Love and Let Go . . .

All that is mine will become otherwise, will become separated from me.


With the passing of my younger brother Chris, these words are often present in my psyche of late. He stands here in this photo taken in 1966 between our older brother David and our Dad Carl.  Along with our Dad three of my nine siblings have passed.


I know it’s a trick of the mind to wander the land of big-sister, why fight a battle already loss?   I’m just going to wait this one out . . . love and let go . . . love and let . . . love and . . . love . . .


The tricks of sañña make it spin.

The mind goes wrong because it trusts its saññas,

attached to its likes,

leaving this plane of being,

going to that, wandering till it’s dizzy,

forgetting itself,

completely obscure to itself.

No matter how hard it tries to find the Dhamma,

it can’t catch a glimpse.”


“What ferrets out the Dhamma?”


“The heart ferrets it out,

trying to find out how saññas say ‘good’

and grasp at ‘bad’

and force it to fasten on loving & hating.”


“To eat once & never look for more?”


“The end of wanting to look, to know,

to hope for knowing more,

The end of entanglements.

The mind sits still on its dais,

discarding its attachments.”


The Ballad of the Khandhas an excerpt



Walking on Tracks

Though today has warmed from its cold winter’s snap yesterday’s early walk was draped in frozen fog. The leaves that didn’t crunch underfoot glittered like candy to my eye. My mind began to dance and the heart picked up the beat.  Snow must be in the air’ I whispered to myself.  ‘Is that a snow flake I see’ I wondered as I strained to will it into being.


It’s a familiar track of the  mind that I knew better than to walk but surely a few moments couldn’t hurt. Down memory lane I went.  Searching for a snowy day I landed on a dandy: a white Christmas in Les Gets, the French Alps.  All aboard! Nothing like snow to elicit a feeling of peace. Ahhhhh, bliss!


Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy . . .Toot . . . Toot . . . . . . toot . . . toot . . . toot . . .


One certain thing about memories, eventually they all disappear. Gone, and yet there I stood aching over it’s demise .  . . Uggghhh


Unshakeable Peace

By Ajahn Chah


Please clearly understand that when the mind is still, it’s in its natural, normal state. As soon as the mind moves, it becomes conditioned (sankhāra). When the mind is attracted to something, it becomes conditioned. When aversion arises, it becomes conditioned. The desire to move here and there arises from conditioning. If our awareness doesn’t keep pace with these mental proliferations as they occur, the mind will chase after them and be conditioned by them. Whenever the mind moves, at that moment, it becomes a conventional reality.


So the Buddha taught us to contemplate these wavering conditions of the mind.


Meditation – A Way of Awakening

By Ajahn Sucitto


Attuning to the rhythm and energy of the thinking, ask if it’s possible to slow it down a fraction in order to meet that energy more completely. Keep slowing it until the thoughts are at ‘walking pace’ and the spaces between them are discernable. Contemplate the arising of each thought out of the space, and assist in the formation and moulding of each thought. Help it along, like supervising a toddler trying to walk. As each thought begins to subside, help it to its rest like helping an elderly person into their seat. Feel what it’s like when the thought has rested. Be willing to help the next one to its feet.

Tic – Toc – Tic – Toc . . .

I posted this video three years ago and now I’m even older and the message still applies . . . and now I’m even older still . . . how am I spending my time?


Giving and Recieving between communities

Most every month I meet with the Board of Trustees of the Sellwood Methodist Church, our landlords. Over the years these kind gentlemen have listened to all sorts of ways we at Portland Friends of the Dhamma have been jostling with the noise/heat/cold issues regarding the outdated windows in the Shrine room. This pass Autumn I was sharing with them some steps our community had taken (and were considering yet taking) regarding the challenges of these old windows.

  • Received an anonymous donation from our community for a complete set of  second window inserts, custom built
  • Purchased noise, sun, loss of heat reduction blinds
  • Paul G., a community member, hand built window ledges
  • Purchased swamped cooler to address summer heat issues
  • Dave F. a community member, did extensive research on how we might address the summer heat issue
  • Jim W. a community member and air-movement specialist offered useful advice

When sharing our continued window saga I was touched the way the Church’s Board responded. They were impressed with the way our community actively holds itself responsible for our comfort and in so doing has members who voluntarily contribute to upgrading a facility they don’t even own. Then they chatted amongst themselves and cheerfully agreed to offer brand new windows for our Shrine room at no cost to us. A few weeks later they decided to put new windows in the Kitchen as well to further help cut down noise from the street. “Would this help?” my neighbor Bryan and Sellwood Methodist Church Board member asked. On behalf of our community I offered back a toothy “Oh yes indeed”.

Within a couple months the windows were installed. The noise in the Shrine room dropped dramatically, the room remained heated long after the thermostat was turned down for the night and the beauty of these new windows proved a much unexpected and appreciated bonus.

Today, when viewing the Church’s bulletin board I notice our Thank-You cards were pinned up. Thirty-eight people signed these cards. It was lovely to see our community Thank-You’s displayed for all  their community to receive.

From the Buddhist to the Christians, Thank You for this deeply appreciated act of Generosity.

What’s Moving, What’s Still

Two monks were arguing about a flag. One said:
“The flag is moving.”
The other said:
“The wind is moving.”
The sixth patriarch happened to be passing by. He told them:
“Not the wind, not the flag; mind is moving.”

Alistair and I went cross country skiing yesterday. It was a welcome break from a busy schedule. Arriving at the Mt. Hood Meadows Nordic Center we smiled when greeted with colorful Tibetan prayer flags flapping in the cool and subtle breeze; a suitable environment for encouraging a still mind/moving body. It was indeed a day filled with physical exhaustion and mental ease. We look forward to repeating this exercise, hopefully soon.