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.

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.

Inherent Goodness

Do you believe some people are good and some people are evil? Do you think we’re born neutral and get to choose our path? Do you think we’re born good and then mess it up? Were you raised Catholic, born with original sin that you’re still recovering from?

Why does it matter? I still need to keep thinking about all these questions.

Nevertheless I’m going to go out on a limb today and encourage everyone to contemplate our future. To think about these very questions and how they impact your thoughts and actions. Our world is at a crossroads. Our country is at a crossroads in this election year.  I think it’s prime time to start some contemplation. If we make choices just based on our own “selfish” needs without thinking about the consequences for the rest of the people and animals and plants in the world then probably nothing can be sustained. (I should probably put some examples in here to illustrate my point) (Will this be more engaging if I ask you to come up with some examples of your own?) (Feel free to share!)

On the other hand, if we see that we are all interconnected and that what we do affects things we can’t even dream about, then maybe we’ll make some different choices. (Again with the examples!) Is that our inherent goodness coming out?

But what if we make selfish choices? Does that mean we inherently bad? Misguided? Not contemplative?

Going back to yesterday’s post, what if we take up the Sakyong‘s challenge and  see ourselves as inherently good. And further what if we start looking at others as inherently good as well? Can that make a difference?