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Archive for March, 2014

Tranquility of the Mind

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

SavorMeditation is the space deep in the ocean. When we meditate, we can experience the beauty of the bottom of the sea, where everything is calm and tranquil. On the surface there may be a strong current or many large waves, but the sea is not affected below. In its deepest depths, the sea is profound silence. When we start meditating, we try to reach our own the inner silence by staying on top of the water with our thoughts as a lifeline. However, if we can drop in a little deeper (into our heart center), we will notice that when the waves come from the outside world, we are not affected. Fear, doubt, worry and all the turmoil will just wash away, because inside us is absolute peace. Thoughts cannot trouble us, because our mind is all peace, all silence, and all oneness. Like fish in the sea, our thoughts jump and swim and go with the current of the water. So when we meditate, we can feel like the sea ─ going beneath the surface of agitation and into the place of tranquility.  We are that tranquility. Our mind is the top layer of the water and our heart is the infinite sea. Take a deep dive into the ocean of your mind.

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Hang Out With Peace

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Still PointMy Buddhist teacher often says, “If we can feel a little bit of peace, then we can feel a lot of peace.” He invites us to hang out with peace. “When you feel a little bit of peace, hang out there.” Peace arises naturally in our own mind. When we are quiet and pause, peace arises.

It is finding the still point within. The still point resides within and is always available. The question I have come ask myself daily is, “Am I listening to peace or am I listening to agitation?”

Ask yourself, are you hanging out with peace or agitation?

Take a moment and notice ─ at the still point, there is peace.

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Drop the Worry

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

We worry about fitting in

We worry about being liked

We worry about people being us angry at us

We worry that something tragic might happen

We worry about death, ours, theirs, everyone’s

We worry about life, ours, theirs, everyone’s

We worry ─ until we make a decision to not worry

Until we remember we are inter-beings

Until we believe we are connected

Until we feel the love that always resides within

Until we “drop it”

Then we remember

To be, to breathe, to exhale

We drop the worry

And then we remember ─ we belong


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What Kind of World Are You Creating?

Friday, March 7th, 2014

When you inhabit peace, you create more peace in the world.

When you listen to your heart, you create more quiet in the world.

When you live a joyful life, you create more joy in the world world.

When you invest in yourself, you create a trust fund in the world.

When you shine your light, you create a brighter world.

When you give love, you create a more loving world.

What kind of world are you creating?

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Sitting in Stillness ─ Engaging With Peace

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

The more I sit in meditation, the more I am reminded how much I want to stay fully engaged in my efforts to build a more just, equitable, and compassionate world while maintaining a sense of peace.

B&W Buddha QuoteI know I’m not alone in this view. All over the world there are movements underway in an effort to address inequalities and injustices. Is it possible to be fully engaged and peaceful?

Yes, it is. And the very simple practice of sitting each day for five minutes can help us with that. We can come to a place of inner peace before engaging in a movement to address the issue that moves us into action.

I also recommend a simple practice of bringing the attention to the breath. And then gently bringing our attention back to the breath, over and over, and over again. This practice  grounds us into our center ─ a place of inner peace that always resides within us.

I also came across the fourteen precepts of ‘Engaged Buddhism’ as set out by  Thich Nhat Hanh – here is a simplified version, but you can read the full version here.

1. Do not be bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones.

2 . Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Be ready to learn throughout your entire life and to observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times.

3. Do not force others to adopt your views.

4. Do not avoid suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Find ways to be with those who are suffering.

5 . Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry. Live simply and share time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need.

6 . Do not maintain anger or hatredAs soon as they arise, turn your attention to your breath in order to see and understand the nature of your hatred.

7. Do not lose yourself in your surroundings. Practice mindful breathing to come back to what is happening in the present moment. Be in touch with what is wondrous, refreshing, and healing both inside and around you.

8 . Do not utter words that can create discord and cause the community to break. Make every effort to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.

9 . Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people. Have the courage to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may threaten your own safety.

10. Do not use the Buddhist community for personal gain or profit, or transform your community into a political party.

11 . Do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature. Do not invest in companies that deprive others of their chance to live. Select a vocation that helps realize your ideal of compassion.

12 . Do not kill. Do not let others kill. Find whatever means possible to protect life and prevent war.

13 . Possess nothing that should belong to others.

14 . Do not mistreat your body. Learn to handle it with respect. 

It is easy to feel overwhelmed or defeated  or get caught up in the energy of anger without having any way to process it.

Return to the breath. Practice mindful breathing.

It was the only way I found to maintain a sense of grounding amidst a chaotic world. The world needs more peacefully engaged warriors of compassion.

Sit down. Sit still. Pay attention. And come back to your breath, again and again.

And as my teacher once told me, “When you don’t know what to do, have a cup of tea.”

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