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Showing posts from May, 2008

Rest

With palms together,
Good Morning Everyone,

The sun is rising over the mountains and the cool desert air is rapidly warming. We are forecast to hit the 100 degree mark today, tomorrow, and the next day. We have our thermostat set at 82 degrees. Our ceiling fans cool us nicely, as the condo is set facing east so that by afternoon, the windows are all in the shade. I open our windows overnight and close them around 8:00 AM, dropping the blinds as well. This procedure allows for fresh air overnight and cooler inside temperatures through the heat of the desert day.

This is my "off" day from exercise and I look forward to not running, biking, or swimming. We all need a rest day, a day to recover ourselves, nurture ourselves, and re-set our spirits.

In Judaism we call this day Shabbat. Christianity refers to it as Sabbath. Zen has no such day. I've wondered about this. Why no day of rest in Buddhist practice?

In the days of the Buddha (and even today in some places) monks a…

Zen is Life

With palms together,
Good Morning Everyone,
Zen practice is life practice; life practice is Zen practice. All of life is our way and it offers us many paths upon which to walk. As we wake we might say, "This morning as I wake, I vow with all beings to see each thing as it is and not to forsake the world." This simple vow demands of us that we practice mindfulness with each breath and each step while embracing each thing in our awareness.

Its easy to embrace birdsong in the morning or a gentle breeze through leafy trees. It is much harder to embrace the stench of exhaust fumes or the sounds of loud, drunken people at a restaurant. Yet, each offers us something: opportunity to practice compassion. Compassion for our environment being polluted; compassion for people who want to be happy, but choose poisonous means to achieve their end.

Our practice is the practice of engaged action. We are asked by our opportunities to seek ways to cease causing harm, to do good, and to bring…

Shift

With palms together,
Good Morning Everyone,

We are awake and moving this morning with a lot to pack into a small car. Our trip to the Refuge will be leisurely (my morning mantra) and stress free (my promise). He-he-he.

Anyway, preparing for anything can be stressful. We imagine all sorts of things. Some of us imagine bad things (I forgot the corkscrew), others of us, good things (let's enjoy being together), and depending on your type, so goes your journey.

I have for years been the 'bad things' type, only recently...with the help of a Zen practice...moved over incrementally to the 'good things' type. Maybe my meds help as well, to be really honest :). And I have noticed as I shift that sometimes others have a hard time with the shift itself. Old perceptions, you know, are a challenge to change, but we continue along this wonderful journey anyway.

We are going to the Refuge to host a retreat for Temple Beth El's Religious School. We have nearly thirty people…