Tag Archives: buddhist blogs

august 2009 buddhist carnival

here’s the buddhist carnival again! last month my blog was still sick and the carnival didn’t happen. glad to be back for august. the buddhist carnival is a romp / surf / drive / ride through the buddhist blogosphere (blugghasphere?) and today’s menu brings you posts on music, fashion, family, war, wishy-washy buddhism, persisting through the agony of sesshin, homelessness and creativity.

buddhist rap
we always start with a poem. this is from a paper entitled buddhism in music – a bit longer than your typical blog post but well worth the read. he includes the lyrics by british rapper maxi jazz, a follower of the nichiren (SGI) path.

my story stops here. let’s be clear,
this scenario is happening everywhere.
and you ain’t going to nirvana or “far-vana”,
you’re coming right back here to live out your karma
with even more drama
than previously. seriously.

buddhists on the catwalk
from chaplain danny:

the associated press has a story today about buddhist monks in japan “[hitting] the catwalk in tokyo…in a bid to spread buddhism among younger people in this rapidly aging society.”

reaching out to family
the ex-bipolar buddhist, a fellow canadian, reprints a moving letter to his family. it’s such an old story: more often than not, we tend to take our families for granted, or even shy away from them. when that family is truly toxic, that may be a good idea. but many families are just – well, normal. garden-variety dysfunctional. busy. a bit indifferent. not quite who we’d have for close friends. in that case, reaching out to them, reminding ourselves of our bonds, is a beautiful and in a way heroic thing. here’s a bit from the letter:

the only way to feel loved is in the present moment, and we are only able to act with mindfulness in the present moment.

i won’t be able to tell you i love you after i’m gone. and i won’t be able to give you the answers or the love you need and deserve. i can only do that now.

emasculated by buddhism?
the new heretic vents on what some might call wishy-washy buddhism. there is an interesting conversation in the comment section where, among others, c4chaos takes me to task on my use of the concept of the middle road.

truth does set us free, but noted that all of their examples were warm and fuzzy, flowery, and that the truth is not always that way. truth is truth. sometimes it is not flowers and sunshine. the truth is that person who you are afraid of hurting you, may, in fact, hurt you. or, to take the opposite position, you may be deluding yourself into thinking that someone is good for you when the truth is that they are bad for you. the truth is that you may be overweight, maybe that other person is more attractive than you, and maybe your sister is going to always score just a little bit higher than you on that test in school. so what? really, so what? that truth is also liberating, and can set you free. isn’t the point to embrace reality? being trapped by irrational fears that are holding you back from enjoying real life is delusion. however, fooling yourself into thinking that life is a bed of roses all the time a delusion that holds you back as well. embrace the reality of the situation, and then you can effectively deal with your shit.

seriously, i think there has to be more “suck-it-up-ness” and “deal-with-it-ness” in the practice.

read here for the rest.

sarah palin and a vow
no need for comment here, i’d say:

i, lazybuddhist, vow to avoid any and all coverage of sarah palin. i shall refrain from participating in discussions about her, and in particular giving into my urge to rant about her. my hatred of her only diminishes me. the energy that would be expended in palin bashing can be much better channeled into something positive and worthwhile.

want to read more? here it is.

the agony of sesshin
genkaku’s blog is one of my favourite spots in the blogosphere. today he speaks of something that has been a huge challenge for me ever since i started meditating back in 1969: the discomfort of sitting in meditation. he compares it to the pain of childbirth:

without trying to compare levels of agony, anyone who has been to a sesshin or extended zen buddhist retreat has probably felt some of the same writhing wrath as the crossed legs burn like fire or the sorrow seems unbearable. who the fuck dreamed this up?!

and yet …

women have more than one child.
zen students go to another sesshin.

analysis (selective amnesia, virtue, greed, etc.) doesn’t interest me much in this realm. what interests me is what actually-factually happens. in the face of what happens now, ‘meaning’ and ‘explanation’ can piss up a rope. analysis can take a hike. whether agonizing or glorious … this is it.

and we do it again.

buddhism – maybe not as peaceful as we always thought
buddhism is all about awakening to reality, isn’t it? ok, so here’s a piece of reality:

buddhism has always been portrayed as the religion of peace. “there has never been a buddhist war,” i’ve heard many times over the years. when the sakya kingdom was threatened with invasion, the buddha sat in meditation in the path of the soldiers, stopping the attack. when the indian king asoka converted to buddhism, he curtailed his military escapades and erected peace pillars. when the dharma came to tibet, it is said that the barbaric tribes were pacified. during the vietnam war, buddhist monks set themselves on fire to protest the fighting.

