Friday, January 31, 2014

Sprint.

It is nice to pace yourself.  Slow and steady wins the race.  But sometimes you need to push yourself.  Sometimes it is good to stretch the legs, see how how far you can go.

What is off in the distance that you have had your eye on?

It could be a project.  A goal.  Sure.  Could definitely be house cleaning.

But it could be your practice.

What if you sat in meditative equipoise for ten hours today?
What if you did 1000 prostrations today, or sun salutations for three hours?
What if you offered 10,000 mandalas this month?  Or recited OM MANI PADME HUNG 100,000 times?
What if you could replace your distracted, tired mind with a mind that was powerful and stable?  What if hesitation and doubt were replace with confidence and certainty?

Time to run.  What are you waiting for?

 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Letting go.

Your practice should include the art of letting go.

Letting go of the fear.
The pain.
The anger. Frustration.
Letting go of your hope.
Expectations.
Judgement.
Ego.
Letting go of resentment.
Mistakes.
Bias.
Ideals.

Let everything go.  What is left when you have nothing left to hold onto?

Now, continue with the practice.  

Friday, January 24, 2014

Eyelashes in your eye.

You are not your neurosis.  You are not your flaws.
You are not your mood, your mental state, your anxiety or depression.
You are not the pain, the suffering, the highs or the lows.

Yet you identify with it because it is so prominent, so strong.  So irritating.

But you know that it is not right.

You have a basic wisdom, an inner knowing that knows it is not who you are, that this is not the way that you were meant to be.

So you look to get better.  You look to fix yourself, to improve your health, your life.  You might even look for a pill.

But before you do, let me tell you:

You've already done the hard part.

You've identified the gap.

The gap between your neurosis and your wisdom.  The gap between the energetic display and your true nature.

That may be a big step to take all at once.  But what if you stopped identifying with the neurosis, the anxiety, the pain and the discomfort?

What if you identified with the unerring and true?  What if you identified with your natural clarity and your innate goodness?  Your wisdom?

Now that you have identified the gap,
you only need to train.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Loneliness, or Love?

Look deeply at loneliness.
Cut away all the selfishness,
the self concern and speculation.
When you get down deep,
deep into loneliness,

You find love.
An unbridled, boundless love.

Your heart aches because it wants to be shared.
It aches because you are holding it back.

Opportunity is everywhere.


Monday, January 20, 2014

The fact that you are going to work hard is irrelevant.

You are used to this for that, an equal exchange.  A profitable exchange.

Why else do you go to work each day?

Your used to working for you, your family, your loved ones and your dreams.  I get that, it is the world that we live in.  Is that any alternative?

The alternative is to be a father, a mother.

A father is unrelenting, tireless.  He cares not for his feelings.  Take me.  Every time.  Take me.
A mother is always open, accepting, loving.  No fault matters, I love you.  Always.

The alternative is that all of this- this life, this journey, this work-
is bigger than you.

Be a parent, a guardian, a grand father or mother, a friend, a son or a daughter.  Not only in your own family, but for all beings.

Both parties profit.

Monday, January 13, 2014

How does a raccoon satisfy its thirst?


I love this video.  It's hilarious.

This raccoon is confused.

Not knowing the nature of water, he hopes to grab onto it, hold it in his hands.  Of course that water keeps slipping through his fingers, and the cute little thing is in a frenzy to keep trying.

What he doesn't know is that if you want to hold water in your hands you need to be skillful.  Then you can drink the water, feel its refreshing nature, enjoy it and quench your thirst.

How often do we feel like life is slipping through our fingers?  Like we lost an opportunity and now it is gone?  How often do we find ourselves in a frenzy, trying to accomplish our aims and hoping that this is the time we are finally satisfied?

In order to take hold of our life we need to be skillful.  We need to create a container that can accommodate something that always keeps rushing past us.

We need attentive mindfulness.
Authentic presence.
Clarity and understanding.
Empathy and compassion.
Patience.  Patience is a must.
An open mind and unbiased attitude.

Most of all we need to stop the impulse to grab onto things.  That is where so much of our confusion springs from, from grasping and fixation.  When we understand the nature of our own mind and the nature of reality, we can skillfully work with that in order to quench our thirst, find satisfaction.

