october 2008 buddhist carnival, part 2

here is part 2 of the october 2008 buddhist carnival. you can find the first part here, where we focused exclusively on posts that discuss poverty in a buddhist context.

vipassana no. 1: this, too

i’ve been “enjoying my breath” on the regular four times a week for almost a year. i say hello to my in-breath, and say good-bye to the out. when thoughts arise in my big brain, i note them, label them and release; as is the practice in vipassana or “insight” style meditation. and when a pesky thought appears, there is no need to push it away. following the advice of my imaginary best friends tara brach and jack kornfield i simply bow to that thought saying, “this too.” please, my apartment is not huge, but my heart is! tara and jack told me so! so it goes a little something like this…

in, out, in, out, chocolate cake-thought!, in, out, in, chocolate cake-thought, out, in, out, in, there’s a murderer in my apartment-ahhh fear, out, in, out, in, out, i want to go to australia -planning, in, out, in, out, in, out, ohhh, this is nice-pleasure, in, out, in, out, paula abdul-weird, in, out, in, out….

more of this at sarah jackson’s end of summer metta sale.

vipassana no.2: clear perception
if insight or vipassana meditation is something you’ve been thinking about trying, and if you’d also like to explore its more serious angle, you might find this article useful. it goes into some detail, for example here, where it explains where the word comes from:

insight meditation or vipassana comes directly from the sitipatthana sutra, a discourse attributed to the buddha himself. the pali term for insight meditation is vipassana bhavana. bhavana stems from the root ‘bhu’ meaning to grow or become. therefore bhavana means to cultivate and when used in reference to the mind it means mental cultivation. vipassana is derived from ‘passana’ meaning perceiving and ‘vi’ which means ‘in a special way’ and possesses connotations of both ‘into’ and ‘through’. thus the whole meaning of vipassana is: looking into a thing with clarity and precision, seeing each component as distinct and separate and piercing all the way through so as to perceive the most fundamental reality of that thing.

read more at meditation – method, effects and purpose within buddhism.

past, future, present
the buddha said

do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.

phil picks this saying apart and makes it work for him. i heartily applaud him for doing so – we need to make these sacred texts our own, get our own individual learning from them. (i wrote a whole post about that tailored type of study a while ago over at alex’s blog). i don’t quite agree with phil’s interpretation – but in a way, that’s the point. it needs to work for phil, not for me.

read here what phil has to say about past, present and future.

goddess in my heart
ybonesy has a lovely long post describing her visit to vietnam, and particularly the buddhist temple at cai be, where she found the image of a goddess – a buddha mother – that made a lasting and loving impression on her heart.

people who love others, truly love, will give up anything if it means their loved ones will survive. there are people all across this world and in my country and my life who know that kind of love. they are greater than all the bad, and though i lose this truth when i most need it, it lives even when i forget or stop believing.

i was very touched by this: there are truths that live on, regardless of whether we remember or believe. the buddha did not teach many certainties but the truth of love and compassion – elusive, yes, slippery and fluid and at the same time rock solid – that truth is unquestionable.

please visit ybonesy at her blog, red ravine, and accompany her on her journey. the image for this blog is also her art work.  (mother mudra, doodle © 2008 by ybonesy. all rights reserved.)

comfort zone

finally, a little something at the tao of simplicity. i’m always intrigued by these short little posts. this one, stretch out of your comfort zone, relates to buddhist concepts in the sense that the buddha certainly encourages us not to cling to comfort. too much comfort lulls, and the more we have of it, the more we tend to crave it.

you need to stretch just enough to be uncomfortable. then, rest and let your comfort zone expand naturally. then, stretch again.

hm, interesting. that sounds a bit like yoga.

this, people, is all we have for the october buddhist carnival. if you know of any posts that should appear in next month’s carnival (november 15), please send them to me here, or, if you have a hard time connecting to blog carnival, drop me a line.

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