Lately, I've been thinking about concepts a lot, particularly how tied we can be to them when they become our beliefs or opinions. But concepts are not reality. Unfortunately, we humans can only think and communicate in concepts. They are very useful to navigate through this life, which is a consensus reality vs. an absolute… Continue reading I Carry My Concepts as Long as I Am Able
In the book Zen Chants by Kazuaki Tanahashi, he shared Joan Halifax's version of the Four Great Vows (or Bodhisattva Vows). I've come across these before, having chanted them at a local sangha, but this particular version resonated with me more than most. Creations are numberless; I vow to free them.Delusions are inexhaustible; I vow… Continue reading Delusions and Life Purposes and Freedom
I've been thinking a lot about my "career," whatever that even is anymore. We are so defined by our jobs. "What do you do?" is an early small talk question, but it's just one more box we put ourselves in to, like where you live, what your name is, how many followers you have on… Continue reading I Am (Not) a Flower in the Sky
Lately, I've been feeling sad a lot. It's not an overwhelming depression feeling. It's just grief. A sense of loss. No one has died, but things change a lot. Meditation and mindfulness practices make me more acutely aware of this. My study of Dharma tells me that this grief is a sign of attachment. It's… Continue reading Maybe This Is a Problem. Maybe It Isn’t.
I have been feeling lonely lately, especially so after I interact with my friends. The breadth of space between humans is sometimes staggering, and it can be sad to see that the gulf can only be breached so far. We cannot ever really know another person. Most of us don't even fully know ourselves. There… Continue reading Self Love, Holiday Blues: Loneliness Edition
I've been in a funk lately, avoiding anything that makes me think too hard—like writing blog posts. In the past, I would've been beating myself up about this. Of course, those castigating thoughts are still there, but I continue my practice of being more gentle with myself. It took me some time to get to… Continue reading Self Love, Holiday Blues
We all have shadow sides. Most people don't see these sides. A few, like maybe our coworkers or acquaintances, see snippets on our worst days. Even our friends may only catch glimpses. If we're really good at hiding it, even our close family rarely see it. A lot of us probably don't even see our… Continue reading Hope Must Die. I Will Kill It.
Recently, my husband and I took an R&R long weekend at a cabin in the countryside about an hour from home. I was sitting on the screened porch one morning, sipping tea and listening to the birds. A pasture area lay off beyond the trees. The air smelled fresh after the rain the night before.… Continue reading Stress, Suffering, Pain, and Release
I attend a sangha at least once a month. Today the theme was belonging. I have always wanted to feel like I belong, just like pretty much everyone else. As a child, I did my best to fit in, although I had competing groups so I had to pick one. Probably because I spent the… Continue reading Belonging
This week, I let myself hope that my extended time on muscle relaxers and additional back pain was coming to an end. I let myself hope that last week, too, and it didn't work out. But this week felt different. During the day on Monday I felt really good with only half a muscle relaxer… Continue reading The Insidiousness of Hope