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Showing posts from 2014

There's Nothing I Dislike

I'm talking to someone, our conversation has come to a stopping place, we look out the window. There is a koan we've been talking about but we're not talking about it right now. I look into the garden and see the scraggly early Fall lavender bushes. They look grey. I think to myself, lavender shouldn't be grey, the garden shouldn't be grey. And then I begin to wonder, are they really grey? I look again. No they are a pale purple color, really a quite beautiful pale purple. And the stalks, they seem to be yellow, no, glowing yellow inside, with a pale green outside. And I see that there are two different kinds of lavender side by side, the other is a powdery green, delicate. And under the powdery color is a deeper green, rich, also glowing. And its flowers, too, are lavender, but a different color. It's as if one by one, the characters in a play are stepping out from behind a curtain and shyly taking their bows. I'm amazed. It's not that I have looked …

Stop the War

One day recently I noticed the koan "Stop the War" lying around in my mind, and I wondered what it was about. I had recently been thinking about how turning toward a difficulty changes things. But this day I became interested instead in the things I turn away from, the features of me or other people that I just think of as trash, useless, not worth attention. A few different friends had been talking about how they were drinking more that they thought was good for them. It seemed to be a comfort, maybe to help with some internal suffering even though the underlying suffering wasn't apparent. A few other friends were trying not to spend every waking hour on reddit (a news/social media forum with many links to click), one brilliant one lost his place at a prestigious university from spending time on the web rather than going to class. 
We are drawn to do things that both comfort and are cause for self loathing: drugs, sex with strangers, self-mutilation, shopping. I have m…

Simplest Meditation Instructions Ever

Meditation can be as complicated as you want to make it, but here's a move in the other direction:

1. Pay attention to whatever you notice (inside or outside yourself, it doesn't matter) without thinking it's good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, wise or stupid, worthy or unworthy.

Actually there's only one step. That's it.

Sometimes the word "curiosity" will help you.

You can start anywhere, even in the midst of a judgement: "this sucks!" Well, what's it like? how does it feel? Explore it, its color, texture, emotion, sensation. What images come to mind? What is the interpretive dance that would describe it? If it were an animal, what would it be? Just keep yourself company. You can't do it wrong. When you notice you're back to judging your experience, putting it away in a box, just notice that. You can start again. You can start anywhere. Really.

There's a koan (any koan is helpful because a koan never makes things wrong or rig…