Everything… today.

fleetingly forever

fleetingly forever

Contained within a moment exists all that ever was and all that ever will be. How can it be any other way? Just as the Big Bang contained all that ever could exist, it is that same right now, billions of years later.

In that moment, billions of years ago, there was no time, no space, no matter… vast emptiness… yet it certainly was not nothingness. It was everything-ness! Lol. And perhaps that emptiness wasn’t vast, but the opposite… tinier than tiny, lol. In fact, size didn’t exist. There was just emptiness. The fullest emptiness ever, lol.

That moment, it was timeless, and, by definition, it penetrates now. It transcends now. It is now.

The speed of light is the cosmic speed limit, yet within a Universe that began timeless, that limit doesn’t apply… it cannot apply.

Feeling one with all that is… feeling interconnected with all that is….. these are not airy-fairy, hippy-dippy words. They are not head-in-the-clouds, out of touch with ‘reality’ words. Yes, they can be, and perhaps they frequently are used in that manner, but when purpose and intent fall away from these words… these words ring true…ring Truth.

Now, I am not trying to say that science proves transcendental wisdom, that physics proves Buddhist philosophy.

Seeking truth requires honesty. It also requires courage… courage to temporarily let go of our deepest beliefs and see what we see remains.

A soft heart is not a weak heart… its softness actually is its strength. Let’s melt our hardened hearts a bit, let go of what we think is ‘protecting’ them and see what happens. What Truth emerges today? It has been patient for billions of years… is today a day for its freedom? For our freedom?

Advertisements

My Buddhism

There is no other shore, just let our hearts open and flow.

There is no other shore, just let our hearts open and flow.

I recently saw an article about how Buddhism needs to come of age, so to speak… that the ancient teachings that the Truth of the Dharma, of Buddha nature, being beyond the realm of human comprehension, should be abandoned…. so that Buddhism can become more accessible… more understandable.. more real and less airy-fairy….

I remember seeing the Dali Lama speak, and he talked about how some Buddhist cosmology should be updated if science indicates Truth is otherwise. This made me think of Buddhist stories I read about how certain humans could live over 200 years old and how some humans can perform supernatural feats such as flying and making rivers flow backwards with merely their thoughts.

Some Buddhists believe these stories, some don’t. Some learn from them, some are hindered.

Now, one needs to understand that Buddhism didn’t have any Sutras, scriptures, until many centuries after the Buddha died. It was an unwritten religion, for many hundreds of years. Of course, over that span of time, many legends and embellishments occurred. Yet, it is remarkable how much of the core of Truth could not be distorted.

The Truth is truly indescribable. It does Buddhism no injustice to continue to express the utter complete beauty of the Buddha’s enlightenment. It was, it is, magical, transformative, the stuff of legends, the origin of legends contained within a legend itself. It should never be discounted in an attempt to be more accessible. If it was… what is it that one makes more accessible? It is weak, incomplete and, it will never survive. It is like adding super charged fertilizer to a plant, which may shoot up in record growth, but it is poisoned, and has but only one outcome. Death.

Now, all things end in death, this is true. But the Dharma cannot die.. How can this be if all things end in death? The is part of the magic. All things change, all things are in flux and will fade away… so how can something remain among that? This is why the Way, Buddha nature, enlightenment, are described as indescribable.

Like Zen koans, paradoxes …

A very famous one is ‘What is the sound of one hand clapping?’. The question doesn’t make sense. But it has an answer. How can an answer make sense if the question doesn’t?

Now, the Buddha taught through expedient means, upaya. So, it could be argued that he only taught to the level at which a person was receptive…so he was always watering down his understanding!

But he never said Buddha nature was less than it was.

Enlightenment occurs in an instant. Yes, we can help prepare our minds, our hearts, through practice, to unfold ourselves to Buddha nature..which can be seen to be a long gradual way…. Yet, no matter how far we travel, the other shore is never reached until the boat crashes the bank and we fall onto the ground. Sometimes, our boats crash without trying, though, in truth, this is unlikely. Most people do not win the lottery, lol! Sometimes we reach the other shore but fail to dock and the current pulls us back.

These are just words, and they fail. Our hearts are already there. They never left…. melting away the scars, the bars, the things that bind it tight…this can only happen in a flash, and oh, the outpouring of Love… it can not be stopped. The whole Universe flows out. It can be no other way.

Our mind…. they almost always can not believe this. It is like a fairy tale… it is irrational blind faith they tell us…. and we cannot outplay their defence with words. Words will make us look stupid to our minds.

Love looks weak so often. Love has no words so its mute. It has no arms, so it never fights back. It takes a beating and doesn’t talk back. Of course it’s weak! So it may seem.

Let us not be fooled by Love. Melt our hearts, see what comes out… is that weak? When the Universe, the entire cosmos flows with us, can there be anything stronger?

