Thursday, October 27, 2011

Understanding silence in a whole new way

One of my favorites of the Desert Mothers also taught about viewing and practicing silence in a non-literal manner:
Being silent for me doesn't require being in a quiet place and it doesnt mean not saying words. It means, "receiving in a balanced, noncombative way what is happening." With or without words, the hope of my heart is that it will be able to relax and acknowledge the truth of my situation with compassion.
-- Sylvia Boorstein

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday life form blogging


Something about limits

Hmmm. Just give this one some thought, okay? Really ponder it:
It is the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive.
-- C.W. Leadbeater

Monday, October 24, 2011

That which is within

Well! The Nazarene church down the street on the corner has got another good one on its marquee:
"What is behind us or before us is tiny compared to what is within us."
Yes indeed. What we have within us is a fundamentally enlighted nature - although we're not completely awake to that.


Let us bring that wonderful potential into the arena of mindfulness. (It will make all the difference.)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What we can and can't do

A good metaphor in keeping with meditation principles:
“You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”
-- Jon Kabat-Zinn

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This is excellent ---

And I particularly like the definition of mindfulness that is offered.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Seeing through the nature of attachment

I've noticed over the years that many people strive to alleviate their suffering by gaining control over their minds. I assure you, dear readers, that this will never happen. Charlotte Joko Beck explains:
The process of practice is to see through, not to eliminate, anything to which we are attached. We could have great financial wealth and be unattached to it, or we light have nothing and be very attached to having nothing. Usually, if we have seen through the nature of attachment, we will have a tendency to have few possessions, but not necessarily. Most practice gets caught in this area of fiddling with our environments or our minds. "My mind should be quiet." Our mind doesn't matter; what matters is non attachment to the activities of the mind. And our emotions are harmless unless they dominate us - that is, if we are attached to them)---then they create dis-harmony for everyone. The first problem in practice is to see that we are attached. As we do consistent, patient [sitting practice] we begin to know that we are nothing but attachments; they rule our lives. But we never lose an attachment by saying it has to go. Only as we gain true awareness of its true nature does it quietly and imperceptibly wither away; like a sandcastle with waves rolling over, it just smoothes out and finally Where is it? What was it?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Being truly in touch with life

This is a basic teaching that is very beautifully expressed in these words by Thich Nhat Hanh:
Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Opening our eyes to the beauty of life

I want to call your attention to a little article entitled "Meditation Isn't For Me" by Dr. Reggie Ray. Here's a little bit of what it says:
Sometimes people say, “Well, you know, I don’t really meditate. That’s not my thing.” Well, is your thing to be yourself? Is your thing to discover the depths of your own being? Is your thing to open your eyes to the beauty of life? Well, then you’re a meditator, because that’s all meditation is. It’s being willing to sit down and stop watching television, so to speak. To be willing to sit down and put the Time Magazine over on the shelf or the Utne Reader or whatever your thing is. To be willing to be alone, to be willing to give your own state of being room to show itself…
This is something I tell my students:

“If you don’t put meditation on the top of your To Do list, it will be at the bottom, and it won’t happen.”

I find that if meditation is not the first priority of my day it won’t happen.
This is good stuff, people. Give it some serious thought. Please.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What causes unhappiness?

This man really understood what attachment (in the meditative sense of that word) is all about:

If you look carefully you will see that there is one thing and only one thing that causes unhappiness. The name of that thing is Attachment. What is an attachment? An emotional state of clinging caused by the belief that without some particular thing or some person you cannot be happy.... Here is a mistake that most people make in their relationships with others. They try to build a steady nesting place in the ever-moving stream of life.

-- Anthony de Mello

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday meditation picture blogging


A proper kind of detachment

Today on the blogs I'm sharing some excerpts from a book called Peace of Mind by Rabbi Joshua Loth Liebman that was published in 1946.

His use of the word detachment is really what we mean by non-attachment in today's meditation terminology.
By detachment I do not mean total flight from life, but rather the achievement of wise perspective -- what Spinoza called "looking at things under the aspect of eternity." Detachment gives us the understanding that we are born into a world that is larger and more important than we; that we are drops in an infinite sea; that we are marvelously distilled globules of Divine rain and dew; that we shall not last forever; that all of our priceless values are at the mercy of time, and that we cannot have both intensity of experience and permanency of duration.

By detachment I mean the ability to look at ourselves with a kind of laughing humor, a nodding acquaintance with our fragilities, a tipping of the hat, as it were, to the petulant angers which vanish as we recognize them. By detachment I mean also the daring to view our individual life in the greater setting of time and eternity; to taste beforehand with the tongue of imagination the defeats and the pains to which life commits us, and by so tasting to remove something of the gall and vitriol from the cup of defeat. Man has this gift of discounting both his own victories and his own calamities. Let us utilize it to the full, for our greater peace of mind.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Under the weather...

So sorry for the lack of posting. I'm down with a really bad cold, I'm sorry to say, and will be back to normal posting when I'm feeling a bit better.

Take care, everyone!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Sunday, October 02, 2011


As you can see, this point has been made by great thinkers and teachers since antiquity:

"The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival."

- Aristotle