Tagged Radical Acceptance

The Art of Returning

Dear Noble Friends, I’ve been away a long time.  Now it feels good and right to come home.  Late yesterday afternoon, a group of us gathered to practice mindfulness meditation and do a bit of yoga and talk in a beautiful yoga studio in Tarrytown (Yogashivaya.com).  The yoga studio was filled with the golden natural…

Car Crash Sutra

The accident happened at the worst possible moment, yet even as it happened I realized there is probably never a good moment a good moment for a car accident. I was driving home through the rain, thinking about how much I have to do before I leave for my daughter’s college graduation this week.  I was thinking about what a difficult week it has been and that I just might triumph over it when the crash  came.  I was driving through an intersection, almost home, when an elderly man turned left and smashed into me, demolishing the front of my…

Playing At Meditation

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens,” wrote Carl Jung. To look into the heart means to remember how we perceived and felt about the world when we were children.  On this first day of spring, it seems especially fitting to remember that.  In the course of my last silent retreat, it became clear to me that right effort towards awakening is like blooming–a gentle movement of allowing ourselves to open up and be exactly as we are.  It is a movement of stilling the pool  of…

Retreating and Advancing

Several times a year, I go on silent meditation retreats.   I go to practice solitude in the company of others— withdrawing from the world of striving for a time, mindfully receiving what is given and trusting that more will be given without always leaning forward, grasping for more.  “Sati,” the Pali word for mindfulness means to remember.  I go on retreat to remember there is more to life than I think. Yet for the first few days, I think, think, think, and in the most shallow and superficial way.  Should I wear my purple sweater or the fleece thing?  I…

The Ones Who Burn

The seraphim angels that ring God’s throne are “the ones who burn.’” This came by text from a friend who spotted the “Burning World” issue of Parabola in a Whole Foods in Pittsburgh.  “Why do those closest to God have to burn?” I texted back (my friend has spent the last several years studying Christian theology).  Do people think of this when they pray to be close to God? My friend sent a text quoting C.S. Lewis, “Why should heaven be boring?” Yet we do make heaven boring, at least I do.  In my midnight projections, I am not just…

Meryl Streep Sutra

On Saturday, I raced from a Buddhist monastery to see Meryl Streep in her landmark portrayal of the former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. How could I have guessed that these wildly disparate activities would go so well together?  I presented the scholar monk Bhikkhu Bodhi with copies of Parabola’s gorgeous new “Burning World” issue, which opens with a fresh translation of the Buddha’s Fire Sermon and a contemporary commentary by Ven. Bodhi.  I also stayed to hear his weekly lecture on the earliest Buddhist teachings.  This particular Saturday, he spoke about the traditional teachings on renunciation or letting go.…