Tagged impermanence

Holy Swiss

Anything can happen at any time. This is the truth of impermanence. Last Sunday, some of us experienced this in a delightful way. Swiss, a one-year-old Service Dog in training, came to sit with us as we meditated. Recently, I was talking about dogs and there she stood, a one-year-old half Golden, half Labrador Retriever.…

The Golden Ticket

One day recently, a Buddhist monk stopped me on the street in Manhattan, offering me peace for the rest of my life. But I was late so I shook my head no and hurried on. I had no time for peace. The monk persisted. He followed me, repeating “Lifetime peace. Lifetime peace.” He smiled broadly…

Impermanence

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on,” wrote Robert Frost In three words I can sum up the aim of mindfulness meditation. Being with change. “See that sign for the David Barton Gym?” asked the woman walking ahead of me on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan. “What a…

Disenchantment

“Monks, all is burning,” the Buddha taught in his “Fire Sermon.”  A fresh translation of this ancient teaching by scholar monk Bhikkhu Bodhi is the opening piece in Parabola’s upcoming “Burning World” issue, and for good reason.  In little more than 300 words, he describes the root cause of the overwhelming global challenges we face today.  The Buddha looked out over a thousand monks and serenely explained that through every sense door pour impressions that burn us “with the fire of greed, with the fire of hatred, with the fire of delusion.”  He assured them that even if they worked…

Winter Solstice 2011

Today is Winter Solstice.  As I write this, I’m having morning coffee, watching the sky change from dark to slate to a more luminous blue, glad as I am every year that the sun seems to be returning.  Modern educated woman that I am, there is something in my Nordic genes that makes me a little unsure every year that this great slow-spreading natural act of grace will happen:  the return of the sun. And hope returns with it.  People speak of Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, and I definitely have at least a touch of it (hence the big…

Christmas in October

As I write this, I am struggling to get a good fire going in the woodstove.  We are in the middle of a freak October snow storm—the third freak storm since August—and we have no lights, no heat, and no running water since we depend on a well. A few months ago, during Hurricane Irene, I wrote about tending the stove and feeling a connection to my ancestors.  In the midst of this particular massive and record-breaking storm (there are getting to be so many we have to distinguish), I am feeling a particular connection to my ancestors who lived…