and now a new study emerges that will radically shake up this view of buddhism. zen at war is a courageous and exhaustively researched book by brian victoria, a western soto zen priest and instructor at the university of auckland. victoria reveals the inside story of the japanese zen establishment’s dedicated support of the imperial war machine from the late 1800’s through world war ii. he chronicles in detail how prominent zen leaders perverted the buddhist teaching to encourage blind obedience, mindless killing, and total devotion to the emperor. the consequences were catastrophic and the impact can still be felt today.

here is the rest of this book review.

bearing witness to homelessness
over the weekend of july 17, 18, & 19 a poet, a zen priest, an industrial designer, a mental health professional and a manager of a soup kitchen took to the streets of boston to bear witness to its homeless.

we only took the clothes on our back, no money, no bedding, no tooth brush, no jewelry, no credit cards, & no desire to do anything but aimlessly meander for three days throughout the city of boston. what did we find there? parts of ourselves that we did not know existed.

buddhism, creativity and the arts
and we come back to the beginning. this event sounds very exciting; i hope we’ll have something like that here in vancouver one day. i signed up with the ning group right away.

the focus of this event was an exploration of the relationship between buddhist thought/practice and creativity with specific reference to the arts. does buddhist thought and practice help or hinder the creative process? the theme was explored through a series of academic lectures, discussion, exhibition of artworks and workshops. the event brought together around 80 people from a broad spectrum of backgrounds buddhist and non-buddhist, artist and non-artists all who share an interest in the theme. the exhibition of visual arts included sculpture, painting and film and represented 40 artists who each share some association with buddhism.

if you would like to make contact with other people interested in this field, go to www.dharmaarts.ning.com/ – the site of the dharma arts network (dan) which was launched at the conference, or the london buddhist arts centre’s website where you can sign up to their database.

what are we going to have for the september buddhist carnival? i don’t know. but if all goes as planned, it’ll be on the 15th.

a buddhist carnival – 9th edition, part 1

welcome to the 9th edition of the buddhist carnival. it’s only been nine months? it seems like a long time, and a good long time. i always look forward to putting this carnival together.

even though there are still problems with blog carnival, we have a very nice selection of articles on buddhism this month; in fact, i will give you thoughts and excerpts of all of them. as i often do in this carnival, i will to stick to the middle way and not burden you with too many links; rather, i’ll serve up the carnival in two portions. this is the first one; you can expect the second one by next monday.

let’s start.

what is zen? who teaches it?
lately, i’ve enjoyed starting this carnival with a buddhist poem. chris from martial development was kind enough to supply one, in both his and my ongoing (and probably futile) question of what is zen, really, and is there such a thing as real zen? he quotes a ch’an (chinese zen) master in his post zen habits of master hsuan hua

the dumb transmit to the dumb,
one is teaching but neither has any idea.
the sifu goes to hell.
where will the student end up?

does a teacher need to be enlightened?
if we want a teacher to be more than “dumb” – how much does she need to know? what are the requirements? tom stine discusses the difference between enlightenment and encountering the absolute:

a teacher is not lesser because he hasn’t fully awakened. there are still many, many people who need what he or she has to offer. the grave fallacy that so many run into, which probably leads to a certain amount of difficulties, is the notion that a teacher needs to be “done” to be a teacher. but it isn’t so. all that is required is honesty with yourself and those you teach and interact with. much can be learned, much can be shared.

meditating: like a cat at the mouse hole
this, for example, can be shared (and here is an interesting thought: to what degree are these blogs that talk about buddhism our teachers?)

sarah uses the disney characters tom and jerry to illustrate how our mind likes to jump around during meditation (and even more at other times but then we usually don’t pay attention)

the swami turban on tom’s head is no accident. don’t think for one minute that i don’t loooove sitting on my sage meditation mat which looks lovely against my orange curtains and green buddha, ready for instant enlightenment right here in queens. but after following no more than three glorious breaths in and out, millions of insane thoughts come tumbling down. they are as obnoxious and adorable as jerry in those little aladdin pants! how the hell am i supposed to ignore that?! in classic over-achieving, runner sarah mode, i try to attack the problem by blocking the thoughts. but no dice. jerry’s not going anywhere.

buddhism and art
from the art of walt disney to another art form: here in vancouver, we have a new exhibition by performance artist zhang huan.

a line running through zhang’s art is his enduring relationship to buddhism. in a 1998 performance, pilgrimage”wind and water in new york, he threw himself down repeatedly on gravel-covered ground, imitating the prostrations of buddhist pilgrims, to the sounds of tibetan buddhist music.

in his shanghai studio, he has produced immense self-portrait busts using ash gathered from burnt offerings and incense in buddhist temples. he has also created huge representations of the fingers and limbs broken off buddhist statuary during china’s cultural revolution. these works function as a kind of reclamation of belief and, through it, a declaration of freedom.

