Saturday, April 17, 2021

Call Me Crazy

On Wednesday afternoon, before the predicted snow of Thursday and Friday, i planted my banana tree outdoors near the back door, in the semi-shade of the north side of the house.

You know what happened.

The question is: Did i suffer? 

Did you stress out in reading this little vignette? Did you have an opinion? Or make up a story?

I "knew" that the temperature would be above freezing. (It went down to 37 degrees.)

So, i wasn't stressed. I tell this story as a joke on myself because i want you to notice the relief of tension. Snow! Oh no! Whew! Everything's okay, after all.

It is possible to have no story and no opinion. No judgment. And therefore no stress.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Generosity Blooms

One of the last errands i ran before leaving for Florida for 2 weeks was delivering pots of budding tulips to friends. I gave one to Karen, a Master Gardener friend. Three weeks later, they are still blooming.

This is what happens when you allow generosity to bloom in your heart.

What easy (and maybe fun) thing could you give to a friend today?


Monday, April 12, 2021

Lotus

 

Lotus is an often-used image in the Buddha's teachings. Part of the devotional ritual includes offering a lotus, 3 sticks of incense, and a candle to a statue of the Buddha.

I don't find lotus in the North Country where i live, so i was happy to see it in hot and sunny Florida.

The magic of lotus leaves is that they self-clean; they don't collect water.

Wouldn't i love to have a self-cleaning mind?

Mindfulness is the quickest self-cleaner. Mindfulness of this moment doesn't allow gunk from those past moments to accumulate. Past gunk is washed away by the present moment.

No future fog either, because the present is all there is.

Just look at that lotus with its roots in the mud, standing beautifully in the water of Life.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

I Want. I Don't Want


In the rush to catch up with spring at home, i conveniently forget that it is time to tick-spray all my clothes. I don't want to. I want to go out to the daffodil garden. I want. I don't want.

I don't want to spray my clothes. I also don't want ticks biting me. I do not want Lyme disease.

I throw a drawerful of shirts down the stairs. I hang them up in the woodshed. I spray them. Three hours later, i take them off the hangers and cart them back to their drawer. I throw the next drawer full of undershirts down the stairs. Etcetera. Etcetera.

The civil war of the mind: I don't want. I want. I don't want. 


Thursday, April 8, 2021

Flying Home


We flew home from Florida yesterday. This early morning, before dawn, i heard Canada geese flying north. Homeward bound to Canada.

Where is home anyway? Do you have a place that feels like home? 

I didn't recognize falling in love with my sweetie. He simply felt like home. Comfortable. No fireworks. Restful. Contentment. I didn't need to go anywhere else. I didn't wish for anyone different.

Every morning i take refuge in the Buddha. I take refuge in the Dharma. I take refuge in the sangha. That's my spiritual home. Not a physical place and not dependent on a physical being, although i deeply appreciate the beings in my various sanghas. Refuge--a place of safety. Home.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Your Mind is a Garden

"Your mind is a garden;

your thoughts are the seeds."

So are you growing flowers? Or weeds?

I recently taught a class on the Noble Eightfold Path. One of the first investigations we did was to divide our thoughts into wholesome and unwholesome. Do this for 3 minutes during your next meditation.

Once you become aware of the unwholesome, the unskillful, the "weeds," you can apply the antidotes.

Loving-kindness and patience antidote just about everything.

You can practice loving-kindness during meditation or on a walk or while you are driving or while you are washing the dishes. You can grow flowers in your mind all day every day.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Amaryllis Blooming

At home, my amaryllis are just starting to bloom. In the gardens at the University of Florida, amaryllis are blooming full-blast.

Notice how close the stems are to each other. That means the bulbs are packed together tightly, sort of like daffodil bulbs for us in the North Country.

It looks like the closely packed bulbs encourage each other to bloom. If we stay in close touch with our Dharma friends and a Dharma teacher or two, they encourage us to bloom in the Dharma.