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everyday mysticism

There is a way to live your ordinary life in pristine peace and joy just as it is right now. This is the way of everyday mysticism, yet it’s not about any “ism” at all.   The meditation teacher Larry Rosenberg, in one of his talks, recalls seeing a cartoon once of a Zen monk walking along a beach carrying a huge bag over his shoulders that was so heavy his footsteps were like craters. On the bag was written one word – ME. putting down the heavy bag This is the burden our meditation helps us set aside, so

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Girl in the Kitchen by Anna Ancer

coming home

No matter how nice our home is, it is still “of the of world,” as my Buddhist teachers in Asia would say. We are settling in to a new house. As I get older, moving feels more emotional, more gut-wrenching. Witnessing our old home slowly coming apart, with carefully chosen bits going into carefully chosen boxes, I felt a little vulnerable. Little bits of me separated, re-arranged with other bits, and put away. Only to re-emerge and be put into new places, with less dust and more air. Carrying one of the last boxes out of the old house, I heard

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respect

We bring a gentle, loving awareness to this body. We treat it softly, and with respect. It knows; our body feels respected. One little peek at my phone yesterday and bam, my screen screamed out: “Trump freaks out after the Midterms and ousts Sessions.” I think we are all freaking out just a little too much, folks. On my first 10 day silent retreat, after days of restlessness and frustration, Jack Kornfield gave a very simple instruction, and something clicked. It went something like this:  Take your seat in your human incarnation just as you are right now; you are

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kathe kollwitz

a moveable monastery

The contemplative life benefits from periodic self-reflection We meditate for many different reasons. Often, our original motivations morph as we move forward on this path. It’s juicy to reflect why we keep this up; and to be really honest with ourselves. Dorothy Figen offers us one answer — Why meditate? There are many reasons. But those that stand out most strongly are learning to think clearly, and to dispel ignorance, illusion, greed, hatred and craving.” The contemplative life benefits from periodic, intensive self-reflection. Meditation allows you to take a clean step back to see how you are behaving, what you obsess

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is that a moon i see up there?

I am often asked why I meditate. Sometimes it’s phrased – What are you trying to accomplish by just sitting on a cushion? “Since my house burned downI now have a better viewof the rising moon” This moving haiku was written by Mizuta Masahide, a 17th century poet and samurai. It has spoken to me deeply many times. I can see it clearly engraved in my heart, especially when it turns to stone, as it did when we learned 2 weeks ago we have to have to vacate our current house – and home of the Aloha Sangha community I

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Paul Klee - Heroic Roses

wise speech

We each find our own way in these challenging times. It helps to take good care of ourselves. Breathe. Meditate. Exercise. And connect with others. Well, that was one hell of a week, last week! The Kavanaugh hearings and political posturing. Thousands died from a massive tsunami in Indonesia. 1600 plus children were bused to an unregulated camp in the Texan desert with no access to education or communication. The UN published a landmark report on climate change telling us we have a little over 10 years before we cross a line into catastrophic climate change. And those were just

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