Did the Buddha fear death? How could he after his Enlightenment? He was a human, a man who had a wife and child. He had lots of power and money. He gave it all up and melted his heart fully and the whole Universe smiled. He lived until he was 80 or so and simply taught of this Love. No fairy tale, no airy-fairy…Just a person… and what a person he was!

Growth

Out of past trauma, strong new directions can grow towards the sky

Reborn without dying. 

Sometimes we have horrific traumatic experiences. People sometimes may quote the saying “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger!”. While that is very optimistic, it is hardly true! lol. Sometimes it may be though, and there certainly is some wisdom in the saying. We can learn to transform horror into something positive…. it doesn’t mean the trauma is removed, but it means it can be acknowledged, accepted, transcended even perhaps… and through this acceptance of what is, we can use that as a tool of growth… Often, we feel we are not allowed to make something positive out of a horrible, horrific thing. It just feels wrong, like we are betraying the emotions we ought to feel… like it almost tries to discount that experience and make it something it wasn’t. But it doesn’t have to be like this. We can learn to accept horror, evil, and suffering for what it is, to not allow it to consume our hearts and make it rotten. We lose going that way, and stop growing, and the thing we may despise, actually wins over us. Yes, there is pain, and suffering, which may be overbearing, but we also can use that, turn it upside down and allow a space for growth to occur. Take back what was taken.

Let go of the clinging that suffering has on our hearts, the burden is much heavier than we ever realize, and once we simply let it go, our hearts beat strong again, and free, full of love, however broken we had become.

In an instant our hearts can be healed… our deep love can be restored. Yes, scars exist, pain will come again, healed wounds can be reopened….. of course, but we always have the power to be the surgeon and heal ourselves. No one else can do it for us, so it is our power to take the scalpel. Others certainly can help us find the operating room, tell us where to cut and when to stitch, but only we can do the operating, and only we know truly where the wound is.

Out of past trauma, strong new directions can grow towards the sky

Out of past trauma, strong new directions can grow towards the sky

Let the tears flow and love swell….

Luna Fish

LunaFish. She wasn't always looking this grumpy!

LunaFish. She wasn’t always looking this grumpy!

One of my cats had been suffering with an illness that was not going to get any better. She was slowly starving to death and my wife and I decided that we should not let her suffer any longer. What a horrible position to be in, to decide in taking a life. What a worse place for my cat to be in.

Luna-Fish was her name. She was born in Woodstock, New York and flew over when my wife and I moved to England. She was your typical ‘scared-e-cat’. She got spooked by any abrupt noise or movement. Plastic bags and guitars were the worse!

Now, I know cats can’t speak, lol, but she was telling me it was her time. She asked in her own way. She knew. The day the vets came to the house (She was such a gentle and skittish kitty, that we wanted to put her to sleep at her home, to be as comfortable as possible), that day, I had her on my bed. My wife and I took turns sitting with her while the other watched our kids. Luna had spent the past few weeks living under the bed. She loved under there, but it had become the only place she stayed. I crawled underneath to pull her out. She wasnt happy about it, but she also didn’t really stop me either. I put her on top of the bed. And we just sat. And sat. I cried, oh bucket loads of tears. Luna understood.

My mother-in-law took over watching the kids, so my wife and I spent some time together with Luna. She was in constant pain, but now, at that time, she seemed to let go of her suffering, she was, well, relieved. And she was so strong, so brave. She laid up against my leg and rested her head, her chin on my thigh. It was complete gratefulness and love. She was ready. It was horrible yet beautiful. My wife reminded me to be happy for Luna, not sad, but my heart poured tears.

I miss Luna. Where did she go? I don’t know but I wish her well and thank her for being part of my family. She was such a special cat.

 

How did we get here?

Buddha

Buddha

How did we get to where we are? Sometimes we may wake up one day and realize we are in a situation we never expected or planned. Sometimes thats a good realization, sometimes it might be a nightmare. We might rehash in our minds decisions we made, and get upset with ones we feel were very bad ones. Why did I do that

It doesn’t matter. Only through the good and the bad of our past are we where we are now. Maybe we hate where we are now, maybe we love it. It doesn’t matter. 

Pema Chödrön has taught: “Start Where You Are.”

I love this teaching. Where else can we start? lol. We can’t have a do-over with our past. We can’t act in the future. Starting right here, right now, is all there is. So, lets drop all our baggage, both good and bad, and start here, right now. 

This is why a drunk man who wants to hear the Dharma, with a pure heart, is already more advanced than someone who has studied all the Sutras. 

“Oh, i will start meditating tomorrow, oh, i will wait until my flu is gone.. oh, i will wait until all my bills are paid….”.. Right now, even if in debt, drunk, filled with flu or disease, surrounded by chaos and being pulled by different people in different directions… what better time to practice the Dharma? Or not even Dharma, just to practice living our lives, not putting them on hold. Sure, there is suffering, and Enlightenment doesn’t pay your bills or rid you of bad influences, but if we accept our lives, good or bad, and accept ourselves, to ourselves, in our heart, we can start to feel some freedom, and tears may flow down our cheeks from the release .. the release of the grip on our hearts, the grip we hold ourselves. Lets let go our our grip, our hearts will pump fuller, free-er and sing our own song. 

