Monday, January 30, 2017

Clinging to Suffering?

     “The entire teaching of Buddhism can be summed up in this way:

      Nothing is worth holding on to. 

      If you let go of everything,


      Let go and all suffering will cease. The world will appear in its pristine self-existing nature, and you will experience the freedom of the Buddha.”

       Jack Kornfield. “Living Dharma. Teachings of Twelve Buddhist Masters.” Shambhala, 1996.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Feeling, Leaning Into with Curiosity the Physical Reality of Just This

     “Both heart and mind have to be involved in this journey toward liberation from the ‘self.’ The mind understands and concludes, connects and discerns, whereas the heart feels
     When our feelings become free of emotional reactions and dwell in love and compassion as their natural abode, our mind will be open to the great truths of universal significance. And the more we refer to these truths, the closer we will get to spiritual emancipation.”

       Ayya Khema. “Being Nobody, Going Nowhere. Meditations on the Buddhist Path.” Wisdom Publications, 2016. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Unfolding Mystery

     "Between the conscious and the unconscious, the mind has put up a swing: all earth creatures, even the supernovas, sway between these two trees, and it never winds down.
     Angels, animals, humans, insects by the million, also the wheeling sun and moon; ages go by, and it goes on and on....
     Everything is swinging: heaven, earth, water, fire,
and the secret one is slowly growing a body.

     Kabir saw that for fifteen seconds, and it made him a servant for life."          Kabir

     Pause for a moment to remember the precious moments in your life when you caught a glimpse of the deeper nature of your True Nature and reflect upon how those moments have inspired, guided, and shaped your life and identity...

     Give thanks


Thursday, January 12, 2017

What do you Need?

     What or whom do you reach for when you feel uneasy, uncertain, adrift, anxious, afraid, groundless, lost? 
     How often do you feel dys-ease? 
     How dependent are you on what / whom you reach for?
     Does what / whom you reach for actually cure - OR - just provide a bit of distraction from your dys-ease?

     Isn't it peace that we lack when we feel dys-ease. But peace cannot be acquired by grabbing onto people, things or experiences. We become peaceful as we let go of, become independent from, all the distractions we habitually reach for whenever we feel the 'anxious quiver of being.'

       "If you let go a little, you will have a little peace.
       If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.
       And if you let go completely, you will have complete peace.
"            Ajahn Chah

     Letting go of - learning not to take seriously - not to depend on - distractions, is not a dogma nor even a should. It's something to try for our self. If, after an honest trial period, it works for us, then it may be worth continuing.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Is Deep Change Optional?

      “How strange that the nature of life is change, yet the nature of human beings is to resist change. And how ironic that the difficult times we fear might ruin us are the very ones that can break us open and help us blossom into who we were meant to be.
      I have watched people choose growth over fear as they navigated some of life’s most difficult transitions. I have seen how it is possible to approach the challenges of real life with openness and optimism – even with wisdom and joy.”  
        Elizabeth Lesser. “Broken open. How difficult times can help us grow.” Villard, 2005.

     “Trust Emergence. With this instruction we are invited into the numinous but observable impermanence of all experience.
      To trust is to make the leap of faith required to enter this seething sea of change. Emergence refers to the process by which the complex things we experience arise spontaneously from underlying contributing factors.”

        Gregory Kramer. “Insight dialogue. The interpersonal path to freedom.” Shambhala, 2007.

     These concepts may be useful when considering making, or being forced to, undergo important changes:

change readiness:
psychological flexibility:
transformative learning:
successful aging:

     "There is an important link between deep change at the personal level and deep change at the organizational level. To make deep personal change is to develop a new paradigm, a new self, one that is more effectively aligned with today's realities. This can occur only if we are willing to journey into unknown territory and confront the wicked problems we encounter. This journey does not follow the assumptions of rational planning. The objective may not be clear and the path is not paved with familiar procedures. This tortuous journey requires that we leave our comfort zone and step outside our normal roles. In doing so, we learn the paradoxical lesson that we can change the world only by changing ourselves. This is not just a cute abstraction; it is an elusive key to effective performance in all aspects of life." 

       Robert E. Quinn. "Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within." Jossey-Bass, 1996.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Love & Fear

     "All cowardice comes from not loving, or not loving well, which is the same thing." 

     Ernest Hemingway's character in the 2011 movie "Midnight in Paris" 


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Alchemy - a poem

Vertical rainbow 
pouring down
Sound of silence
squeals so loud
Life-sucking forces
cracking bones
All one can do
is love

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Categories of "Happiness"

     "... happiness has long been proposed as the ultimate goal of human functioning. However, given the differences between the two conceptions of happiness ... the nature of that goal should be interpreted quite differently. 
     Hedonic enjoyment refers to the positive affects that accompany getting or having the material objects and action opportunities one wishes to possess or to experience. The proponents of ethical hedonism ... contended that such pleasure is the sole good and that the ‘good life’ consists of maximizing such experiences. 
     In contrast, eudaimonia has been defined not in terms of being pleased with one's life, but as the subjective experiences associated with doing what is worth doing and having what is worth having. Eudaimonistic ethics ... proposes that the goal of human functioning is to live in a manner consistent with one's daimon, or true self, where the daimon represents one's best potentials. ... Eudaimonia, as a subjective state, refers to the feelings present when one is moving toward self-realization in terms of the developing one's unique individual potentials and furthering one's purposes in living.
     ... the two conceptions of happiness are both positive subjective states experienced to greater extents when one is engaged in some activities than when engaged in others. They are not, however, independent constructs. When individuals consider the development of personal potentials important, and when they are engaged in activities yielding some success in realizing those potentials, then both hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia will be experienced. From a philosophical perspective, eudaimonia has been deemed a sufficient, but not a necessary, condition for hedonic enjoyment. There are many things that a person may wish to have or to do that bear no relationship to the development of individual potentials. Engaging in activities that yield some success in attaining goals unrelated to personal potentials would be expected to give rise to hedonic enjoyment but not to eudaimonia.

      The category of activities high on eudaimonia but low on hedonic enjoyment has been considered a theoretical null within philosophy, and it approached an empirical null in the research reported here."
     Waterman AS, Schwartz SJ, Conti R. "The implications of two conceptions of happiness (hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia) for the understanding of intrinsic motivation." Journal of Happiness Studies 2008; 9: 41-79.

     This paper describes researchers' concise, easy-to-define, and hence necessarily limited concept of happiness.
     Completely overlooked by such research is the aim & fruit of Buddhist meditation practice: "cultivation of disenchantment and dispassion, with 'peace that passeth understanding'" - a qualitatively different category of 'happiness' that can only be experienced & appreciated personally.