Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

True Nature

 ……To the swiftly flowing river, a clear light stream appears –

separate, distinct, unknowable

To the choppy waved lake, a still mirrored surface appears-

other, strange, unfamiliar

yet the clear light stream knows it is also a turbulently flowing river

and the still, calm lake is utterly familiar with wildly churning waves

each is embedded in the other

until there is no other to speak of………

K. Dechen

On a Crisp Autumn Morning

 ~through an Open Window~



As I meditate, a light rain falls from the gray clouds over head ~gentle sound ~  the wind blows through the raindrops flavoring it with a sharp coolness that flows across my face ~ gentle refreshment ~ this wind of compassion lifts my mind into awareness.

Moments later the rain ceases only the dripping of raindrops from the tree branches and gentle rustling of golden leaves falling from the trees remain ~  birds singing to one another ~ gentle melodies ~ lifting me from my meditation  I am filled with the wind of ~ gentle kindness ~ for all sentient beings.

The golden yellow leaves dance and twirl and spin

delighted to ride the wind as they fall to earth -embraced-

for it is the earth they shall become…..






Compassionate Understanding

We have the habit of repeating our behaviors over and over while desperately wishing we could change.  We are all familiar with moods, feelings, and emotions.  Some emotions take us by surprise and others are so familiar we barely notice we are having them.  Strong emotions have a sense of “carrying us away” and making us feel out of control.  This can be as joyous as falling in love or as devastating as the despair of losing a loved one. 

 As human beings we are capable of feeling a wide range of emotional reactions.  We can take many of these emotions in stride, but there are some that surge so powerfully we become overwhelmed.  Many of us regret actions we took when we felt a powerful emotion.  For example, anger and frustration may cause us to treat others cruelly or impatiently.  Later we may try to reconcile with those we have reacted to so impulsively.  We may be immobilized when we are flooded with joyfulness – trusting it so little; we act as though its cause never happened. 

Emotions are energy.  Regardless of the biochemical that shapes their forms or the events that precede their expression, these waves of feeling are vibrational energy.  This is a very important way to view physical sensations.  Energy flows through a circuit.  Your body is the circuit that gives ground to this energy.  What happens when you experience a surge of energy depends on which bio-chemical the vibration rides.   As you recognize the sensation – you tend to give it a name.  Perhaps anger!

 Most of us judge our emotions.  Sadness feels bad, we don’t want it. Joy feels great, let’s have more of it.  The energy of our life force has no qualitative measure; it can be mild, generous or intense. Yet it is merely information.   Transforming energy is a powerful skill that takes a lot of practice.  The good news is this: LIFE is always giving us opportunity to learn this skill.

Listen to or Download Compassionate Understanding Audio

Of Rabbits and Ravens

 I am sitting in meditation in the morning.  The sun has risen high above the ridgeline of the mountain.  The windows are open and a breeze filters through.  Suddenly I hear something that sounds like an animal screaming.   I look outside the window and see a large raven attacking baby bunnies as they are hopping across the street.  One makes his escape into the underbrush of the field.  The other runs back into the street, terrified.   The raven pursues grabbing at the bunny with its talons.  The bunny screams in terror. 

I run out into the yard, “hey… hey!”  I wave my arms.  I pick up a stone and fling it in the direction of the raven.  “Buzz off!” 

The raven flies into a near by tree to escape the throwing reach of the crazy human.  The bunny escapes to the underbrush.

Another Boddhisattva rescue!

What remains when thoughts fall away?

Meditation is a little bit like stepping into a beautiful, serene pond.  We don’t know quite how far we will allow ourselves to enter.  We feel the stability of our feet in the sandy bottom, the calm coolness of the water as we venture further and deeper.  We hear the sounds of birds, we feel a gentle breeze on our face and the coolness of the pond.  We hear sounds around us, see clouds overhead. 

As we go deeper and deeper into the water, we allow ourselves to immerse deeper into our experience of the pond.  Any yet, as serene and as inviting as this experience is, we still hold onto our conscious experience of being in the pond.  We experience this pond in our minds as separate from ourselves.  It is an experience we believe we are having.

As we near the deeper edges of the pond, the water is now up to the level of our chests, our feet become even more sensitive to the sandy bottom.  We detect the drop off point.  Our toes tell us we are there; one step further and our feet will no longer be our supports.  Yet how easy to take that last step into the depths of the pond. 

Our feet rise as we lay back.  Floating on our backs, our experience changes subtly.  We close our eyes and become aware of the sensation of floating, floating.  Floating, rising gently, dipping slightly.  We float on the surface of the pond, as awareness floats on the surface of our conscious minds. 

 Thoughts dissolve away, no need for thoughts when our attention is on the sensation of floating.  There is no distinction between the water and our bodies.   A sound arises, what it is we are not inclined to say.  We feel we are no longer having an experience of the pond, we have become the experience itself.   No boundaries, no edges, no pond, no independent self.

