Sunday, September 27, 2009

the month of me

I've come up with a practice plan that's different from what we discussed, but I think it works for me right now. I'm going to make October a month of maitri for me. After our talk, I feel like I need to get back in touch with my own buddhanature/basic goodness on a heart level. so, I'm going to devote part of my daily meditation, maybe 10 minutes, to maitri or tonglen just for me. I think if I really get that, it will naturally extend out to those around me.

and for my off-the-cushion practice, I'm going to practice mindful acquisition of clothing. before I buy another black skirt or get sucked into the sale rack at anthropologie, I'm going to actually think about what need the item of clothing in question meets. do I already own something like it? if so, why do I need another? what do I think this item of clothing will do for me -- make me happy? make me feel pretty? hide my deficiencies from the world? and if that's what I want it to do, will it really work? or is there a better, deeper way of getting to that need? I'm going to try to enlist one of my wiser girlfriends to help me in this.

maybe you see the connection between the on-the-cushion off-the-cushion practices. I do. I buy clothes to make myself feel good, but maybe I can work on just feeling good about myself instead.

sept. 27

yesterday the world was shiny, to use a word from the joss whedonverse. on the subway, two muscled-up guys got up and gave up their seats, and another woman and I did a polite dance about trying to let the other person have it (a third person just took one.) ultimately, we both fit. then, after hanging out at bryant park at the very parisian tables, I got to overhear a conversation among three dudes about how the buddha came to enlightenment. "no, no he was like a prince, and he went out to look at his kingdom and then he sat down under a tree, and like didn't eat, dude, and then vishnu came and sat with him and another guy. and that was how it spread." "dude, some of these guys can meditate so deeply that you can't tell if they're dead or alive." "dude, when they died, they found that they rotted out from the inside from not eating or something." if only they knew.

october practice plan

Friday, September 25, 2009

the living cannot help but love the world

The Adamantine Perfection of Desire
by Jane Hirshfield

Nothing more strong
than to be helpless before desire.

No reason,
the simplified heart whispers,
the argument over,
only This.

No longer choosing anything but assent.

Its bowl scraped clean to the bottom,
the skull-bone cup no longer horrifies,
but, rimmed in silver, shines.

A spotted dog follows a bitch in heat.
Gray geese flying past us, crying.
The living cannot help but love the world.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


everything IS ok.

thank you for knowing that.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

right speech

I would ask sangha members to be mindful of their words and to consider whether what they are about to say constitutes right speech. The traditional test is: is it true, is it necessary, is it kind?
snarkiness aimed at another member of the sangha is neither necessary nor kind. I would go so far as to say that anything you mutter under your breath is probably not right speech.

and rather than apologize, how 'bout if you look at why you make those kinds of comments? what's the attachment here: to being right? to being superior? to being more intelligent?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

there's this mauve handbag

Suzuki Roshi:
And we should forget, day-by-day, what we have done; this is true non-attachment. And we should do something new. To do something new, of course we must know our past, and this is all right. But we should not keep holding onto anything we have done; we should only reflect on it. And we must have some idea of what we should do in the future.