Saturday, September 29, 2007

People We'd Rather Avoid...

Metta (lovingkindness) is to be extended towards all beings and all manifestations, yet most of our difficulties lie with people. It is much easier to love birds, dogs, cats, and trees than it is to love people. Trees and animals don't answer back, but people do, so this is where our training commences. . . .
Sometimes people find they don't feel anything while practicing metta meditation. That is nothing to worry about; thoughts aimed often enough in the right direction eventually produce the feelings. All our sense contacts produce feelings. Thoughts are the sixth sense, and even if we are only thinking metta, eventually the feeling will arise. It is one means of helping us to gain this heart quality, but certainly not the only one.
In our daily activities all of us are confronted with other people and often with those whom we would rather avoid. These are our challenges, lessons and tests. If we consider them in that manner we won't be so irritated by these experiences. . . . When we realize that such a confrontation is exactly what we need at that moment in order to overcome resistance and negativity and substitute metta for those emotions, then we will be grateful for the opportunity.
- Ayya Khema, When the Iron Eagle Flies From Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What I learned today

Juggling clubs do not dent the ceiling.
or the floor.
When you juggle clubs, you should do it outside.
and not under a low awning.
Just because you can jugglie ONE club, does not mean you can juggle TWO. or more.
Toxic situations give a wonderful opportunity to develop patience, and compassion.
until you can implement Plan B. or Plan C.
Sometimes Plan B is very slow, and that gives you a chance to develop patience.
Happy endings are not all they're made out to be.
Happy middles are the best of all.
You can't really be a superhero without a cape.
and lycra.
A bicycle is 'mans best friend'. Dogs die. Bikes are forever.
If you're kind to someone, you'll feel happier inside. all day.
even if they didn't deserve it.
You can't have too many flutes.
or juggling balls.
or patience.
especially with yourself.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Garbage in, Roses out...

Looking Deeply
Garbage can smell terrible, especially rotting organic matter. But it can also become rich compost for fertilizing the garden. The fragrant rose and the stinking garbage are two sides of the same existence. Without one, the other cannot be. Everything is in transformation. The rose that wilts after six days will become a part of the garbage. After six months the garbage is transformed into a rose. When we speak of impermanence, we understand that everything is in transformation. This becomes that, and that becomes this. Looking deeply, we can contemplate one thing and see everything else in it. We are not disturbed by change when we see the interconnectedness and continuity of all things. It is not that the life of any individual is permanent, but that life itself continues.
-Thich Nhat Hanh, in Present Moment, Wonderful Moment

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The First Step...

The first step... is to cut off the chain of associated concepts and words that flood the mind, holding it with recollection on the present, on what is. Thus, in a famous verse, the Buddha used to say,
Don't chase after the past,
Don't seek the future,
The past is gone
The future hasn't come
But see clearly on the spot
That object which is now
While finding and living in
A still, unmoving state of mind
- Bhikkhu Mangalo, The Practice of Recollection From Everyday Mind, a Tricycle book edited by Jean Smith