting more

Since January of this year I have been using a new mantra: Accept, accept, accept, enough, enough, enough, relax, relax, relax. I have been contemplating the word “enough” which has its own Koan: BOS 77 ” Yangshan’s Enough.” In the Jewish tradition there is a special word — Dayenu, which means a certain action of God would … Continue reading The disease of wanting more

Talk for Carl Myosen’s memorial

From Reb Anderson’s Chapter on “Do not kill” in “Being Upright”: Life does not change into death. death does not change into life. life is just life; death is just death Life and death are not before and after In reality, death vividly and peacefully coexists with the fullest expression of life the ancient buddhas … Continue reading Talk for Carl Myosen’s memorial

Exhaling and dissolving.

Here are some quotes from Suzuki Roshi in “Not Always So” (chapter: Calmness of Mind) that emphasize working with the exhale while meditating: “Calmness of mind is beyond the end of your exhalation. If you exhale smoothly, without even trying to exhale, you are entering into the complete perfect calmness of your mind. You do … Continue reading Exhaling and dissolving.

Addendum to No-Birth, No-Death

I found this quote from Thich Nhat Hanh after I wrote the last blog. I thought it really described this practice of feeling the mutuality of form and emptiness. We can actualize this mutuality in our everyday activity and this coming together is the actualization of enlightenment. From Thich Nhat Hanh, “ Touching the Earth, … Continue reading Addendum to No-Birth, No-Death

No-Birth, No-death

From “Touching the Earth, Intimate Conversations with the Buddha” by Thich Nhat Hanh, pages 25 and 26: “Lord Buddha, I shall listen to your advice and look deeply into impermanence, interdependence, emptiness and interbeing, in order to arrive at the deep realization that all that exists has the nature of no birth/ no death no … Continue reading No-Birth, No-death

Now, Now, Now

Bring your whole, unified body and mind to this moment, fully knowing that this moment is impermanent. This moment arises and disappears in 1/62nd of a finger snap. That happens so fast we cannot catch it with consciousness, but we can notice the activity we are engaged in and completely do this one activity. Katagiri Roshi … Continue reading Now, Now, Now

Touching the Earth Mudra

I would like to continue to unpack the practice of composure or the practice of no preference. “With the least like or dislike, the mind is lost in confusion” (Fukanzazengi, Dogen) Thich Nhat Hanh teaches this type of equanimity through the use of the touching the earth mudra in various way. First, of course, is … Continue reading Touching the Earth Mudra

Watering the good seeds

Spiritual practice is a little easier when things are going well, right? It’s easier to be loving, centered and peaceful when the world is favorable. But when the world is on the wrong side of the 8 worldly winds: Pleasure and pain Gain and loss Success and failure Praise and blame When we are on … Continue reading Watering the good seeds

My dear suffering

My dear suffering, I know you are there, I am here for you, and I will take care of you. — Thich Nhat Hanh   There are many moments in the day when I feel my suffering or other’s suffering (which becomes mine) especially people who are close to me. The world’s suffering also overwhelms … Continue reading My dear suffering

Touching the earth

For the past few weeks, I have been working with Thich Nhat Hanh’s book “Touching the earth”. This new practice has brought me refreshment and a greater level of peace in my day. I am using the bowing and the readings, when I am at home, instead of a morning service. That, in itself, is … Continue reading Touching the earth

Grace in Buddhism

I often search for a long time to find how certain Judeo-Christian terms translate to Buddhism. When I find a pathway of translation, I’m quite excited. I have long looked for the translation of “grace” into Buddhism. This week I heard, while listening to a Norman Fischer talk on “Transformation at the base,” what occurred … Continue reading Grace in Buddhism

Disidentification with emotions

How can we feel our emotions and disidentify with them at the same time? Sometimes, it is worded: how can I respond not react? In Tara Brach’s wording, “How can I feel my negative emotions without adding on ‘there is something wrong with me’ or with this situation.” Part of practice is learning to have … Continue reading Disidentification with emotions