(image of zhang huan by designboom)

a buddhist carnival, 8th edition

a buddha statueit’s july 15th – buddhist carnival day! here’s what we have.

the face before you were born
as usual, i like to start with a poem, and want to thank linda for sending one. i am quite taken by how she ties the experience of becoming a grandmother with the buddhist idea about “the face before you were born”

“this could feel a little cold,”
the ultrasound technician warns,
warming the electrodes”or something
more benign”to place upon my daughter’s
swelling belly, bringing life to the idea
of her yet unborn child, at twelve weeks
now revealed”

a nimble gymnast, flexing, leaping, kicking
in a dark internal sea…sound waves coursing
tides within the muscular gymnasium,
and there,

upon the screen, a face appears”
the face you wore before you were born.

cold waves, heavier than light, unveil
the secret sac in which you float and dance:
a private glimpse through some impossible
mystery-technology”

your face swims into view”an upturned nose
and certain gaze, before your soul has met
its match in union with such princely flesh;
a clay-vessel bobbing briefly in a red river,
soon to be caught in the rushes and rescued
to our world, this side of deliverance.

read here for the rest, and go here to look at that little face.

what’s buddhism, and what isn’t?
chris from martial development, one of my favourite contributors to this carnival, has a fantastic article about what is and isn’t zen. i want to stand up and clap loudly, yes, yes yes!!! by the way, he, too, remembers the face linda speaks of.
the contrasts chris offers are, in my mind, pretty clear cut. an old koan is zen, a body lotion is not zen. i get that.

i’d be interested, though, in a discussion about the grayer areas. there was an article in tricycle, the buddhist magazine, about the topic a while ago: if a fashionable guru sweeps into town and offers all kinds of little “how to become a buddhist in 5 steps” workshops, how good is that for buddhism? are people helped by being introduced to (hopefully) useful concepts, or are they hindered by getting a false impression of buddhism? (btw, questions like this can be raised in other contexts, as well. for example, i’m reminded of an interesting conversation on josh bancroft’s blog about the intent versus the business of information technology)

at any rate, for now i heartily recommend you look at chris’ article.
another example are people on the internet who show an interest in concepts that are often associated with buddhism, without necessarily going deeply into the more traditional texts, philosophy and practices of buddhism. hueina su, one of my oldest blogging friends, had submitted an article featuring jill bolte taylor’s interesting experience with a shift of consciousness: nirvana is only a thought away. she says this

to have inner peace and balance, you need to make a conscious choice to live in the present moment. when you are completely “in the moment”, there is no stress.

how similar is this and the rest of what she says in her article to ch’an master hsin yun’s poem, star and cloud?

star and cloud

by hsing yun

i love the starry sky at nighttime,
i adore the fluttering clouds during daytime.
no matter what kind of night we see,
there will always be stars in the sky,
no matter what kind of day we face,
there will always be clouds in the sky.
sparks of starlight extend the boundaries of life,
masses of cloud symbolize freedom in life;
beautiful flowers cannot remain blooming forever,
the shiny moon cannot be full all the time.
only stars! they will be glittering and shining forever bright.
blue skies cannot appear clear all the time,
the sun that generates warmth will never leave its orbit.
only clouds! they will never be intercepted but float freely up high.
at nighttime, there are glittering stars,
and at daytime, there will be floating clouds.

i would also like to thank the authors of the following articles:

what is tithing?
religion: bondage and freedom
is the ego necessary for survival?

that’s it for july. if you have a post about buddhism, please submit it here for the next carnival. it’s scheduled for august 15, 2008.

