Tagged Angels

The Sunlight of Awareness

“The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty, “ taught Mother Teresa.  “Loneliness is the most terrible poverty.” Every year in Japan, the ancestors are remembered and hungry ghosts are fed in a ritual called Oban.  I once experienced a Western Soto Zen version of this practice, including among the hungry ghosts all those beings that society rejects and those parts of ourselves that we forget or abandon or try to hide. But how are we to feed the hungry ghosts? Early Buddhist tradition describes the use of spells and also service to the living. …

India, Part II

After the Gandhi 3.0 retreat ended, a small group of us visited an Indian village where people live as most people have always lived, cooking over fires, working very hard for food and water, dependent on the help of oxen and camels other animals, dependent on the help of God and each other.  My friends and I saw so much, rode on an ox cart, had tea with a saintly man.  But after many hours I began to feel weak from the heat and hunger and probably from the sheer exposure to this new ancient world.  Just then, a woman…

Be Your Own Angel

Every other Sunday evening for the past year, I have been sitting in front of a group of meditators in big, light-filled Yoga Shivaya in Tarrytown. Last night it was more clear than ever before that the best material we have to share with our friends is ourselves.   I was speaking about the role of energy and effort.  I shared that the Buddhist word “viriya” comes from a Sanskrit word that meant hero or strong man (virile), but that the radical Buddha turned all that heroic effort towards an inner quest.  The ultimate quest is to be open to what…