Tag Archives: Hope

And then there was Light

Learning to Walk

The video at the bottom of this post reflects (according to moi) the best of worldly family. To be born challenged as the son documented here is, into a family with a father such as he has certainly demonstrates one of good kamma, one of good worldly fortune.

Taking a second look I’m motivated by its message in an unexpected way. What will the son do should his father pass away before him? Perhaps another would step in to take his fathers place though its not very likely, and the son will certainly never be able to do on his own what he can do with his dad.

The question arose for me after Ajahn Pasanno was ‘thought’ to have the first of possibly a series of strokes (now believed to of been a one time event). What would I do should he pass away before me? Would I be able to apply his teachings and guidance without ever having contact with him again? Unlike the gentleman in the video I can learn to walk on my own and must take advantage of teachers presence to the fullest while their still alive so that when they (or myself) pass along I can remain moving forward in Dhamma.

Click HERE to view video

Choosing to Follow


Have recently returned from an intense week at Wat Metta followed by another at Wat Abhayagiri under the guidance of two brilliant Masters (neither of whom would approve of my saying so but there you go, too late now). Ajahn Thanissaro coaxed, teased and flattened a particularly insatiable (and less than beautiful) habit of mine followed by Ajahn Pasanno shoveling up the pieces only to walk away leaving me to follow or wallow, the choice of course is mine.

The benefits of these master’s guidance have led to palatable results and encourages me to follow their lead. The most noticable benefit thus far is felt within the very challenges I alluded to in my previous post. Though these challenges are still present they now arise within a settled heart and mind. I hope to learn how to lean toward, settle into and remain in this contented space. Given time and a whole lot of effort perhaps my appreciation of good teachers will deepen along with a recognition of all they put up with in guiding folks like me ;)

This Buddha statue stands 52 feet and considered to be the highest free-standing Buddha statue of the world.

One Fortunate Cringe


Mom phoned. I picked up her message around seven p.m. and tried to return her call to no avail. So I called the front desk of the assisted living facility where she has been residing for nearly eight years now and asked them to check on her. They said they would and that they would have her call me back. Mom didn’t phone back.

It’s interesting to watch my mind attempt to make up stories of why mom called. One thought actually made me cringe before I could drop it . . . “Go over and check on her . . . nah, the nurse is checking, she’ll call if anything’s off . . . maybe the staff forgot to check on her and she’s just lying on the floor, alone, in a pool of blood seeping through the floor, dripping on the head of the gentleman in the apartment just below her”. Well, at least that’ll alert them right?

What an outrageous thought and I actually cringed as if this scenario could be true! The good news? That cringe, though it felt nasty, not only alerted me to drop the story, it also flagged other potential stories as not worth giving rise to. It gave some space for me to pay attention to what is actually present and what is merely being dragged off by a fearful scent; mom didn’t answer her phone nor call me back. I made some tea and am drinking it right now and loving my mom. This feels good and that’s the end of the story.

Won’t You Guide My Mind Tonight ?

Ajahn Thanissaro visited our center recently. I’m guessing his teachings took on a variety of themes dependent on the individuals of his audience. A theme that emerged for me was to actively take responsibility for the atmosphere of my heart and mind by paying attention to what perceptions I gave my attention to.

As mentioned in my last post, my current practice is focused on loosening my grip around some particular out-of-date perceptions. Sure, these perception were useful in their time but, as with all things that arise, these too are beginning to age. The question now is ‘can I learn how to let them die’? Well maybe not before I learn how to stop giving them so much attention. Applying Ajahn’s advice seemed a good direction to head . . .

I spent the best part of yesterday trying to put together a slide show for the Upasika program’s second anniversary celebration this Saturday. After several failed attempts to burn a disk of the completed project I finally gave up. When I noticed my mood begin to slip I brought Ajahn’s teachings back to mind and took responsibility for dwelling on the perception of failure. Hours of frustration were indulged before I recalled Ajahn’s advice to purposefully place attention on objects that don’t give rise to suffering. I took immediate action . . . I’m afraid Ajahn would not be proud but what I did next was to turn off the computer and turn on the T.V., made a big bowl a popcorn, put my feet up on the coffee table and watched my all-time-favorite Christmas claymation “Rudolf the Red Nose Raindeer” . . . I mean really, who doesn’t love seeing misfits reach their true potential?

It’s a blizzard in this brain of mine: good thing there’s bright lights to lead the way.
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Ajahn Chah feeding deer at his monastery in Ubon, Thailand