We can’t control everything that happens to us in life, but we can fundamentally transform our experience of those things.
Boxing with the Dharma
I was sitting at my first silent Buddhist meditation retreat and I came up with a boxing analogy that seemed to sum up my experience. (don’t ask why boxing? can’t answer that one).
Allow me to explain:
So here I am in a ring with many mental/emotional opponents being thrown at me, one by one. Here comes the 5 hindrances – Sensual desire, Ill-Will, Sloth and Torpor, Restlessness and Worry but the worst is Doubt. Don’t forget the 3 killers with knockout punches – Greed, Hatred and Delusion.
It dawned on me that I’ve been on a journey to change my “Cornermen”.
It was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done and yet extremely rewarding. My Cornermen didn’t have my best interests at heart, they seemed to have their own hidden agenda. Once I saw the hiddenness I decided to investigate its hold on me.
Clarity arose once I changed my Cornermen. I’ve hired the Buddha, Dharma and the Sangha as my new Cornermen to support my journey.
Remember It’s Only Stuff…
It’s been quite sometime since my last post and many new things have emerged in my life.
My spiritual practice has blossomed into a dedicated and fulfilling experience. The insights have and continue to be moving and motivating and I plan on continuing this until my body ceases to exist in this form.
Let’s do a quick catch up…..
I went on my first silent meditation retreat in Joshua Tree (See next post) and was blown away by its simplicity yet difficulties that I experienced. Strange being with over 100 people and not being able to communicate. They call it “Noble Silence” meaning not silent just no communication. No talking, No eye contact…..the experience was amazing but also very grueling.
Just last month my employer conducted some layoffs and I was included in the list. More time for spiritual practice…..
Remember It’s Only Stuff….
My Meditation practice was revived with Buddhist jumper cables.
I was moved deeply during my visit to Esalen over the Christmas holidays. I was allowed to be genuine without any pretense, just being.
It was very liberating and such a learning experience that has lit a smoldering fire that was needing attention. Well the fire has been stoked and is now in beginner’s mind inquiry mode.
The impact that the Esalen sangha had was intense at times. The honesty that was demonstrated was liberating, especially with people that I only knew for 7 days. Some of the connections felt as if they will were always there but hidden from my reality.
I’ve since joined the “Against the Stream” sangha in Los Angeles and I’m enjoying it tremendously. Looking forward to Noah’s daylong 1/21.
It’s with great sadness that I’m posting the loss of one of my teachers and best friends. I had the privilege of taking care of and being taken care of by my boy Deekah. He was always there for me, no matter what, during good times and bad. He will be missed greatly.
I’m glad that he is out of pain. He lived a great life. I’m happy to have had him in my life. The many lessons that he taught me are endless and I will always carry them with me.
RIP my big boy.
A Prayer for the Children
I heard this from a Dharma talk given by Vinny Ferraro. It struck many chords within myself…..and I don’t even have kids.
We pray for children who sneak popsicles after supper
Who erase holes in math workbooks
Who can never find their shoes
And we pray for those who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire
Who can’t bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers
Who never counted potatoes
Who are born in places we wouldn’t be caught dead
Who never go to the circus
Who live in an X rated world
We pray for children who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions
Who hugs us in a hurry and forget their lunch money
We pray for those who never get desert
Who have no safe blanket to drag behind them
Who watch their parents watch them
Who can’t find any bread to steal
Who don’t have any rooms to clean up
Whose pictures aren’t on anybody’s dresser
Whose monsters are real
We pray for children who spend their allowance before Tuesday
Who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food
Who like those stories
Who shove dirty clothes under the bed and never rinse out the tub
Who get visits from the tooth fairy
Who don’t like to be kissed in front of the car pool
Who squirm in church or temple and scream in the phone
Whose tears we sometimes laugh at and whose smile can make us cry
And we pray for those whose nightmares come in the daytime
Who will eat anything
Who have never seen a dentist
Who aren’t spoiled by anybody
Who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep
Who live and move but have no being
We pray for children who want to be carried
And for those who must
And for those we never give up on
And for those who don’t get a second chance
And to those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it