 

(image by cataua

a buddhist carnival – june 2008, part 2

temple of forgiveness at burning manhere, friends, is the second part of this month’s buddhist carnival. the first part is here. enjoy!

forgiveness
andrew, on his blog rants of a gay lunatic (i have to confess that such a title immediately makes me perk up my ears) does not directly mention buddhism in his article why we must forgive president george w. bush but i’d say it is exactly in line with buddhist thinking:

we are trying to change the world and re-create a great country. i have said that george w. bush has failed as president, and i have said that i forgive him. i will take that a step further and say, “thank you for trying.” i am convinced he did a better job than i could have done. i appreciate his ambition and bravery in accepting – indeed, pursuing – such a responsible position. i don’t envy that responsibility and i don’t envy bush’s lack of popularity. but i do appreciate his attempt, and i wish him well in his retirement.i hope that we will all be able to forgive president bush. not everyone can be a great president – or a great anything for that matter. but in order to create and re-create and continue to create a great and a good nation, we must move past our anger and move on to love, acceptance, and forgiveness.

self-expression, self-less expression
wayne always has something interesting to say, although one of these days i have to get around to asking him why his zen blog has become so insanely busy visually lately (or i guess i’m doing this right now). one of wayne’s interests is how we live in our bodies. this article, self-less expression, is part of that series:

the goal is not to figure out we have a body, only to “give it up,” and become all spiritual. it’s about accepting ourselves exactly and precisely as we are. and then, finding a way, or multiple ways, to be the totality of who we are.

simplicity
and here, from the tao of simplicity:

ever since i became interested in simplicity, minimalism, and the present moment, i have become more sensitive.

the most powerful number is zero! excess information causes paralysis and represses you!

i see that people (including me) have a tendency to take too many notes, hold onto too many emails and paperwork.

***

what else do we have? “glowing face man” wants to awaken the badass within (a worthy goal, wouldn’t you say?) and says “pause and look at the world around you: it will end in a moment.” the daily mind proposes that we meditate at work:

we spend most of our lives at work. some of us will have the same job we have now til the day we die and we will be there from nine til five every single day. if we do not use our work time carefully we will waste a significant portion of our existences doing something that we resent. the way to change that is with meditation.

and our friend anmol, who has also been seen here numerous times, shares his experience with raising enlightened children:

the one thing that children need, is your simple, unadulterated egoless presence and attention. it is the most important thing for them to have, and is the key to providing them the right atmosphere to grow freely and fully. here are some important highlights of what this translates into.

other submissions included

and that’s it for now. the next edition will come out on july 15, 2008. remember, if you have an article about buddhism you would like to see featured here, please use this submission form. also, if you’d like to host a buddhist carnival, talk to me!

(image of temple of forgiveness at burning man by almost jaded)

a buddhist carnival on father’s day

laughing, imperfect buddhahello friends, and thanks for visiting this month’s buddhist carnival!

before we start, i want to say:

happy father’s day!

and i want to tell you a bit about my father, who passed away 12 years ago. it was my father who awakened my interest in buddhism. buddhism was a philosophy that suited my father well. when i think of him, the first emotional images that arise are of a calm but passionate man, who was intimately aware of the nature of illusion, and who was infinitely compassionate yet unentangled with other people’s suffering. he also had an all-encompassing sense of humour that often seemed to hold the whole world’s vast absurdity in his loving, warm hands. yes, he talked about buddhism here and there, but more than that, he was an example of it. i don’t think i ever heard him use a phrase like “living in the moment” but even in his darkest days (and there were many!) there was always a sense of presence about him; perhaps he often did not live in the moment but he was frequently aware of it, and it showed.

it is interesting that this immediate recall i have of him is always much louder and more intense than the other stuff: like many “gurus” (a very charismatic man, he was a strong influence on those around him, most of them fellow artists), he was fallible in countless ways. he was manipulative and had that impossible sense of entitlement so typical of the european aristocracy that had survived the upheavals of history anything but intact. this man was also addicted to just about anything that caught his fancy, and struggling, for his life many times, with bipolar disorder.

and yet, as i paint this all-round picture, these all-too-apparent shortcomings serve nothing but to enrich the image of my father that i carry in my heart.

i am deeply grateful that i can say “yes” to all that my father was. that, too, comes from him: this fierce doctrine of inclusion and acceptance.

thank you, father. or let me talk to him directly, in german:

pappi, danke fuer all die geschenke, mit denen du mich ueberhaeuft hast. danke, dass du mir den buddha geschenkt has.

