This year has been a great year for me, my first full year of writing a blog. My writing this year has taken a rather whimsical trajectory without much rhyme or reason, but looking back there are a couple themes that prevail throughout the year. So rather than create a 'Best of 2012', here are the essentials that you may have missed:
Be an Artist- which to me means being generous with whatever you have to share with the world and those around you, influencing them and bringing benefit along the way.
1. The Renaissance
2. A Simple Discipline
Mind Training- the simple yet effective technique of training in bodhicitta, the awakened mind. A step-by-step method to continuously contemplate and integrate with our daily life that yields untold benefits for ourselves and others.
4. Tonglen- The Rising Tide of Bodhicitta
5. For Sale: Supreme Vehicle (SUV)
Thank you for all of your support this year, here is to a very happy 2013!
Saturday, December 29, 2012
Thursday, December 27, 2012
I wanted to thank everyone who supported me over the past year in my effort to write this blog.
This has been my first experience writing in a public circle and it has taught me a lot. The main thing I have learned is that if you want to share your art- whether it be in words, creations or deeds- you need to just open your heart and let it go. Don’t be an artist expecting acknowledgement, approval or applause. Do it as an act of generosity with the intention of benefitting others, giving them strength or brightening their day. In generosity there is no failure, no inadequacy, no mistake. It is when we hold back, when we turn away or avert our eyes that ourselves and others experience states of loss. So in 2013 I can only encourage you to be fully present, find your ground, keep your eyes wide open, open your heart and share your gifts with the world.
Thank you for your encouragement, inspiration and support.
Friday, December 7, 2012
How does a spa weekend sound?
Soaking in the hot pools of samsara
Will improve the circulation of thoughts and emotions.
Afterwards relax into the natural state,
Lay out naked and unadorned on the groundless massage table,
Expose all of your tension and knots.
Let the essence of the teachings work out the kinks,
The pith instructions apply deep pressure to those stubborn knots.
You may need the discipline of a manicure and pedicure to refine away rough edges.
Finally, conclude with a exfoliating facial to remove the extremes of
Permanence and impermanence regarding the single true face of reality.
This is how to seek release from samsara.
How does a trip to wine country sound?
It is important to understand the different varietals of spiritual teachings,
To fully appreciate their lineage, view, path and result.
Taste is paramount in determining the quality,
Fame, wealth and reputation mean nothing if it leaves a bad taste.
Spend some time appreciating how the different varietals come together,
Their distinctive features and qualities.
Blending can at times enhance the experience, at other times create distortion.
Certain vineyards have distinct qualities that cannot be replicated,
No amount of blending or aging can draw out a similar taste,
If you find this extraordinary lot you should seek its full measure.
This is how to understand the vehicle to awakening.
How about traveling to a foreign land?
You have heard of these places and always wanted to go,
Read the history and are fascinated by the culture,
How these people live their lives, the food they eat,
Oh, to sit in their plazas and behold their art.
We must ourselves cross to the other side,
It is not enough to read or study,
We must gain our own experience firsthand.
No longer will I be a parrot of other's experience,
No longer will I share their insights,
From this day forth I seek the authentic experience of direct knowing.
This is how to gain your own experience in setting forth to the other side.
How about going to a cabin?
Enter into a serene, peaceful environment.
Slow down. Touch the earth. Feel the breeze.
Wrap yourself up in the warm blanket of the teachings,
Feel the warmth of the fire of your own experience.
Cuddle up with a good dharma book to open new worlds of experience.
Enjoying this comfort and peace you might sleep in,
Perhaps your meditation is drowsy because of this clinging.
In the evenings you may reach for a bottle of wine,
Feel free to enjoy it but don't grasp at the experience.
This is how to enter into experience.
Do you want to go home?
Go back to the natural state,
Rest in that original condition,
It is always timeless, unchanging.
All the experiences you have in life,
The high and lows, good and bad,
You can always come back to this.
