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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

 

 

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.

Western Resolution meets Eastern Resolve

Resolve, according to Mirriam Webster is an act of determination; synonym is courage.
Courage: from Anglo-French curage, from coer heart, from Latin cormore at Heart: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.
Heart: the emotional or moral as distinguished from the intellectual nature: as
a: Generous disposition: Compassion (a leader with heart)
b: Love, Affection (won her heart)
c: Courage, Ardor (never lost heart).

As I listen to friends and family making their New-Years Resolutions I’m encouraged to re-establish my own (and much in process) resolve. Like Calvin to Hobbes I’ve found help from wiser folks than myself. Ahhhh the web, how do I thank thee?

Resolve or Determination as a Western habit is most often emphasized during the season of the New Year . . . speaking from my own experience, my Western mind-set can barely manage even this much frequency. Ah but take heart,  is also one of the Ten Perfections listed in the Pali Canon, the scriptures of the Theravadin teachings. In the Pali language the perfection of resolve/determination is “Adhitthana Parami”.

Ajahn Sucitto and Ajahn Thanissaro both offer guidance when exploring or undertaking these virtues. They describe in detail how Adhitthana is nurtured and applied. Given that a study shows a pathetic 12% likelihood of success rate for new resolutions to last even one year, it seems most of us could use a bit of help from our friends . . . might as well listen to some wise ones.

Ajahn Sucitto’s mp3 Dhamma talk “Adhitthana Parami

Ajahn Thanisarro’s study guide on “The Ten Perfections

Cheers to keeping your New or Old resolutions! And just for fun, here’s a hint to my re-Newed Years resolution: (not a pretty picture but certainly familiar.


Click here to enlarge Comic Strip

To Play or Not to Play

Three year old Natalie loves to paint. She explores colors and forms as readily as surfaces, bringing her body into play as she paints. She inspires me to reclaim my studio-now-storage space so I might join her in the fun.

On the Fourth of July Natalie joined Alistair and I at a kids Alms offering for Laung Por Sumedho and Ajahn Panyasaro at our Buddhist center. Before leaving the house we searched around for wee gifts to offer the monks. Alistair picked flowers from our garden, I picked out some incense from Thailand and Natalie choose fairies (unused candles in the shape of little girl angles I had set on the childrens dinner plates last Christmas). We tucked the wee presents into envelopes she deemed pretty enough to carry the fairies in and headed off down the street.

The Alms were offered, gifts were received and Blessings rained. Its been months since I’ve had such a light hearted feeling when at the center, where too my studio is housed. Nothing like youthful aplomb to lightened the heart of a ‘responsible adult’ and bring body into play once again.