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Archive for March 5th, 2012

Gratitude can only help you… and the other person… and your community.
Oh wait, yeah, and the world!!!

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Lojong Images

Love the first cartoon… doesn’t it just say everything about the path?

Cosmic Loti

Lojong is Tibetan for `training the mind’,
which is the best way to solve problems 

Lojong includes trying to transform adverse conditions into the spiritual path.
Or even a bad day into a better one, with a fairly decent motivation.

images from tumblr screenshots

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One Dharma Nashville

True Dharma Practice 
by Jack Kornfield

True dharma practice is a revolutionary activity, and you can’t do it in a comfortable way. You really have to challenge the whole identity of your life. But the strength that’s asked for is not necessarily the strength of eliminating the impurities of body and mind, or fighting against the defilements of greed, hatred, and delusion, the inner corruptions, though this language is very common in Theravadin, Tibetan, and Zen Buddhism. The strength that’s needed is the courage of heart to remain undefended and open, a willingness to touch the ten-thousand joys and the ten-thousand sorrows from our compassion, the deepest place of our being. This is a different kind of fearlessness, which requires as much or more passion and fire.

This is an excerpt from an interview with Jack Kornfield in Tricycle Magazine. For the full interview, go here.

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English: Photo of Holmes Run taken from one of...

Image via Wikipedia

I found this the other day when I was going through a folder of material from my days at hospice.  I might be doing a caregiver support group for a local hospice and I was looking for some resources.

The chaplain at my old hospice, a dear friend of mine, had given me this document that she had for many years and had shared with congregation members as well as hospice family members.

I hope it helps you if you have someone you love who is grieving and you don’t know how to support them.

If you are the one who is grieving, you may want to share this with the people around you.

The worst thing we can do is to say nothing and not support someone.  Even saying, “I don’t know what to say because I can’t imagine what you are going through” is better than hiding.  Can you take that risk?  Can you love someone that much???

Rules of Grief Etiquette

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Cover of "A Grief Observed"

Cover of A Grief Observed

The following is an excerpt:

No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.  I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid.  The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning.  I keep on swallowing.

At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed.  There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me.  I find it hard to take in what anyone says.  Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in.  It is so uninteresting.  Yet I want the others to be about me.  I dread the moments when the house is empty.  If only they would talk to one another and not to me.

There are moments, most unexpectedly, when something inside me tries to assure me that I don’t really mind so much, not so very much, after all.  Love is not the whole of a man’s life.  I was happy before I every met H.  I’ve plenty of what are called “resources.”  People get over these things.  Come I shan’t do so badly.  One is ashamed to listen to this voice but it seems for a little to be making out a good case.  Then comes a sudden jab of red-hot memory and all this “common sense” vanished like an ant in the mouth of a furnace.

On the rebound one passes into tears and pathos.  Maudlin tears.  I almost prefer the moment of agony.  These are at least clean and honest.  But the bath of self-pity, the wallow, the loathsome stick-sweet pleasure of indulging it–that disgusts me.  Even while I’m doing it I know it leads me to misrepresent H. herself.  Give that mood its head and in a few minutes I shall have substituted for the real woman a mere doll to be blubbered over.  Thank God the memory of her is still too strong (will it always be too strong?) to let me get away with it.

And no one ever told me about the laziness of grief.  Except at my job–where the machine seems to run on writing but even reading a letter is too much.  Even shaving.  What does it matter now whether my cheek is rough or smooth?  They say an unhappy man wants distractions–something to take him out of himself.  Only as a dog-tired  man wants an extra blanket on a cold night; he’d rather lie there shivering than get up and find one.  It’s easy to see why the lonely become untidy; finally, dirty and disgusting.

…an odd by-product of my loss in that I’m aware of being an embarrassment to everyone I meet.  At work, at the club, in the street, I see people, as they approach me, trying to make up their minds whether they’ll “say something about it” or not.  I hate it if they do, and if the don’t.  Some funk it altogether.  R. has been avoiding me for a week.  I like best the well-brought-up young men, almost boys, who walk up to me as if I were a dentist, turn very red, get it over, and then edge away to the bar as quickly as they decently can.  Perhaps the bereaved ought to be isolated in special settlements like lepers.

C.S. Lewis, Grief Observed

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