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.

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.

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.

Heartfelt

This morning sitting on my zafu (don’t you love that word? It’s a meditation pillow) I watched the rain turn to snow. Actually, it happened like this. I was listening to a guided meditation by Sakyong Rinpoche and looking out the window. A light rain was blowing across the yard. I closed my eyes at one point to listen more closely. When I opened them again, it was snowing. Magical.

Today’s meditation was again about basic goodness. And importantly, basic goodness is not in opposition to bad.  In meditation we take the totality of all our experiences the good and bad, and come to who we are.

A very profound aspect of today’s meditation was placing your hand on your heart and saying the words, “basic goodness.”

Before you roll your eyes, or afterward, give it a try.

We so rarely put our hand to our heart. Give it a try. Feel your goodness.