The Dalai Lama

I’m getting ready for bed. I’ll be up early in the morning. To see the Dalai Lama at Loyola University.

There is hardly a person in this world who I admire more.

How fortunate we all are to have him as a teacher with us today. By his choice.

How fortunate I am to be able to sit in his presence tomorrow.

With those thoughts.

I look forward to relaying his message.

Much love.

Doing the Milarepa Dance

I just finished reading Lordro Rinzler’s new book, The Buddha Walks into a Bar: A Guide to Life for a New Generation.

And it worked! Here’s how.

I sat down to meditate this morning. I lit the incense. I rang the rin gong. But I wasn’t settled. I had a restless sleep. My mind wouldn’t quiet. Issues were churning.

So. Sitting on my cushion at 7 this morning.

I found myself looking around the room at all the books I’ve collected over the years. In the search for? In the search for. Clarity.

Some of the books:

The Kindness HandbookStart Where You ArePracticing Peace in Times of WarClassics of PhilosophyRuling Your WorldSmile at FearHow to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful LifeThe Courage to Feel

Oh. My. Goodness.

It’s not just me! Look! Look at all these books. Everyone is searching.

Ping. Clarity hit me.

Everyone is trying to figure “it” out. And if “they” are not trying to figure “it” out, then they’ve made themselves so busy, or sedated to understand the need.

The need to understand that we are all basically good. The need to understand that what is messing with our inherent goodness is that many of us are so confused.

And so. This morning. Two things from my cushion.

One. Get over yourself Anne! Let it go!

And two.

The Buddha Walks into a Bar is an excellent book that teaches and expounds upon much of what I have been searching for. It offers tremendous tools and insights on how to find clarity and practice compassion.

Rinzler says in the introduction:

You don’t have to change you. You are great. This book is just about how to live your life to the fullest.

I’ll offer what I know, but the rest is up to you. It is you who has to go out and live your life with mindfulness and compassion. You already know this. After all, true wisdom comes from within you. What this book provides is a series of tools to access that wisdom. We’ll get into simple practices, advice, and teaching that can help you align yourself with your personal moral compass, the dignity of your own heart.

So if you want to be more in the “now,” read this book. If you want to change the world, read this book. If you want to be a meditator and still enjoy a good drink read this book.

I am more confident than ever, that we can change the world. This little book will help. If you read it.

Planting Seeds

Sparkle

This morning I’m sitting by my pond in the hot March sun (LOL!) listening to the waterfall and the birds. Watching the Koi gliding and swirling, together in a pack and then off on their separate errands. Sparkle the biggest (she’s a bit like a parade float compared to the others) leading the way.

I’m reading and writing. Thinking, this is nice. This is a perfect morning.

And then I started thinking, who am I? Who am I to be sitting here enjoying sitting here. Shouldn’t I be struggling and striving and worrying. Shouldn’t I be earning my space on this earth. Why do I deserve to be sitting here, on a Wednesday morning happy as a lark?

Further, who am I to be blogging? To be writing? Who am I?

Well.

Here’s the thing. Here’s my daily meditation.

May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I be safe. May I live with ease.

Wow! Ok. I’m sitting here this morning thinking. Shoot. If that meditation isn’t working after all.

And then I continue with the meditation to include my family. And then my friends And then my not friends.

Until finally.

May all beings be happy. May all beings be healthy. May all beings be safe. May all beings live with ease.

Saying this daily meditation. Writing this blog. Is like planting seeds. So many are skeptical, “I’m afraid that won’t work.” “I’m afraid they won’t come up.”

Sitting by my pond this morning, happy, healthy, safe, with ease. It’s working. Just as I knew it would.

Being Brave

Hello again! I’ve missed being here. I’m not sure how nine days of 2012 have passed so quickly. But here we are. The boys are back in school. The tree is down. And most of the decorations are back in the attic.

And so. I’ve made a resolution for the new year. I never do that. But here we are. And I’ve done it.

I’ve been listening to a retreat given by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Ani Pema Chodron and Acharya Adam Lobel titled, Being Brave: Transforming our World. These are teachings from the Shambhala tradition of Buddhism which emphasizes not just reflection but action.

The beginning of this retreat asks us to do two things. To be brave and to reflect on our basic goodness.

The Sakyong challenges us to contemplate our inherent goodness. He notes that it is very easy to doubt it. And the more we can explore, and talk about it, and contemplate, maybe instead of feeling that we are not worthy or good, or that humankind is selfish and flawed, that if we find our goodness we can create a better community locally and globally. We can take 2012 and make our world better. That is pretty awesome in every way you can define the word “awesome.”

So that’s my resolution. To be brave. To reflect on my basic goodness, and the inherent goodness of humankind. Because I think that if I do that and if we do that, it will really make a difference. So. Finally. First time ever. I’ve made a resolution.

And further, for me, and the scary part of this resolution, is the part where I feel like I need to find my brave. To put my money where my resolution is. And that is that I want to do it here together. I’m hoping this can be interactive and that I can bring thoughts and ideas to the page that are worthy of reflection and debate. That’s kind of scary for me. And for sure a challenge.

So. Thanks for bearing with me and joining in.