Category Archives: Consciousness

Healing Sense Aromatherapy

I am still buzzing!!  Yesterday, I had the glorious opportunity to attend a truly inspired and inspiring workshop on Aromatherapy by Katie Buggs of KatybugsHealingsense: Aromatherapy and Holistic Blends.  During the workshop, we worked together to become very familiar with each of the oils in Katie’s Reiki Essential Oil Kit.  What I truly came to appreciate in a whole new way is that the plants of this planet function as distillations of divine consciousness articulated into material form.  They have distinctive energies; each plant resonates at a particular megahertz; they can gently and subtly assist in helping us to calm, uplift, release, relieve physical pain, open up to more love and forgiveness.  They have so much to share with us.

I splurged and bought Katie’s magnificent “Plant Sense” Card Deck so that I could widen my knowledge about each of the plants and oils that she blends.

Thank you, Katie Buggs, for being such a profoundly humble, gracious, incredibly knowledgable and kind ambassador for the plant kingdom.  My gratitude is immeasurable.


Filed under Aromatherapy, Consciousness, Energy, Plants, Reiki

Transforming Spaces

Making the world around us a better place starts with transforming our mind-based thoughts into pure consciousness.   Meditation, over time, helps to raise one’s energetic vibration and helps to protect one from absorbing and holding onto the negative vibrations of others (e.g., anger or irritation, fear, shame, chaos, etc.) via  Metta–the practice of generating kindness and goodwill towards all beings.  Compassion neutralizes negativity, because love generated within the whole being, from the sub-cellular level outward, neutralizes fear-based thoughts, actions and reactions.  Metta cleanses as it radiates.  We can carry what we learn from Metta into our daily actions and activities, thereby increasing our Mindfulness, as Mindfulness and Metta go hand-in-hand.

The Monkey Mind will often make us leave the spaces we enter into in a more chaotic state.  When we are hectic or worried or angry, the spaces we enter into carry will be affected.  When we live without Mindfulness, we may leave a room messier than when we entered it, making it less comfortable for others who enter into it.  Or, if we clean up a space in irritation at others who have left it messier for everyone else, the irritation that we feel poisons the quality of our thoughts and the quality of the energy that we bring into a room.  Have you ever walked into a room knowing without a word spoken that someone in it is irritated?  That irritation occupies space, and makes it uncomfortable for others to be in the room.

One really wonderful practical way to integrate Metta into our daily activities is to simply decide to leave each space we walk into a little cleaner and more positive.  Leaving a space in a more positive state than when one entered into it is an act of self-love and love for others.  When done with Mindfulness and love, it is an act of blessing and an act of inner purification.

  • If a room is untidy, for example, take a moment to straighten it up.  If you don’t have time to clean it fully, just mindfully replace one or two things into their rightful place and feel good about doing so. Un-cluttering a room with Mindfulness and Love increases your own vibration.
  • Or, play a little healing music for the houseplants, which are also energetic beings and flourish in positive environments.  The plants, in turn, will help purify the air you breathe in that room.
  • Organize a bookshelf in disarray.
  • Burn a little incense or sage with mindful intention.
  • Say a little wish or prayer for the well-being of all who enter this space.
  • If you practice Reiki, send distance Reiki to a space you know you will be entering (your office, for example, or your in-laws’ home).
  • Or, just send a Mindful blessing to that space,  with the intention that all who enter and leave it, including yourself, will be better off for having done so.
  • Recycle or find another home for an object rather than throwing it away.

There are so many ways in which we can attend to the spaces we enter.  Use your imagination, fueled by goodwill.  If we go around blessing the spaces we enter into, we engage pure Consciousness.  We live out compassion and love, thereby purifying our own energetic bodies and making the world around us a better place.





