Friday, October 31, 2008

Running Commentary

A . . . great distraction at times are so-called "running commentary" thoughts such as, "Now I am not thinking of anything," "Things are going very well now," "This is dreadful; my mind just won't stay still" and the like . . . . All such thoughts should simply be noted as "Thinking," and, as Huang Po says, just "dropped like a piece of rotten wood." "Dropped," notice, not thrown down. A piece of rotten wood is not doing anything to irritate you, but is just of no use, so there is no point in hanging on to it. . . . Nor is there any need to try to retrace the links in a chain of associated thoughts, nor to try to ascertain what it was that first started the chain. Any such impulse should itself be noted simply as "Thinking," and the mind should revert to the breathing. However badly things have just been going, one should take up again at the only place one can--where one is--and go on from there.

--Bhikkhu Mangalo, The Practice of Recollection

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Glurg is tired. He wants a new island. Glurg has been waiting a long time for a bus that is not coming. Because there is no public transit on Glurg's Island.

Glurg's cousin, Blurg, is busy. Oh so busy with this and that, and nothing really. But lots of it, and so Blurg doesn't notice that she has no transit.

Glurg is going to figure out how to find a new island. Glurg is tired.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Self-Discipline = Patience?


Discipline is a difficult word for most of us. It conjures up images of somebody standing over you with a stick, telling you that you're wrong. But self-discipline is different. It's the skill of seeing through the hollow shouting of your own impulses and piercing their secret. They have no power over you. It's all a show, a deception. Your urges scream and bluster at you; they cajole; they coax; they threaten; but they really carry no stick at all. You give in out of habit. You give in because you never really bother to look beyond the threat. It is all empty back there. There is only one way to learn this lesson, though. The words on this page won't do it. But look within and watch the stuff coming up--restlessness, anxiety, impatience, pain--just watch it come up and don't get involved. Much to your surprise, it will simply go away. It rises, it passes away. As simple as that. There is another word for self-discipline. It is patience.

--Henepola Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English
I will try this today to ward off chocolate cravings, and cookie ambushes, and kheer obsessions.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Buddhavision - in 3D

See everybody as the Buddha. When you are stuck in a traffic jam on the Los Angeles freeway, can you look at all the other drivers, particularly the ones who are weaving in and out of lanes, and see them as the Buddha? In a work situation, if you have a particularly cantankerous boss who you think is a complete idiot, can you look at that person as the Buddha? As a manager, can you see the person who is working for you as the Buddha?

--Gerry Shishin Wick Sensei, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review Summer 1996
from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book