***
and now: let’s move on to the carnival:

the essence of the sutra is a poem
i really like opening this carnival with a poem. in this post, the sutra on knowing the better way to live alone – thich nhat hanh we hear

the essence of the sutra is a poem. the buddha wrote poems, but the poems of the buddha were more designed to show us how to practice. the gatha which talks about the art of living alone is called the bhaddekaratta gatha, bhaddekaratta means “the best way to live alone.” many people have mistranslated this title: one master translated it as “practicing for one night.” there’s also another master who translated this title as “being present.” the correct translation is to say “the better way to practice living alone.” this poem says:

do not pursue the past.
do not lose yourself in the future.
the past no longer is.
the future has not yet come.
looking deeply at life as it is
in the very here and now,
the practitioner dwells
in stability and freedom.

all of the essence of the buddha’s teachings lies in these words.

loss
next, a post on loss by our friend chris, the martial artist, who has been a welcome guest here on this carnival quite a few times already. he talks about a topic that i have been thinking about lately, so i was happy to hear more about it. it is called investing in loss, investing in ego

the hero’s journey starts with self-reinforcement, passes through acceptance and internal quietude, to arrive at listening, learning and perhaps, ultimately, transcendence. this is the common path of spirituality and martial arts. to win, one must first be sincerely willing to lose more than just their footing.

as often, i am presenting this carnival in two parts. i find it contradictory to praise the simplicity of buddhism and then at the same time flood you with even more words than i usually do.

the second part will come out in the next few days, some time before june 20.

in the meantime, if you have an article about buddhism you would like to see featured here, please use this submission form.

and don’t forget

do not pursue the past.
do not lose yourself in the future.

in gassho,

isabella

(image by T a k

frozen pea friday: a buddhist on cancer

mount shastafor today’s weekly frozen pea breast cancer post, i was wondering what some of the buddhists on the net say about cancer and came across reverend mugo from jade mountains. this blog is “an expression of gratitude to all those who read, leave comments and provide support by offering dana, friendship, hospitality, guidance, and encouragement.” jade mountains contains, and points to, various sources of buddhist teachings. reverend mugo is a female disciple and dharma heir of the late rev. master jiyu-kennett having been ordained by her in 1981 at shasta abbey california.

i’d like to offer to you some of the numerous references to cancer in this blog.

this entry about climbing mount shasta may give a glimpse as to why rev. mugo mentions cancer here and there – perhaps for reasons similar to my own:

my attention has been drawn to the breast cancer fund climb against the odds expedition to the top of mt. shasta in june this year.

at 14,162 feet, mt. shasta stands as the most striking mountain in northern california and is home to california’s largest glaciers. besides training for the peak attempt, climbers commit to raising a minimum of $5,000 for the breast cancer fund’s work to prevent the disease. we provide the support to achieve both.

the breast cancer fund identifies – and advocates for elimination of – the environmental and other preventable causes of the disease.

when i was a novice at shasta abbey in the early 1980’s i was with my ordination sister goso in the bath-house, where speaking is strictly forbidden. looking up at the mountain through the window she whispered, we’ll climb that one day. sadly she didn’t live long enough for us to do that. she died in november 1986, of breast cancer.

in for whom the bell tolls, rev. mugo mentions the film wit:

“wit, this HBO film presentation, chronicles the personal awakening of a longtime literary scholar (two-time oscar-winner emma thompson), who learns the importance of simple human kindness when faced with the most daunting of crises: a diagnosis of advanced cancer.”

i think emma thompson is wonderful in what ever she does and her part in the film wit is no exception. one might think that the story of a woman undergoing aggressive treatment for cancer would be a sad one. after watching the film last week i was left both uplifted and stilled. it pointed out that illness, terminal illness, can transform into a gift that helps the heart to walk through the flapping door of death, with equanimity and humility.

finally, bows to valiant hearts:

for those who care, who are the carers of those who need caring for, nine bows of gratitude.

for the nurse who was punched to-day, by a patient suffering from dementia, bows.

for the elderly man with terminal cancer who cared for his wife until the time now come, to be cared for. valiant man!

nine bows to all those who, alone or with others, face the task of helping another to get through another day, and another day and another and another…the unrelenting another day. i’ve been there and those days have been privileged days. perhaps those days never end.

in many ways giving is easy; receiving care, not so easy. i hope i have the good grace and fortitude to be cared for, should that time ever come.

i bow to you, reverend mugo. thank you for caring.