Filed under Consciousness, Mindfulness, Sacred spaces

Metta for the World’s Children

My dear friend Lijiun of Smile Always recently wrote a piece (Helping Hand) about a visit to an impoverished orphanage which really moved me.  It brought back to my mind moments in which I have been witness to children suffering in the most extreme poverty.  Sadly, there are too many to log, but here are a few:

  • A group of boys–still children– bathing themselves in the filthy water reservoirs in the center of a set of railroad tracks in Delhi’s railroad station in the dark of night.  (I didn’t capture a photo, but this one of migrant workers bathing themselves in the same train station, by Kaylee Everly, may give you some idea):

  • Our tour-guide at Sarnath, one of the holiest of Buddhist sites, becoming violently angry at a very small child of “Untouchable” caste who approached us.  Again, I don’t have a photo, but Seija, who reports a similar experience, posted a very moving photo of the kind of living environs that are sadly fairly typical of the poorest who live among two of the holiest sites in India– Varanasi and Sarnath:

  • Children wandering barefoot through one of the poverty-stricken Favelas of San Paulo (photo and article about Brazil’s housing problems by Jonathan Inge Bianchi)

  • Children in the urban neighborhoods of the U.S.–my own neighbors–not having enough to eat and struggling to survive in under-performing, desperately under-resourced schools. For these children, dilapidation, urban decay, poor nutrition and health, and violence are virtually every day experiences.  A few years ago in one such neighborhood, I had three beautiful girls as neighbors; they became my dear friends.  I watched their mother struggle with addiction, poverty, and prostitution and her children suffer things children should never have to:

My own very limited experiences are merely a taste of the global epidemic.  Hundreds of millions of children live today in urban slums.

According to the 2012 Executive Summary of UNICEF on the World’s Urban Children (p. 8):

The causes of violence are many and complex, but prominent among them are poverty and inequality.  High rates of violence and crime often arise where provision of public services, schools, and recreational areas is inadequate.  A study of 24 of the world’s 50 wealthiest countries confirmed that more unequal societies are more likely to experience high rates of crime, violence and imprisonment.

Even the United Nations recognized global poverty as one of the most critical security challenges of the 21st century, by way of a resolution that came out of its 8th plenary meeting, convened Sept. 8, 2000:

19. We resolve further:

• To halve, by the year 2015, the proportion of the world’s people whose income is less than one dollar a day and the proportion of people who suffer from hunger and, by the same date, to halve the proportion of people who are unable to reach or to afford safe drinking water.

• To ensure that, by the same date, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling and that girls and boys will have equal access to all levels of education.

• By the same date, to have reduced maternal mortality by three quarters, and under-five child mortality by two thirds, of their current rates.

• To have, by then, halted, and begun to reverse, the spread of HIV/AIDS, the scourge of malaria and other major diseases that afflict humanity.

• To provide special assistance to children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

• By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers as proposed in the “Cities Without Slums” initiative.

Abject poverty seems to be a unique condition of the human race, but it affects all living things on the planet.  Animals suffer as a result of human poverty: organizations like “Poverty’s Pets” demonstrate the need for organizations to rescue abused, neglected, and abandoned animals in low-income, under-served communities; and, just one case study by the World Society for the Protection of Animals on poaching in Kenya makes quite clear the connection between human poverty and the suffering of animals.

The desertification of vast stretches of the globe as a result of human activity is making matters much worse, both in terms of ecological diversity and the increase of instances of human poverty and famine (see Henry Noel Le Houerou, “Man-Made Deserts: Desertization Processes and Threats”).

The world’s oceans and fresh-water systems are also affected.  According to the United Nations Development Program:

Globally, the market value of marine and coastal resources and industries is estimated at $3 trillion per year or about 5% of global GDP, and an estimated 63% of global ‘ecosystems services’ are provided by marine and coastal systems. As much as 40% of the world oceans are considered as ‘heavily affected’ by human activities, including pollution, depleted fisheries, loss of coastal habitats such as coral reefs, mangroves and seagrasses, and by aquatic invasive species. As for freshwater, the root causes of much of the overutilization and degradation of marine ecosystems stem primarily from failures in governance of the relevant sectors (fisheries, tourism, shipping, agriculture, etc.) – inadequate policies and legislation, poor enforcement, weak institutions, and insufficient participation of civil society….While there are regional/local and long-term concerns with the absolute availability of water resources, the water and sanitation crisis is primarily a crisis of poverty, political will, inequality and power – in short, of profound failures in water governance.

