Tagged Buddha

Photograph by Aperture Village on Unsplash

A Light in the Darkness

The dark season is here in the Northern Hemisphere. And maybe it is dark for you in multiple ways. You may fear the future. It can be a comfort and a guide to remember that all beings, including the Buddha, faced the darkness of the unknown. After many years and lifetimes of effort, after leaving…

Peter Oslanec on Unsplash @peter_oslanec

Thanksgiving as a Practice

“Today we have gathered and see that the cycles of life continue.” The Mohawk Thanksgiving greeting to the world is an extraordinary act of consciousness. They gathered (and still gather) together to notice and honor the living world around them. They offer thanks to the People, to Mother Earth and all her plants and herbs…

Tara Protecting from the Eight Fears, Kham Province, Eastern Tibet; 19th century Pigments on cloth, Rubin Museum of Art, Gift of Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, F1997.15.1 (HAR 237).

The Beauty of Being All There

One day in downtown Manhattan, I walked behind a man who laughed, block after block. There would be little lulls when the laughter would glide into happy sighs but then a fresh gale of laughter would kick in, sometimes coupled with jogging and even skipping. At first, this public display of wild happiness delighted the…

Zoltan Tasi, "Penshurst Place & Gardens," Penshurst, United Kingdom via Unsplash

What Are You?

Soon after he attained enlightenment, the Buddha went walking. He was probably wild to stretch his legs because he was sitting under his tree for forty days, according to legend (some scholars believe this not a literal number but an ancient expression for “a very long time”—forty days in the desert, at sea, under the…

Alphonse Osbert (1857-1939), "Silence of the Water," 1895

Be an Island

“Therefore, Ananda, be islands unto yourselves, refuges unto yourselves….” As he lay dying, the Buddha gave this advice to his beloved disciple Ananda. Death reveals the true value and meaning of life, which can be summed up in two words: it passes. Life goes on with us or without us. When the Buddha spoke of…

Image from a Japanese scroll which describes the realm of the hungry ghosts and how to placate them. Currently housed at the Kyoto National Museum, artist unknown.

Angry Ghosts

One night when my mother was a little girl growing up in the panhandle of western Nebraska, she was driving with her father when she saw, far off in the plains, a cross burning in the middle of a circle of Klu Klux Klansmen. The sight filled her with terror. Her parents came from Denmark…