This place of full acceptance, contentment and peace.
This is discovering your own ground.
Maybe you want a respite from work?
Get away from the never ending goals and deadlines,
The need to accomplish and assert oneself.
What need is their for competition, coercion.
You have already discovered your fulfillment,
What more are you trying to do?
Just rest as you are, there is nothing more to become.
Recognize as it is, there is fulfillment in that.
Go from not having enough time to the present being unceasing.
This is how to gain conviction.
How about a beautiful beach vacation?
Relax into the vast ocean of meditative equipoise,
Waves of thoughts rising and falling,
Appearing clearly within the ocean but never parting.
The morning fog naturally evaporates,
Revealing the sun of true seeing in the spacious sky free of reference.
A gentle cool breeze of compassion stirs,
Whisking away the sweat of others turmoil.
How joyful, yourself and others are completely refreshed!
This is how to develop experience.
How about a holy pilgrimage?
Pay reverence to the site of awakening, your own meditation seat,
Make prostrations to Vajra Seat (Bodh Gaya),
Where the Lord Buddha himself gained awakening.
Make offerings of your body, speech and mind to the Three Jewels through all your deeds.
Circumambulate the great stupa of bodhicitta
By having all your activities revolve around this intent.
Step through the heart into an immaculate, vast temple,
All sights and sounds the infinite play of deity and mantra.
Hang prayer flags throughout the world by dedicating your merit,
Your smile is like a thousand offering lamps that illuminate the darkness.
This is how you bring all experiences onto the path.
How about a big city shopping spree?
A completely dazzling endless variety of sights, sounds and appearances,
Everything you could want is here.
The subtlety and refinement of experience is beyond comparison.
It is fascinating how something so simple could be
Presented and appreciated in this way.
To use ordinary and simple things in this new design,
This excellence in simplicity, this mastery of the trade, is amazing.
We used to think complex and ostentatious were the trend,
But to use the familiar in such a unique way is mind blowing.
This is how mahasiddhas refine away experience.
How about sailing?
Effortlessly ride the winds of karma,
Skillfully manipulate gusts of emotions,
Complete your journey regardless of high or low tides.
When the winds scream, you move along faster.
When the winds die, you abide in the pristine expanse, the ocean of awakened mind.
Your vessel moves unhindered through this spacious expanse,
Sending out a ripple in the vast ocean,
Yet vanishing without a trace.
This is how everything accelerates the path.
How about a mountain trek?
Start off your journey through dense forests,
You will enjoy many vistas along the way,
Pass by alpine lakes so clear you can see the bottom,
All phenomena will play like animals in mountain meadows.
Scampering through the world of appearances and possibility,
You suddenly breakthrough to the summit,
An astounding, vast panorama.
Down below you can see all the places
Yourself and others have gotten caught up,
The simple solutions to their current situation.
Resting in unmoving meditative equipoise,
The mind completely stark and barren of all distortion,
You have nothing more to gain.
Maybe you should help that guy trying to cross the river,
Or that girl fighting herself in that thicket of stinging nettles.
Maybe you should get back to work.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Pema is a wonderful dog. She is incredibly loving. Gentle. She loves to run and go for walks. She loves people, young or old. If given the choice to go play or to stay close to you, she would choose you every time.
But give Pema a bone and she can't control herself. She protects that bone 24/7. She thinks people are scheming in order to get to her bone. Even when asleep if she notices movement she is instantly on the defensive.
Despite all of this pomp and circumstance, when you take the bone away from her she instantly returns to her good-natured self. I think she is honestly relieved to let her guard down and get back to cuddling.
How many dog bones do you have buried? Why do you hold on to them so dearly?
What if you just let them go?
Next time you find yourself caught up on the defensive, speculating about how others are scheming against you, give a name to that bone you are defending. Write it down. What is it exactly and why is it so important to you?
You might just be relieved if you let it go.