Taking better care of the world’s ecosystems is one way to fight poverty, but powerful, multi-national, corporate interests are often at odds with ecosystem management.  The animal-based agricultural industry offers but one example (see Carl Boggs’ article about this very issue in the academic journal, Fast Capitalism 2.2).   Agricultural, biotechnology is another industry that contributes to ecosystem deterioration. Companies like Monsanto, for example, produce some of the most toxic chemicals that pollute the environment (from PCB’s to Agent Orange).  Mansanto specifically has a well-documented history of suing local farmers whose non-Mansanto-seed-crops are naturally cross-fertilized. And, Mansanto’s “Terminator Technology” has been harnessed to produce seeds that have been bio-engineered to produce fruit which contains non-reproductive seeds.  It has been estimated widely that this technology by Mansanto, which uses its influence among developing nations’ governments to force farmers to use its seeds, will bring about famine and starvation on a world-wide basis.  Recently, however, the National Biodiversity Authority of India retaliated by suing Monsanto over its genetically modified eggplant seeds.

International pharmaceutical companies are some of the worst corporate offenders in the international arena of health of the world’s impoverished: from using the poor in the world’s developing nations as human subjects for drug-testing to paying off generic drug-makers who would sell generic drugs to under-resourced nations experiencing epidemics, the cases are numerous and well-documented.  See, for example, Johnson, Toni. (2011). ” The Debate over Generic Drug-Trade,” Council on Foreign Relations.; Holms, Soren (2006). “Pharmacogenetics, Race, and Global Injustice,” Developing World Bioethics 8.2: 82-88; and Wollensack, Amy F. (2007). Closing the Constant Garden: The Regulation and Responsibility of U.S. Pharmaceutical Companies Doing Research on Human Subjects in Developing Nations.  6 Wash. U. Global Stud. L. Rev. 747.

Think-tanks like Share the World’s Resources, a non-governmental advisory organization to the U.N., warn of an unprecedented crisis of poverty looming as a result of the economic crisis and advocate “for natural resources such as oil and water to be sustainably managed in the interests of the global public, and for essential goods and services (including staple food, adequate shelter and primary healthcare) to be made universally accessible.”

The causes of and potential solutions to global poverty are anything but simple.  Indeed, I personally often feel overwhelmed by it all. What can one person do to alleviate so much suffering?

While I don’t have an answer to that question, it seems to me that Mindfulness is a good starting place.

One may be mindful of the blessings that surround one and the small contributions that one can make toward a healthier, happier community.

A healthier, happier community begins with a healthier, happier self.  A healthier, happier self begins with a healthier, happier mind.

The Buddha counseled, “Do Good, Do No Harm.”  Being mindful can bring about more actions of doing good.  Being mindful of the suffering involved in food that one eats, for example, can bring about small, but important changes of habit–Buying local and organic, for example, and not buying stuff with a laundry list of chemicals in the ingredients.  Reducing the amount and kind of chemicals that one uses in the household. Trying homeopathic remedies where appropriate.  When one does these things, one opts out of at least some of the harmful practices of globalization that contribute directly to the suffering of others.

Being Mindful offers profound changes within that manifest in the world around one.  Today, I offer Metta in dedication to the peace and prosperity of children everywhere.
Perhaps you will consider joining me?

Afghani child–photo by Lawrence McGuire


Filed under Compassion, Consciousness

The Rising and Falling of Sensations

When my partner and I visited the tranquil and beautiful Chuang-Yen Monastery in Carmel, NY in January of this year, we picked up a copy of Mindfulness in Plain English (1991) by the Venerable H. Gunaratana Mahathera, which was printed and donated for free distribution by The Corporate Body of the Buddha Educational Foundation.  I picked it up this morning for the first time, having had a few minutes’ leisure to enjoy a little reading and reflective time, and this passage on noticing the rising and falling away of sensations during meditation (p. 137) struck my notice. I am grateful to be reminded today of the “delicate operation” of just noticing the full course of sensations:

You want to really see each sensation, whether it is pain, bliss, or boredom.  You want to experience that thing fully in its natural and unadulterated form. There is only one way to do this. Your timing has to be precise. Your awareness of each sensation must coordinate exactly with the arising of that sensation. If you catch it just a little bit too late, you miss the beginning.  You won’t get all of it.  If you hang on to any sensation past the time when it has faded away, then what you are holding onto is a memory.  The thing itself is gone, and by holding onto that memory, you miss the arising of the next sensation. It is a very delicate operation. You’ve got to cruise along right here in the present time, picking things up and letting things drop with no delays whatsoever.  Your relation to sensation should never be one of past or future but always of the simple and immediate now.

Just noticing the full course of each sensation and thought-formation as it arises, abides for a while, and then dissipates into something else helps one refrain from judging it and provides more evidence of the impermanence and emptiness of all sensations and thoughts.  All sensations and thoughts are empty of a separate existence, as they arise from something else and transform into something else.


