Easter is coming, the light is rising, and the weather here in snowy New England is starting to bring the real promise of spring. It’s the season of rebirth and fresh beginnings as the flowers are starting to break free and the song birds are coming back. Walking beneath the weeping willows around my pond, I feel the good earth growing up green and wild all around me, and rejoice in feeling part of it.
On Sunday, March 15th I was delighted to take part in the welcoming reception held for His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa in Menlo Park, CA.
This auspicious occasion kicked off his two month USA tour, and marks His Holiness' third visit to America. Today he is giving a talk at Stanford University, and yesterday was at the Google Campus in Silicon Valley. What a wonderful, youthful Lama!
I invite you to visit the Karmapa's website for his official tour schedule- http://kagyuoffice.org/schedule/
“Still Alice” is a moving and beautifully acted (by Julianne Moore and Kristen Stuart) film and it keeps reverberating around my brainpan. It reminded me of my old grannie who in her 90s seemed to live almost totally in the Now. Fortunately, Gram had the care she seemed to need and want, and a pretty good end. “Still Alice” also calls to mind other fine films about the individual and familial terrors and travails, breakthroughs and breakdowns of Alzheimer’s Disease, like “Leaving Iris”, “A Separation”, and “Away from Her”. Anyone interested in this all too ubiquitous human...
Losar, the Tibetan New Year, begins tomorrow in our American time zone. This Year of the Wood Sheep celebration runs February 19-21, 2015, and is not dissimilar to the Chinese astrological (lunar) calendar. Like a spiritual awakening, each and every New Year holyday can remind us of birth’s sacred meaning.
This huge and ancient 3 day Himalayan festival, now celebrated all around the world, is a time for purifying and relinquishing the old unwholesome and stultifying karma (actions and results) in our life outer and inner, and giving birth to the new, the brighter and more wholesome and enlightened....
“From love we learn to ease
our fretful longing for more
and to rest in the blessedness
of things as they are.
From love we learn to heal our losses
and our fears of loss.
Love awakens us.
It shows us the truth about ourselves and
gives us the courage to live this truth.
Love sustains us:
it is our quintessential nourishment.
And love connects us--to others,
to ourselves, and to the source of all being.
Love is our teacher,
and we are love's apprentices.”
By Rich and Antra Borofsky
Try a little silence...stop.
Meditators should be seen, not heard.
Still all the senses.
Let everything be.
Let go, and let it all come to you.
Being is in; doing is out.
For a moment just be.
Silence is golden.
The search for God, peace, love or enlightenment may be a serious business, but we have to lighten up as well as enlighten up along this great way of awakening. Joy is an important part of life and necessary component of spirit. If we take ourselves too seriously, life ain’t much fun. My old girlfriend used to call me Serious Das, but I was older then. That was in the Seventies.
A laugh closes the distance between a speaker and an audience. A smile isthe shortest distance between two strangers. I have found that humor is one of the best teaching tools, and I never leave home for a lecture...
I saw the terrific Selma film recently, so reminiscent of many of us marching in the streets of Washington, DC and NYC in the mid-late Sixties, being tear-gassed and arrested-- and beaten occasionally too. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is much on my mind, following a season of shooting black youngsters in the streets of our country as well as the United Front of Charlie around the world. May we not merely sit around and fiddle while Rome burns! Oh, that I might protect all the children beneath my maroon lama robe, help guardian and mentor them, and lift them up together in the light of sanity,...
One of my inspirations is the late Boston teacher Howard Thurman (1899-1981), a great thinker, educator, and peace-activist—Dr. ML King’s mentor-- he taught me how important this attitude is for each of us personally and for the wellbeing ...of our world. He says: "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
I could wail on how a little Mindful Anger Management could go a long way to save endangered young black men on the street, or how the credibility gap between the interested public and our government agencies and leadership, in this OverInformation Age, seems to grow and fester; but it’s the holiday season now and I’m looking at the three quarters of the glass that’s full, rather than the half that’s empty.
The news glut and general cacophony can be so depressing, but whenever I talk to a young person and meet their eyes I irrationally feel hope, inspiration, and a call to get it together,...