This Just In

The Sakyong is following me on Twitter. I have 80 followers and he is one of them.

I immediately thought to myself.

Watch what you say!

Right? If the Sakyong is following. You want to be responsible! You want to be relevant. You want to be real. And you don’t want to post any shit.

And so.

On my Facebook page. The Dalai Lama just posted:

My dedication is to serve the 7 billion human beings on this planet and the other creatures with whom we share it. If you can, help and serve others, but if you can’t at least don’t harm them; then in the end you will feel no regret.

Do no harm.

That is my charge. If I can do nothing more, and I hope I can.

I will do no harm.

I am so blessed to be followed.

No regrets.

Laughing Like the Buddha

Sitting on the patio. Under the umbrella. It’s hot. It’s windy. The glare from the sun makes it a strain to see my computer screen. The flies are biting my legs even though I’m burning some stick of something that is supposed to make them not.

I am a bit uncomfortable. Ok. More than a bit with these flies! I should be annoyed. Irritable. Angry even.

Why? What will my anger achieve? Will it remove the flies? Stop the sun from shining? The wind from blowing?

I’m burning the stick. I’m under the umbrella. I’m mostly protected from the crazy wind. I’m doing all I can to manage the elements. Now what is my choice? Get pissed?

Or.

To accept them. To know that if I continue to work outdoors right at this moment. I’m going to be a little bit on the uncomfortable side.

So. How about Laughing Like the Buddha instead?

I’m currently reading Healing Anger: The Power of Patience from a Buddhist Perspective, by the Dalai Lama.  Shantideva teaches that we can overcome our angry ways by practicing patience and tolerance. A primary step to this practice? To accept that life is full of discomforts and inconveniences.  Suffering is an everyday occurrence.

But we can overcome it.

Just like Max’s baseball team did last night.

They got run over in an unpretty game that was made even less pretty by a gusty 95 degree dust filled wind relentlessly pelting players and fans alike. Uncomfortable conditions and results to say the least.

How were our boys after the game you wonder? Hot. Dirty. Unhappy with the loss for sure. Wanting to have played a better game no doubt.

They came off the field a little draggy. Until. They spotted the towers of pizza boxes waiting for them under the pavilion.

Pizza! Awesome! Happy Happy Boys!

They were all laughing like little buddhas spattered with sauce and infield dust.

The power of pizza! What our children teach us!

And no worries. They were back on the practice diamond this afternoon. Working hard to meet their next opponent. Ready for whatever comes their way.

To Foster Non-Violence We Must Achieve Inner Peace

We can foster non-violence by educating ourselves and our children in the ways of compassion, empathy, and inner peace.

With affection.

With urgency.

We can train ourselves and our children in “wise selfishness.”

In the words of a semiretired simple Buddhist monk, “If you don’t take care of yourself, who will?”

Being in the presence of the Dalai Lama is to feel hope. Wisdom. Compassion. Inspiration. Humor. Humility. And again. Urgency.

He presents himself as a friend. An equal. A grandpa.

Who is on a mission to save the world from itself. By teaching how to achieve inner peace. And thereby. A kinder humanity. Kinder government. Kinder world.

Endeavoring to address the crowd without the use of his ever-present friend and translator, his heavily accented English can be difficult to follow. You must listen very closely to his words and watch his expression and demeanor.

In fact. It’s his demeanor that is most heartwarming. He is utterly congenial. Waving and smiling and bowing with his hands in prayer. His generosity, graciousness and humility was ever present in the way he rushed to ensure every person who was onstage received a white scarf. Each recipient slightly bows as His Holiness drapes it over their shoulders. And then he bows again to them. This incredible blessing bestowed with such genuine humility and kindness.

What an honor! I so wished I were on stage to receive a white scarf!

And so.

The morning discussion was dedicated to nonviolence and its role in creating a better world.

Three incredibly poised and brilliant 17 year olds presented their winning essays on the topic.

Such a wonderful job they did afterward the Dalai Lama came to the microphone and stated, “These people already know these things. They don’t need my talk.”

Indeed. But the rest of us certainly did.

You can change the world.

Practice. Train to find inner peace. And create a better world.

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.

Grace and Friendship

I wish I had a way to convey my mood. Hold the phone. I’m a writer. Use your words Anne. Today. I feel like I’ve been there and back.

So anyway.

I have been listening to Sylvia Boorstein’s retreat talk at Tricycle.com. and at the same time reading Sakyong Mipham’s new book, Running with the Mind of Meditation.

Thank goodness for both.

Sylvia Boorstein so wonderfully interprets The Four Noble Truths which are the Buddha’s first and fundamental teachings about the nature of our experience and spiritual potential. Often stated as:

  1. The existence of suffering
  2. The origin of suffering
  3. The cessation of suffering
  4. The path to the cessation of suffering.

But, as Sylvia says in her talk – that really doesn’t exactly speak to us Westerners – so, in a nutshell she explains the Four Noble Truths as:

  1. Life is difficult. We are always challenged.
  2. You don’t need to be pleased to be content.
  3. Peace is possible.
  4. We need to train the mind to accommodate life as it happens.

Such a wonderful and gentle reminder. “Life is difficult. We are always challenged.” To accept that one simple fact is so freeing! Yes. Shit happens. All the time. Not just to you. To everyone. So. Instead of complaining that it’s happening. Let’s learn how to manage it.

Profound.

“You don’t need to be pleased to be content.” For me. Isn’t that accepting what  life brings you today?  Some days are better than others. That’s life. And to know that is to find contentment.

I do believe with all my heart that peace is possible.

Finally. To train the mind. I have found such profound and lasting guidance from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. I have read a great deal – and I feel as if he speaks to me personally. There are many, many other teachers to explore. How fortunate I feel to have found one that rings so true for me.

His teachings offer guidance and support for bringing space and stillness into our being with a meditative practice. And therein, Opening our Heart. Reading this book has been a reminder to me – how impactful my meditation practice has been. And, more importantly – that such a practice is accessible for everyone. And, I would add, fundamental to healing our world.

Peace is possible.

And so. Friendship.

Fragile. Precious. Lasting. Confounding.

There is no friendship without grace.

Last night and this morning I was reminded and blessed with both.

Thank you. I am fortunate and grateful.