Filed under Consciousness, Meditation, Mindfulness

Gratitude Rampage

Today, I am going on a gratitude rampage.  This is a choice that I am making, and I am making it with mindfulness, presence, and fullness of heart.  I choose to see everything that comes my way today through the eyes of Gratitude.  I choose to see all that is. I choose to appreciate all that is around me.

I choose to experience bliss and wonder and appreciation for the smallest of beings–the flowers growing on the tree outside my window, the tomato seedlings I have just planted catching the rays of the sun, the abundance that living simply has offered to me, my wonderful dog, Sydney, curled up in the corner after a hard play session with other dogs, and the list goes on.  My gratitude is as endless as the life around me. My gratitude is as deep as the love I have invited in to thrive and flourish in the center of my being.  My gratitude is unstoppable, and it will peacefully transform every negative action, word, or thought that cannot remain unchanged in my gratitude’s presence.  The world is in spring bloom, and the blooming cannot be stopped by fear-mongering or pollution or even global warming.  I see you–I see everyone–I see everything through the eyes of Gratitude. Thank you, Life!!


Filed under Consciousness, Gratitude

The Words We Say, Part III

One of the great lessons of practicing Mindfulness is that time expands when we allow ourselves to experience the fullness of exactly what we are doing in each moment.  This life is to be lived, to be fully experienced, and to be enjoyed.  When we feel rushed or overwhelmed by our massive “to-do” lists, we cannot be in the moment, and we permit external factors to dictate how we feel about the time we have to spend in this brief life.   When one says, “I don’t have time…,” one negates not only the possibility of that for which one proclaims one doesn’t have time (self-care, meditation, yoga, exercise, fun, whatever…), but also the present moment in which one is living.  In all likelihood, the words “I don’t have time… ” are uttered in a state of anxiousness.  The words “I don’t have time” shrink one’s perception of what is possible. When our minds feel hectic, running this way and that, we are typically not even fully present for that which we hold up as the reason for which we “have no time.”  And, we certainly diminish the potential for enjoyment of it.

Most everyone perceives time differently in different moments. Our perception of time is far from consistently linear, although we tend to view it as such.  When we are experiencing complete enjoyment, we luxuriate in a feeling of timelessness. When we experience boredom, time feels oppressive. When we believe we have to rush through this moment in order to get to something we believe is beyond this moment, time seems to narrow and diminish just when we believe we need it most.   Our experience of time is anchored in our perception of it. Change the perception, and you change the experience.

If you find yourself saying “I don’t have time…,” it is helpful to check in with your breath.  Long, slow, deep breaths taken in full awareness  are like a deep reset button, facilitating a calming response in the body.  When we are in a calm state of mind, time feels different. It feels expansive. When we are in a calm state of mind, we do in full awareness and control.  A practice of meditation helps greatly, because it trains the mind to be aware of its state.  As soon as one feels hectic, one notices.  When a practitioner of meditation utters the words, “I don’t have time,” he will probably notice how restrictive and anxious those words feel.  Noticing helps, because the sooner down the road of anxiety that one can start calming the body/mind via the breath, the lesser degree of anxiety that wells up.

An affirmation that I have found particularly helpful is “Time is expansive and abundant. I allow time to expand.”  When I say those words, I feel more in control of my life and my choices. I allow myself to breathe and to experience time afresh.  I feel more fully located in this moment. And, I feel more empowered to spend my precious time in this life in activities that result in my highest good, the highest good of others, the greatest creativity, and the most enjoyment.


Filed under Consciousness, Language, Mindfulness

The Words We Say Without Thinking, Part II

Many of us had some kind of negative childhood experience which taught us that being noticed by others is a dangerous thing.  I can think of so many moments in my own childhood in which being called upon in class resulted in being washed over with embarrassment.  So, the subconscious mind will often operate in very sneaky ways to prevent encountering the danger of being noticed. Feeling vital, optimally healthful, and  full of creativity and energy are sure ways to be noticed, because the person who is vibrant attracts attention through her presence, words, and actions.  Negative affirmations provide  opportunities for the subconscious mind to sap one of vitality that is notice-able.