Listen to your song, it is absolutely beautiful, glorious and only wants to make you smile, along with all beings.

Vision

Earth Mother

Earth Mother

Laying on our Earth Mother, together our spirits swirl. Head to foot, foot to head, the white Buffalo girl tramples around us, circling us like the moth to the fire. Drawn in, the pounding of dirt and grass covers us in dust and only the sound remains. Louder and louder, yet no fear pervades. The pounding merges our heart beats, together with the bison and our Mother.

The Strength overcomes our emotions, the strength of deep love. Tears stream down as Love pours up into us, and out again so the whole world shines.

How many times has this magic happened before these lives we have, our lives? How many times will it happen again?

Coming to, dust has settled and sounds disappeared. The bright Moon shines down as the Buffalo lies between us and our heartbeats flow together through her white pure being and the rocks below.

 

Thank you my ancestors for this teaching you have shown me.

Violence .. our friend?

Violence is, well, violent... but can we see a way to transform even horrible evil into a path towards compassion? Violence is best to be avoided, but if it is there... we must work with what we got... How will our work proceed? More violence? Nah, thats sucks. Deep inside your heart, you know what to do. Love.

Violence is, well, violent… but can we see a way to transform even horrible evil into a path towards compassion? Violence is best to be avoided, but if it is there… we must work with what we got… How will our work proceed? More violence? Nah, that sucks. Deep inside your heart, you know what to do. Love.

Bodhidharma sits and sits year after year, alone in a cave. Some children, throw rocks at him and one lands right on his head.

BAM. He awakens and the whole Earth resonates.

So, these children…. what karma is birthed from their action? Hitting people with rocks in their heads is not good action. However, Bodhidharma’s enlightenment was dependent on it.

All buddhas realize enlightenment through circumstances. Some circumstances can be self-generated, such as the decision to sit in meditation, but most are not….

When sitting in meditation, do we get upset at the sounds of cars honking their horns, or of people shouting outside? Do we feel it is disturbing our focus and our progress?

If so, take that thought, of feeling disturbed and focus on it. Does a buddha try to block out all outside circumstances?

Are there even outside circumstances? Did you not plan with the Universe from the beginning of time to have those car horns blare into your ears? Of course you did! Embrace and be grateful for this wonderful car-horn teaching! Nothing is better.

So, these children who hit Bodhidharma in the head with a rock….. Their intentions were selfish and mean, but the outcome was the bringing of Ch’an to China and then Zen to Japan. So, a bad intention and a bad action yielded a flourishing of compassion.

What can this teach us? That all things, good or bad, or even evil, can be our teachers, and can feed compassion and make it grow. So, all our enemies can be our best of friends.

If it wasn’t Bodhidharma in that cave, but someone else who was not compassionate. the result could have been totally different. It is possible that the person could have been a murderer on the run, and when he got hit in the head, all bloodied and concussed, he could have turned and ran after the children and killed them.

What would be the karmic footprint then? Would the children have ‘lost’ the good karma of facilitating the enlightenment of a person and ‘gained’ the bad karma of facilitating their own murders?

All karma’s are interwoven and we all are playing on the same team. Team Universe! So, if someone hits us in the head with a rock, do we allow the inherent rage to consume us or can we learn to see the action for what it truly is. I am not saying we should not defend ourselves from physical violence, but so very often we can turn violence into a double compassionate act with how we react… If we let the violence be our teacher, we will see deeper into the true nature of ourselves and the Universe and we also help generate positive karma for our attacker… after all, we are all in this together, we are all teammates.

Interfaith Kindness

Wonderful. Now this is news that should be highlighted!

Kindness Blog

February 2011, Egypt: Christians join hands to protect Muslims as they pray during Cairo protests [First two photos]

christians protecting muslims

Christians Protecting Muslims At Prayer During Egypt Protest


October 2013, Pakistan : Muslims form Human chain to protect Christians during Lahore mass [Next two photos]

Human chain formed to protect Christians during Lahore mass

200-300 people formed a human chain outside the St Anthony’s Church adjacent to the District Police Lines at the Empress Road

View original post

Strength

Strength

Strength

Strength … It is expressed in many ways…

Sometimes it is part of the form, part of the design… A tree needs strength to reach for the sun, so it has a strong trunk, a strong base.

However, the most impressive strength sometimes comes from places not expected, from forms not designed, not intended to provide strength.

We all have a strength inside us that comes from somewhere not expected, something that only shows itself when faced with no other choice. Sometimes circumstances put us in this situation, sometimes we can guide ourselves to find this strength.

We can grow and emerge from the strength from deep within, down below.

We can grow and emerge from the strength from deep within, down below.