Being awake doesn't mean that we become awake to some kind of better reality, or our life becomes the fairy tale and everything goes our way.  Being awake means to see genuinely.  Truly.  You awaken to the truth.  You see your mind and reality as it is, and knowing that there is nothing to hold onto, you can use skillful methods to accomplish your aims and the aims of others.

Stop the confusion. 

Link to the video is here.





Friday, January 10, 2014

Neurotic.

Oh, how we love distraction.

It makes us feel normal again.  The constant busyness, the doing.  It makes us feel secure, in control, like we run this show.

The compulsion to move- itch that finger or ear, check our email, our phones.  Check Facebook, check the news, watch a show.  Call, text, move, shift, sort.

All this because we are uncomfortable.  Uncomfortable.  We are irritated, this baseline subtle irritation that never really goes away.

But we feel good when we keep moving.

We might complain about always being busy.  All the things we have to do or should do.  But really this is what we want, to keep doing.  Because the opposite is scary.

When we are not doing, all the irritation rises up.  It shows its ugly face. 

When we are not doing, we realize how uncomfortable we are.  We become aware of how painful our life is.  Likely we don't know how to deal with this situation, so we enter flight or fright mode.  And we run.  Or at least we move. 

Our society wonders why we suffer from so much anxiety, depression, loneliness and sadness.  Why are our lives unfulfilling, why do we feel like we are being constantly bombarded from all directions?

Because we are.  And we are running. 

Stop running.  Train your mind.  That is what it means to have a spiritual practice.
Clarify your practice.  Let your practice clarify you.

Commit not a single unwholesome action, 
Cultivate a wealth of virtue,
To tame this mind of ours, 
This is the doctrine of the Buddha.
Buddha Shakyamuni

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Craving Light.

We are all looking for more light in our life.

To bask in its warmth, to let its energy lift us.  To soothe our sorrows and dispel our doubts.

Most of us go looking for it outside.  In nature, in temples and books.

When we recognize it, it is because we recognize it in ourselves.  If we didn't already have it, we couldn't recognize it and all hope would be lost.

But you do have it.  So uncover the clouds and let it shine.

Recognize it.
Clear away confusion, doubt and obscurations.
Continue with confidence and clarity. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

What is the Fabric of your life?

What is it that runs as a constant throughout your day?  What motivates the choices you make, your actions and the way you relate with the world and people around you?

Is it money.
Fame.
Power.
Status.
Security.

Is it to escape the pain.
Illness.
Depression.
Guilt.

Is it your family.
The people in your life.
Your faith.
Your responsibility.

It could be love.
Kindness.
Generosity.
Or the truth.

Whatever it is, it is important that you know how it shapes who you are.  Does it lend itself to happiness?  Does it promote selfishness and suffering, or does it promote tenderness and appreciation? Does it benefit your life and those around you?  

If the fabric that runs through your life doesn't promote your own well being or the welfare of others, change it.  If it does support your own well being and the benefit of others, then persevere in the practice.

Once you know your motivation, the only thing left to do is act.  Go.

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Finite Resource and an Invaluable Treasure

Time.

None of us have enough of it.  All of us fritter it away.

Do you think the last five years went too fast?  Do you think the next five are going to go slower?

Our life is extremely precious, our mind invaluable.  Can you imagine losing the treasure that is your mind?

The only way to make the most of this treasure is to use our time wisely.

Value mindfulness.
Practice being present.
Stop (some of) the nonsense.

In mindful presence, a world of opportunity naturally arises.  Clarity appears.  Insight dawns.  Kindness radiates.

You can use this precious treasure, this precious life and accomplish something meaningful.

No matter how much time you have left.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

You can't own Happiness.

Yet that is what we often try to do. 

Once we have it, we try to hold on, prevent it from slipping through our fingers.  But you can't own happiness, you can only be happy.

So rather than trying to hold onto something that is always fleeting, better to cultivate that which supports happiness.

Be mindful.
Appreciate simplicity.
Rest in openness.
Practice generosity.
Share love.
Lend a compassionate hand.
Respect others.  Everyone.
Look people in the eye.
Be fully present.

Here is to a happy New Year.