One such negative affirmation that  I often hear and used to say quite often myself without thinking is “I’m sick and tired… “  This is an unfortunately effective affirmation which only serves to sap one of energy, vitality, and confidence.  While the conscious mind may have an external target in mind (“I’m sick and tired of my job,” for example), the subconscious mind records and affirms exactly what  is being said– “I AM sick and tired.”  What a terrible thing to say to and about one’s self:  because neurons that fire together wire together, repeated affirmations like this persuade the mind and body that one actually feels sick and tired.

The first step to eliminating negative affirmations is to awaken mindfulness of one’s inner thoughts and spoken words without judgement.  Notice the quality of thoughts and words–do they resonate positively or negatively? Just notice without judgement. Then, if they resonate negatively,  reach for a better feeling–the OPPOSITE feeling.  Affirm that –even if the rest  of you wants to revolt against the idea of feeling GOOD.  As they say, “fake it until you make it”–  the more you affirm feeling vital and healthful instead of sick and tired, the more you will gradually move your body and mind into healthfulness, creativity, and vitality.


Filed under Consciousness, Language, Mindfulness, Whatchamacalit

The Words We Say Without Thinking

A year or so ago, I believe I was called to take the first step upon what would come to be a profoundly transformative personal and spiritual journey.  I was deeply depressed and anxious, and my thoughts and emotions resonated in the focal vibration of despair.  Perhaps everyone experiences a ‘dark night of the soul’ sometime in his or her life, and the shadow-period often serves as a kind of initiation rite, through which an individual can break out of thoughts and emotions that no longer serve her highest interest  and enter into a new stage of personal evolution.

One of the first things that I had to learn how to do (and meditation was the vehicle…) was to pay close attention to the words and phrases that I was telling myself without even realizing it.  These mental formations had become habits of thinking that kept me locked into a dark spiritual space and into old patterns of behavior which ultimately originated from childhood traumata.  Negative thought patterns limited the possibility of living a life of happiness, freedom, and abundance.  I began paying closer attention to them, and made specific intentions to alter negative affirmations to positive ones.  Now that positive affirmations have become a daily part of my spiritual practice, I have noticed how often I hear negative affirmations from others in my environment–words and phrases that are commonly spoken without much attention to the energetic value of them.  In this and future blog posts, I will be offering my thoughts about specific words/phrases that I myself have often used without thought, and which I hear daily from folks around me.

“I’m sorry“:  I have personally found that expressing an apology with the words “I’m sorry” is actually a negative affirmation.  Sorry expresses regret, which often arises out of blame, shame, and embarrassment–some of the most toxic human emotions. “I’m sorry” carries a resonance of self-abnegation.  When we affirm shame and regret, we actually further ingrain those old patterns of behavior that lead to further suffering for ourselves and those with whom we interact.  Furthermore, in our culture, we often use the word “sorry” as a derogatory adjective (ex.: that’s a sorry excuse).  All real compassion toward others  originates from compassion towards the self; when we err, it is important that we acknowledge that error, learn from it, and try to make amends.  As an alternative to “I’m sorry,” “I apologize” affirms exactly that–“I understand that I have erred, and I acknowledge that here and now.”

“Apology” comes from the ancient Greek word, “apologia.”  The Greek word “logos” is embedded within the word “apology”; “logos” in Greek means “reasoning,” “awareness,” “speech.”  The preposition “apo” in Greek means “originating from.” Thus, an apology expresses that your speech comes from your awareness, from your deep understanding.  When someone asks for an apology, what they generally wish to hear from the other person is a deep acknowledgement of the effect his actions or words had on others.

“I apologize” affirms deep understanding and, equally importantly, the opportunity to learn from what has been deeply acknowledged and understood.  I truly believe that every single interaction with other people provides an opportunity for personal evolution.  Error often provides the pathway to learning some of life’s most profound lessons.  It is possible to take responsibility for one’s words and actions while affirming one’s natural right to personal evolution through deeper understanding.


Filed under Consciousness, Language, Mindfulness, Whatchamacalit

Radical Acceptance

This post was written by a guest-contributer, Aleksandra Jankowska.

I know that when there is something wrong, I like to fix it.  This doesn’t only apply to the socks that need mending or the toaster that inconsistently burns my toast.  I have been raised in a culture and in a family in which feeling sad, angry or any of the other uncomfortable feelings we as humans often experience was avoided.  Happiness was defined by the absence of pain or, at least, the perception of absence of pain.  So, I became a “fixer.”  Whenever a friend struggled with a relationship issue or experienced sadness, I felt a compulsion to try to fix their pain. As an adult, I have worked diligently on healing some of the old wounds that were created in my childhood.  I have also worked with others to assist them in their own healing.  In the process, I’ve learned that maybe, just maybe, the “fixer” approach has not been the best way to achieve resolution.  The way to express my compassion to others has been to attempt to decrease their pain.  I now realize that not only is this impossible, it is also not helpful.

