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Archive for May 14th, 2012

The source of us all

Beautiful! Simply beautiful!

Life is but a dream!

In my travels I spent time with a great yogi.
Once he said to me.

“Become so still you hear the blood
flowing through your veins.”

One night as I sat in quiet,
I seemed on the verge
of entering a world inside so vast
I know it is the source of all of us.

— Mirabai – Love Poems from God – The Great Yogi

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One of my favorite blogs… keep up with Maia’s blog and you won’t be sorry!!!!

The Jizo Chronicles

For my longtime readers, I miss seeing you here… for my newer readers, just to get you up to speed, I don’t post very regularly on The Jizo Chronicles anymore. I am focusing my energy these days on my other blog, The Liberated Life Project, as well as on the work I do as Upaya Zen Center’s director of community outreach and development.

I’m having a rare quiet night so thought I’d give this blog a little attention and share some news from the world of socially engaged Buddhism that’s come across my desk this past month:

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Project Midnight

Great reminder!

istopforsuffering

I read this quote a little while ago, and it has really stayed with me:

 

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.
Og Mandino

 

Starting today, I am going to put this into practice.

I will post again with the results of my midnight project 🙂

 

Do all things with love
Og Mandino

Image

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this is a great authority on mindfulness. if you don’t check out his blog regularly, you are missing out.

Mindfulbalance

Whatever our external circumstances, in the end happiness or unhappiness depends on the mind. Consider that the one companion whom we stay with, continually, day and night, is our mind. Would you really want to travel with someone who endlessly complains and tells you how useless you are, how hopeless you are; someone who reminds you of all the awful things that you have done? And yet for many of us, this is how we live – with this difficult-to-please, always-pulling-us-around, tireless critic that is our mind. It entirely overlooks our good points, and is genuinely a very dreary companion.

The point is that when our mind is filled with generosity and thoughts of kindness, compassion, and contentment, the mind feels well. When our mind is full of anger, irritation, self-pity, greed, and grasping, the mind feels sick. And if we really inquire into the matter, we can see that…

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Befriend your fear

Check out this video of Jack Kornfield

Everything Matters

A teaching with Jack Kornfield and Catherine Ingram.

This video is in keeping with my practice of being with all that arises within. Fear here can be translated to “anxiety,” which is the clinical term for fear which everyone at one time or another experiences with or without a diagnosis of some sort of anxiety “disorder.” Psychiatry pathologizes much of the normal human experience and fear and/or anxiety often referred to in Buddhism as such. Normal. There are techniques to learn how to be with these normal feelings, whether they’re very intense or not.

Catherine refers quite explicitly about those of us with traumatic histories that might include abuse etc. This way of being with ourselves can help heal most anyone.

The video footage is awful — the soundtrack isn’t in synch with the speakers. I suggest listening without watching. That allowed me to be with the message more effectively.

___

For a great…

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Interesting post…

Evolutionary_Mystic Post

William Richards, PhD, reported clinical research that’s now underway at Johns Hopkins University. This revolutionary study is looking at the ways in which psilocybin is being used to help patients who are in a terminal phase of life. He described the ethical implications of this work as people explore what the dying process means to them within the framework of altered states of consciousness. One of the primary objectives of the study is to reduce a person’s anxiety and fear, brought on in part by a culture that does not explain or face death well.

A similar program involving assisted palliative care treatment for cancer related anxiety is underway at New York University. Jeffrey Guss, co-principle investigator and director of psychedelic psychotherapy training at NYU, shared details of the psychotherapeutic model his group is using and described how this cutting-edge work offers an uneasy bridge to the mainstream academic…

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One of my favorite teachers… If you have not read his work, please check it out.

One Soul, One Love, One Heart

– An excerpt from an interview with Ramananda John E. Welshons

NILS MONTAN: Can you tell us a bit about the most important influences on your thinking, and how your spiritual path has evolved?

RAMANANDA JOHN WELSHONS: Wow! That’s a BIG question!

I would have to say that the first big spiritual event in my life was being miraculously healed from Polio in 1953 when I was three years old. That was – and continues to be – a profound influence. The doctors had said that my case was “hopeless” – that there was a 99 percent chance I would die. But my father was a student of metaphysical Christianity – teachers like Emmett Fox, Norman Vincent Peale, and Mary Baker Eddy – and he wasn’t going to take that lying down. So my parents asked all of their family and friends and business associates to pray. Within a few…

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Death will come whether you are prepared or not.

Take heed.

Death waits for no one.

There is no time to say, wait, I need to add more lipstick and fix my hair.

There is not usually time for you to call that long-lost family member or that 7th grade Math teacher, or the one that got away, .,.

We don’t know when death will come for us.

All we know is that death will come.

Right now, I know a family that is going to through a painful death process.  Family feuds were not dealt with, people’s needs to control not put aside, estranged relationships strained even more.

Everyone is so isolated, from each other, from friends, from the person who is dying.

And I actually think that the person who is dying may be the person who is blessed because of not having an awareness of this consensual reality anymore.  That person may or may not be spared some of the pain.  My guess, is that some of it is being processed during those last breaths.

In my years working with hospice, I’ve seen amazing things happen — some truly healing and magic occurred and usually it was in those moments when we got out of our own way, let go of the ego we are so bound to, and just allowed ourselves to be free and to be love.

What extraordinary pain we put ourselves through.  Living can be hard enough.  And the process of dying can be painful.  Why would we want to add more to it?

Death comes whether you are prepared or not.

So I ask myself, as I sit on the cushion. . .

what’s left?

What’s still undone?

What do I still need to accomplish?

Have a touched lives?

Does my work matter?

Have I made sure that my parents know how much I love them?

Have I taken enough time to laugh with friends?

What regrets are there, if any, and do I know how to rectify them?

Am I wasting time in a life I don’t feel like I have control over?  Don’t want to live?

Are there relationships that don’t contribute to my greatest good?

Are there relationships where I don’t feel like I can continue to be loving and compassionate?

Death will come whether I am prepared or not.

I have no control over the where, the how, the why, the when. . .

It’s so easy to be taken off guard by the little things like going out to a car that won’t start. . .

Imagine what it must be like to “wake up” and realize that life is over. . . that whatever you have believed or not believed is where you find yourself.

We can sometimes live too cautiously, spending time planning, living in a bubble, not taking chances, etc.

Does a life of safety make up for a life unloved because of fear or control we have given away?

If I am tired and have things to do, I will often ask myself, “If I don’t talk to my parents (or someone else) tonight, and I woke up to a call in the middle of the night, would I be okay with that?”

Sometimes the answer is that I need to care for myself so I can be compassionately present when I am interacting with the other.

Other times, I know deep down inside that yes, I am tired but it is more important to reach out and to hold the other person close to my heart, because of the fragility of our existence.

Death will come whether I am prepared or not.

So if I don’t know the when, where, how, why, etc and death won’t wait, don’t I want to live so that when it does come, I can breathe in and relax into the uncoiling of my self or spirit from this physical world?

Don’t I want to know that I lived to recognize that which I gave birth for and that lovingkindness and compassion, or at least holding the intention of those essential ways of being, is what guided my life?

This body will no longer serve me one day.  Nor will my wealth, acquired knowledge, or possessions.

But the manner in which I rest my head, and follow my breath, and focus single-pointedly on the present will be all that I have.

Can I strive daily to make that my practice?

Death will come whether you or I are prepared or not.

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