(image thanks to volcanicbyway.org)

a buddhist carnival – may 2008 edition, part 2

so … here’s part 2 of this month’s buddhist carnival. you can find part 1 here.

buddha’s birthday
talking about carnival, here are some pictures of buddha’s birthday festival in perth put on by the buddha light international association (i know it from my husband’s family, who are japanese pure land buddhists, as hana-matsuri). here’s a picture.

a buddhist monastery in india
and while we’re traveling, let’s go with maneesh to india. he has a really nice description of namdroling monastery in kushalnagar. on the outside it looked quite ordinary, he says, but inside, one room had so much of positive energy that after standing there for ten minutes he felt completely refreshed.

inner smile
… and somehow i can just imagine leaving there with a big smile! gia combs-ramirez (what a neat name!) talks about the inner smile

this is a smile that is created by very slightly raising the corners of your lips while adopting the inner stance of a smile.try it … first smile big, lifting the corners of your mouth way up. feel the corresponding shift inside of you with this smile. now just slightly smile and put more emphasis on the shift inside of you.

one of the biggest proponents of the inner smile is thich nhat hanh. go to gia’s blog and you’ll see a picture of him – smiling.

letting go of blame
great to see a submission by matthew spears, who always contributes well thought-out (and well … in-heart?) articles, like this one, the flame of blame. he comments, “by assigning responsibility to anyone or anything for a given result, you are assigning blame. it is the need to look for a cause for an experience that is the major factor in blame. so if you want to let go of the blaming process, you must let go of a need to assign responsibility.”

i and we
finally, an interesting little reflection piece about the word “i”: “try to use the word “we” instead of “i” for one day. while saying it feel all the ancestors behind you, and all people in the future.”

***

thank you, friends, for a really good buddhist carnival, thanks for the honour of hosting these great posts. let’s all come together again next month, on june 15. please, if you have an article you’d like to see featured here, use this submission form.

a buddhist carnival – 7th edition, part 1

buddhist artwelcome to the may 2008 edition of a buddhist carnival.

this time around, we got another really good selection of articles. i don’t want to throw too much information at you – that wouldn’t be very buddhist, would it? – so i’ll present the carnival in two parts again. part 2 will arrive some time before may 22.

just like last month, let’s start with a poem – actually, an excerpt of a poem – about … lunch with the dalai lama.

he reaches inside his robe and brings out
an old radio which he places on the table
as if it were the cafeteria’s main selection of the day.
as he shows me how to work the dials,
i feel like a child just beginning to walk
or a bird about to sing its first song.
as he works the dials, he looks toward me
to be sure i’m paying attention.

and more on art and buddhism. in an interview at fuzz, eden maxwell talks about the similarity between zen and art.

in zen, there are no lessons, tests, or lengthy discourses; the source of truth is grasped through intuition. art is the same. the source of all great art is intuition. you experience this when you suddenly, without planning, hear a magic lyric or melody inside your head.

on his own blog, eden reminds us of the difference between reality and talking about it.

as the japanese zen priest, shunryu suzuki-roshi, said: “when i raise the hand thus, there is zen. but when i assert that i have raised the hand, zen is no more there.”

this difference is an important concept in buddhism. another such concept is buddha-mind living in everything. nikhil gangoli muses about this here

one of the buddhism beliefs that i have found most useful is this saying attributed to the zen master bodhidharma:

“this very mind the buddha”

if we accept this as true then what are the implications of these buddhism beliefs to the way we live our lives?
simply this: be as polite respectful and reverent to the antics of the mind – the jumble of thoughts, emotions, feelings and complexes – as you would to the buddha himself.

this is something i often think about. it’s easy to look at a child playing and to say, “oh, look, buddha nature!” but what about more difficult people? what about george bush’s buddha nature?

moving on … yet more important buddhist concepts are compassion and equality (in fact, buddha-nature and equality are closely related)

focus on our equality. this is a practice i learned from the dalai lama. judgement and hatred stem primarily from “othering” individuals. we see them as so different from ourselves, so unequal, and so removed from us that it’s easy to not love them. instead, we can focus on our similarities. then we can grow in our kindness. we are all human beings. we all suffer. we all want the best for ourselves and our families. we all hurt. we all cry. we all laugh and smile. we all yearn for comfort and freedom. just because someone is different in some way, does not devalue their needs, innate beauty, and their inherent right to happiness.

so much for part 1. stay tuned for part 2! in the meantime, do you have an article you think we should see? go here to submit it.

(image by circusvoltaire)