I recently read a book that has further helped me in letting go of the “fixer” moniker– Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of the Buddha by Tara Brach.  One of the things that truly resonated with me about the concept of radical acceptance can be summed up with the word allowing.  So often do we either avoid and judge our feelings and experiences or strive to make them different.  This avoidance and craving for the absence of a feeling leads to suffering.  Radical acceptance provides an allowing of the sensation of pain, and this opening offered by radical acceptance can then create a shift or a change toward healing.  I have discovered that the moment one stops fighting the impulse to fix an issue by letting go enough to allow the experience to occur, the experience of suffering has the freedom to shift and growth has the room to blossom.  This allowing makes it possible for us to be in the present moment and connected to the Source.

By habitual avoidance of suffering, one pushes away the very experience that connects one to Source.  Through avoidance or the pushing away of experience, one can become disconnected and, therefore, unable to connect to the tenderness that can so often have so much to teach us. The pain (whether shame, guilt, sadness or another uncomfortable experience or sensation) creates an opening.  If one can soften into that pain, movement happens, and with movement, change occurs.  I have since learned that sometimes simply being a witness or assisting in holding the space for the person to experience their pain is a lot more healing than attempting to “take the pain away.” Attempting to “take the pain away” not only undermines the individual’s ability to grow and change using their inner source of strength, but it also deprives them of the opportunity to experience their own healing.  It is like taking the seed out of the ground with the hope that it will grow faster.  The seed needs to crack and open and push through the soil to become a full-fledged blossom.  I now strive to allow—to allow for my own feelings, sensations, experiences to occur. And, when I have the honor to witness someone’s inner struggle, I strive to allow them to do the same, because it is through their own movement through suffering that healing and change have the opportunity to  awaken– if we only let them. One of the helpful and practical prayers that the book has offered me is the simple prayer of “May this suffering awaken compassion.”  May this heart-felt intention allow me to allow others to heal, may it allow for an opening and an awakening.

This post was written by guest-contributer, Aleksandra Jankowska.


Filed under Compassion, Consciousness, Whatchamacalit

Sitting in the Middle of Squirm

Sitting in zazen is an action whose purpose is Being comfortable in the middle of actionlessness.   Zazen trains the mind to sit with discomfort and hold the pause button on it long enough to notice it and dissolve it.

It is not easy to sit with uncomfortable feelings. They make us squirm. They make us want to do something–to struggle against them– to speak or to act in a way that may provide a momentary release of them, but rarely a permanent solution to them. Reacting to uncomfortable feelings without identifying what they are  may make a situation worse.

For example, someone driving dangerously, weaving in and out of traffic, cuts you off while you are traveling at 70 miles an hour.  A physical “fight or flight” response probably occurs in your body before your mind even fully registers what has happened.  When it does, you may feel anger, dismay or even rage.  At this point, you could react by driving equally dangerously to get that person back; you could curse up a storm to either no audience or the wrong audience; you could weave in and out of your lane as you crane your neck in their direction to lock their gaze long enough to flip them the bird; or, you could notice that you are angry, have compassion for yourself for being angry, wish the other driver freedom from whatever madness has descended upon him, and let it go.  When you do this, you release yourself and others all around you from the consequences of suffering from  rage.  Moreover, you make the world a better place by changing the energetic value of rage into compassion.  Your compassion towards yourself radiates out to another. Other people on the road are saved from your madness, and then their madness in reaction to yours, and so on…

The practice of zazen is not just for mystics and monks. All of us experience discomfort and restlessness in our day-to-day lives. Sitting with squirmy feelings can be uncomfortable. Silence can be rather unnerving. In a moment of intentional quietude, all manner of mental disturbances may parade across the mind.  Zazen trains us to notice them as they arise, smile at them in compassion, consciously let them go, and redirect attention back to Just Being in the breath Now.

If more people practiced zazen, perhaps there would be fewer @#$% on the road!


Filed under Compassion, Consciousness, Meditation, Zazen, Zen Buddhism