28 June, 2011

Special Moments

I was walking across the street outside the Hall of Justice, after getting my ticket dismissed, purely on a logical issue. Looking at tow of a black corvette, police and meter maids, all around, "I exclaimed, OH! MY CAR!" Beside me walking, was a parking maid who said, "Honey, that's not your car... you are too logical." She said, I would never date a man who had that car, too vain. Walking further, I pointed to my bicycle...My ride! And she said, "See, I knew you were smart." We just laughed and said our good byes.

23 June, 2011

A Quiet Day at the Monastery

We can learn Dhamma from nature, from trees for example. A tree is born due to causes and it grows following the course of nature. Right here the tree is teaching us Dhamma, but we don't understand this. In due course, it grows and grows until it buds, flowers and fruit appear. All we see is the appearance of the flowers and fruit; we're unable to bring this within and contemplate it. Thus we don't know that the tree is teaching us Dhamma. The fruit appears and we merely eat it without investigating: sweet, sour or salty, it's the nature of the fruit. And this is Dhamma, the teaching of the fruit. Following on, the leaves grow old. They wither, die and then fall from the tree. All we see is that the leaves have fallen down. We step on them, we sweep them up, that's all. We don't investigate thoroughly, so we don't know that nature is teaching us. Later on the new leaves sprout, and we merely see that, without taking it further. We don't bring these things into our minds to contemplate. —Ajahn Chah "Tree Dhamma"

Ajahn Chah, Root profile shrine

15 June, 2011

A Healthy Set of Questions

Today, a man at the gym unloaded on me, starting first at what he thought I had. He was wrong, guessing heart attack, but I have spoken to him a few times and it must have never sunk in. His guess was based on his own fears of causing a heart attack to himself, worrying about various things. He knows I meditate, but he is not anywhere close to wanting to change the way he has been doing things. I tried to ease his mind, to learning to just stop all thoughts 2-5 seconds as Bentinho Massaro suggests...again and again. I said just rest in your body when you know you are living in your head. Being an ear, was therapeutic to me to just relax and show someone else I care. His problems are what most of us encounter in life, doubt. Yet, he is far better position financially than myself, enabling me to relax my own fears in the process.

13 June, 2011

Act of Kindness Hazard

Yesterday, driving home from the Nun’s Vihara where we had a supporter’s meeting, I saw a novice monk waiting for the bus, and stopped my car and asked him if he would like a ride. It is right outside the temple along the park. He hesitated because he could not read my intention, so I immediately thought this is wrong, and thought about just leaving, but did not want to be rude and just turn on my heels. I was going along the same route on the way to another sit. When convinced I was O.K., the Thai monk got in and asked me to drive him to Golden Gate…not thinking it was the bridge…I drove him into the park, but he made it known that he was talking about the bridge. In further discussion, I got the sense that he is not a monk as a way to access wisdom, but more along the line that it was a free ticket. His speech and manner were questionable which tipped me off. I took him to the bridge, and had to leave fast to get across town in time for my sit. He wanted my cell number, which I reluctantly gave him, and then he asked me to drive him to San Jose today. It was asked in a very forward manner, so I was a bit bothered, because he obviously doesn’t know the time and cost. I did not give him a firm answer. I went to my sit and with the phone off, I got a text saying thank you and I hope you enjoy your meditation. But again, I thought this was a set-up. I was eating a late dinner having missed my lunch, and again got another text. The monk wanted to go in the morning. Arrgh! So, I texted him back that I will offer a drive to CalTrain and pay a one-way ticket for you instead. He finally said fine, and the whole time I was cursing myself when I felt it was out of line, based on my intuition. I thought about texting a lie that I could not make it, or calling him on his behavior, but did not. I thought I would use it for my practice of patience. This morning, just when I was going to leave to pick him up to go to the train, he texted me to say, “I won’t be going”. Now, I know the reputation of the head monk of the temple he was staying at and perhaps this may have come up with the two of them over breakfast. Or maybe the monk reviewed his reason for wanting to go to San Jose, or even the overstepping of my kindness, but regardless things happened to work out …as soon as I relaxed.

08 June, 2011

This Moment

What if this moment is all we have. How many thoughts go through your head, while at the time you are reading this? I am writing this, while recalling the time that is depicted in a photo of my family on my dresser, taken when I was probably 13. Where in the exact spot a day later, I met a man who was bicycling around the world. He spun tales of this to me back then, amazing my little head. My moments with him, traveled with his tales. That moment with him is way gone... never to be repeated, a well as my father in the day before photo. Everything seems to be written in stone at any given time, but in actuality is more like the wisps of clouds shown in the photo. So, if this moment someone shows kindness or laughter with you, pay attention and don't miss it. You will end up savoring it... at another time, sprinkled with your many thoughts.
I am currently, enjoying several happy moments I had today and not bothered with those other moments that could really seem so serious and almost melancholy. It is a choice we have to bring feelings into relived moments.

06 June, 2011

Waiting on Transportation

We often think that if we just figure out where to go and when ...we will reach a place where we can find happiness. Meanwhile, we may even be sitting quietly and enjoying a cup of tea, forgetting how perfect this moment can be, right now. We don't realize we can postpone happiness until it's too late.

I looked at all the serious faces this morning in a relaxing yoga class. Why so serious? To get it done and then be happy. What happens if you can't do it?

04 June, 2011

On Truth and Advertising

Once upon a time I used to work on Saturn car account from its introduction. They were supposed to be a "different kind of car company," yet still had the heavy hand of GM all over it. I knew and most all of the team knew that these cars were not revolutionary or even that unique. One small example, I picked my choice of paint colors at the beginning and two of the colors I picked did not get used until the line was close to the end, nearly 20 years later. I worked on selling something I had no faith in, unlike meditation and truth which is my life now. But it did teach me about false speech.
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