Open eyes, sensation expands.  Close eyes, sensation enfolds.   Noises, smells, sounds blend into a fluid awareness.  As sounds arise we notice there is a beginning, a middle, and an end as the sounds fall away.  No desire to name it.

Awareness without conscious thought, who cares to hold onto anything?

What if we were truly happy?


All of the joy and pain we go through, all of our highs and lows, when realized, have no ground: they are our friends.  Don’t try to stop the pain, don’t try to be happy.  Be free of all hope and fear.  Samsara is not to be shunned.  It is basically good.

Gyalwa Gotsangpa’s Eight Cases of Goodness not to be Shunned.


 When we find ourselves struggling with stress, anxiety or tension, we believe things would be better for us if we could make such negative experiences go away.  This struggle and focus on letting go of negativity keeps our attention on the belief we are not happy.  Yet we have it turned around.   We are making stress, anxiety and tension so much bigger than it really is, even if such a viewpoint is supported by our observations and experiences! 

What if we began focusing on the peace than fills the spaces between our thoughts?   What if our efforts were focused on positivity? Why then our experience of stress, anxiety, and tension would surely diminish!  Would we not be happy then?

Sadly no.  We would find ourselves struggling to maintain those momentary eclipses of joy.  We would fixate on them.  We would berate our meditation skills for not being good enough to sustain our “liberation” from stress and negativity.  We would not be happy with our moments of bliss and joy. 

Let yourself become hopeless, let yourself become fearless.  Negativity, stress and struggle are the same thing as positivity, joy and peace.  They are both empty of existence, no need to fixate on diminishing one or increasing the other.

Realize that negativity and positivity are mirror images of the same reflection, added together: they cancel one another out.  When you are empty of the struggle to release the one and the striving for the other, you become truly happy.


Keep meditating,  and whatever shows up, keep letting it go!

Moths on the Mountain

My friend Claire has come for a weekend visit.  She travels alot.  I never know where her cell calls are coming from when she leaves a voice mail.   When I return her messages, she is generally in some other state than the one from which she originally called.  If she were Buddhist, I would call her a Dharma traveler.   But she really just travels for business rather than spiritual insight.  Luckily she is naturally spiritually insightful.

Well she has left and headed back to Cape Cod, her home ground.  Mine too before I came to the mountains.   As I transform my living room’s temporary setting as a bedroom back into its original form, I notice something fluttering by the back door.  A small moth is struggling at the window pane trying to fly out.  It is restrained by the glass.

I open the back door and guide the moth out into the fresh, early morning air.  And suddenly I am filled with the sense of gratitude.  I have just set a Boddhisattva free.  I smile and the sensation of compassion wells up within me. 

“Let all beings be free!”

The Empty Mountain Report

When a person reaches the depths of despair, they feel empty of any feeling of goodness, empty of peace or gratitude.  This “terrible” condition indicates one is in the presence of one’s soul and  it is the beginning of great wisdom.  It can be said of such moments, “we have touched our souls and become aware of how empty we truly are..” 

We are truly a reflection.  It’s as if we are looking into the dark depths of a pool of a water seeing our reflection.  Touch the surface and the reflection dissolves away instantly.  We are ultimately that.  Despair brings realization of the emptiness of our being in a direct way. 

This realization should bring us great joy.   If what we think of ourselves is merely a reflection, of what do we reflect?   This emptiness we feel is the beginning of the realization  that we are not what we appear to be.  We are something beyond this reflected being.  Despair is a natural response to seeing through the reflection.   It is quite disappointing to see that what we thought was real, was not. 

The empty feeling that despair conjures up is the direct experience that we cannot be satisfied with appearances.  We reflect something greater than we have the power to see.  When I stir up my reflection,  I dissolve the appearance of me.  I am not a permanent being and whatever saddens me, frustrates, me or drives me crazy will not last either. 

 I am aware of strong feelings.  I am aware my feelings of happiness and joy do not last.  Therefore my anger, frustration and sadness cannot last either.  The mountain looms up before my eyes, I cannot imagine a day that it would not be there.  Yet the appearance of it changes every day. 

 I am empty, just like that mountain.

The Mountain Dawn Report

j0402277I meditate in the morning as the sun rises above the mountain ridge.  The sunlight glints across the new fallen snow, illuminating my face with bright golden light.

Clouds pass over the sun and my face darkens, the sky clears and sunlight illumines my face.  Again and again.  Moment by moment.  The appearance of darkness.  The appearance of light.  The presence of the sun illuminates my mind with awareness.


It’s Raining Leaves

Fall Leaves

It is a rainy day.  Chilly and bleak.  Yet I am surrounded by fire red burning bushes and glowing yellow trees.  The wind blows around the corner of my house and suddenly its raining leaves.  Golden leaves are swirling all around.  This is not momentary, it lasts for several minutes.  The leaves are floating to the ground by the hundreds.

Where did all these leaves come from?  I have a neighborhood of golden leaves in my backyard.  I want to go outside and lie down on those wet leaves.  Maybe more will blow onto my face.  Where will they go tomorrow?

Maybe they will simply blow away.

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