Tagged Buddhism

Photograph by Aperture Village on Unsplash

Peaceful Abiding

Yesterday, a group of us sat an afternoon retreat. It happened to be the first day of Hanukkah, and in a sense sitting down to turn our attention inward is a way of rededicating the temple of the body and heart. It is usually under the control of outside forces, worshipping and appeasing all kinds…

Easter Mindfulness

Our sangha will meet this coming Easter Sunday, at the usual time. One of you has asked if we can have an Easter egg hunt, which sadly does not seem feasible. Still, it seems an auspicious time to be like a child, especially since this week will also includ Passover, celebrating liberation from bondage. Practicing…

Ivan Aivazovsky, Between the Waves, 1898

Weathering the Storm

As I write this many of us are recovering from a powerful March nor’easter or northeaster, a powerful storm with high winds that caused flooding and much damage throughout Northeast, including here in the Hudson Valley. There was no power or cable for three days in my town, and many are still without. Now I…

Forgiveness 2018

Why not begin 2018 with forgiveness? And why not start with you? Forgiveness, like gratitude, is a practice that can be cultivated one moment at a time. Forgiveness is the opposite of indulgence, grounding us, reconnecting us to humility and humanity. In forgiving ourselves, we remember that we are human, subject to causes and conditions.…

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…