It can only be what it is...



Sunday, December 19, 2010

Be the peace

Last year around this time of year my stress was at an all time high, work was adding pressure, home life was topsy-turvy and I had let all of this get to me and in a fit of rage unleashed a straight punch with the heel of my palm into an unsuspecting car window. Much to my surprise it shattered on impact as if I had thrown a brick into the window. My daughter was beside me at the time and my biggest regret was that she witnessed that ugly display of my anger. I shall never forget the look of fear and shock and terror that was on her face.

Two days later while surfing on the internet I stumbled upon the blog of Dr.Wayne Dyer and a posting of his called Be the peace. 

The timing was fortuitous in the least. His theory in short was that living a peaceful life is not so much based on your surroundings but more from the inside out, in that you don't need to change your thoughts, or try to reject them but by being peaceful you'll attract more serene thoughts, and beings. Sounds a little new -agey  but still I endeavored to put this into practice.
One year later I can say that it does work. Not always easy but it does change other people's attitudes in your immediate entourage. Work has become less of a battle, the home front as well and I am laughing instead of scowling.
A quote from John Maynard Keynes
'' The difficulty arises not in new ideas , but in escaping old ones.''
I find this to be particularly true, growing up was not easy in a household where you learned how to block and defend yourself before anything else. Those lessons are hardwired and take a lot of time to undo.
The secret to all of this is that you cannot get this peace from anyone, or anything else , you just have to be that peace.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Poem by Ajahn Chah

Do not try to become anything.
Do not make yourself into anything.
Do not be a meditator.
Do not become enlightened.
When you sit, let it be.
When you walk, let it be.
Grasp at nothing.
Resist nothing.
If you haven't wept deeply, you haven't begun to meditate.

By Ajahn Chah

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fear raises it's head again

In January, in our household we have a major upheaval for about one week. After being on a waiting list for roughly five years we are adapting our home for our youngest daughter who has Angelman Syndrome. What that diagnosis means is that she is in a wheel chair , she has frequent epileptic seizures and her motor and developmental skills are way behind. All that being said , things are good. She is making progress in her school, can walk in a walker and her motor skills have improved drastically.
Where does the fear come in you say ?
My oldest daughter who has gone from wanting to be her sister's nurse to not wanting anything to do wither her and on occasion refers to herself as an only child can be really quite dramatic.
She rebelled today at the whole construction project on the basis that it will interfere with her sleep patterns. Due to the nature of the project we will not be sleeping at home during the construction and her fear of change, fear of having to explain her sister to schoolmates and teachers why and what is going on, came out in a huge explosion of fear and anger. Suffice it to say not one of her proudest moments. Then came the mandatory hand wringing and martyrdom reminiscent of  Joan of Arc once she really saw how she was behaving.
Redeeming factor in all of this , I never lost my cool with her today, didn't raise my voice, make things worse, just stayed the course and all worked out in the end. Maybe one day she'll get it, and imitate me as I am now rather than the angry guy I used to be.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Just Being

It seems that we all have an issue with just being. Of letting go, and just being. We are brought up to feel that there has to be a point, a goal, something to strive for.
There should be just practice, no goal, no desire and really no searching for satori , kensho or anything else.
As soon as that happens , we take our eye off the ball so to speak and I feel that the game is lost at that point.
Easier said than done, I admit-but that seems to be the point.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

You don't have to be crazy to live here ...but it helps

Have you ever had one of those days where your family kinda drives you nuts. I keep thinking about Ozzy Osbourne and a sound bite I had heard, where he said '' I love you all but you drive me mad !''.
Definitely one of those days...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Think or not to think...

To think, '' I will not think''-
This , too is something in one's thoughts
Simply do not think
About not thinking at all.

Author unknown

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ki, Chi- do you feel it ?

In martial arts there is much a do about Ki . The inner energy force that with proper concentration and practice you can harness . There are several schools of thought that dismiss the idea saying that it's just old wives tales and that it really doesn't exist.
Myself personally I have felt it in the presence of some of my sensei's . I can never forget the first Aikido demonstration that I watched where a rather short( around 5ft tall) lady was tossing guys( my size 6ft) around the Dojo like they were nothing for 20 minutes. She hadn't even broken a sweat .
There is a mind -body connection , and training one and not the other doesn't always enable one to achieve the balance needed to really make use and feel that Ki. Whether it is for healing the body or simply perfecting one's art(martial or otherwise) there is a balance needed.
It has been said that Ki is the origin of life, and when Ki leaves form death ensues, (Tengu geijutsu ron) Any way you look at it there is something that one can draw on in times of need. Provided that clear the mind and allow for it to flow. Kinda like Zazen in that you concentrate on your breath ( especially in the beginning ). That breathing is concentrated in the region of your Hara( belly button area)- where you can also find your Ki. Coincidence, I think not.
Breath in , Breath out,

Monday, November 15, 2010

This moment, The only moment....

Whenever I am not really looking for change, more money, just simply being and not stressing on any given situation, the Universe hands things over.
Something I need to remind myself of from time to time.
When these boons arrive, I always seem stunned for a moment and wonder, ''Where is this coming from, what did I do ?''
They came and they will go, I embrace them for what they are and try just to be in the moment  because there is only this moment.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Instant Nirvana-just add internet

Every now and again I find myself surfing the web, looking for that elusive blog post, free download,website or whatever that for some odd reason I think is going to reach out of my monitor slap me across the face like a wet fish and voila ! I will be enlightened.
Not really sure why , it may have to do with he age we live in and the expectation that everything is just one click away, the internet like the universe so vast and rich, and impossible to explore every corner and yet it's allure must compare some days to the explorers of old, peering into a deep dark forest wondering what will they find within.
Realistically though it does seem to hamper my decision to follow one path specifically as I am able to find so much information on so many different styles of Buddhism and every style has it's merits.
I would assume that many people found themselves ( literally and physically) within a certain tradition because it was the only one offered at a certain time and space. All roads lead to Rome or in this case Nirvana, but still does the view on the road make a difference?
Is it better or just different. longer or a shortcut. A lot depends on the individual I guess.

Friday, October 29, 2010

One battle won, on to the next

After a protracted battle to obtain proper services for my daughter, I think finally things are maybe shaking loose.My optimism tends to overshadow here as I always want to believe people will do the right thing. Sometimes to you need to corral them into it, sometimes pressure them.
You would have to know that my youngest has Angelman Syndrome. A chromosomal deletion -referred to as a micro deletion( we're talking really small) that left her with Epilepsy and a global developmental delay.
In Canada we have Medicare, which means that our tax dollars fund our health care system so technically there are no fees, and should you have special needs those too are met free of charge.
The downside is the system is underfunded for the demands on it, and it usually means waiting lists and battling to get your requests in and approved.
It is after battling yet once again that we have secured a much needed restraint system for our car as the standard seat belt is inadequate and booster seat too small.
 It is fatiguing to say the least having to always approach everything like Sun Tzu's Art of War in order to get services that are owed to us in the first place.
I can't imagine how those to the South of us in the United States cope with the medical bills and special needs equipment cuz' God knows they ain't cheap !
Anyway battle won, preparing for the next engagement- adapting our home for her wheelchair.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Today was good

Today was a much better day than yesterday. Mind under control, exuding the behavior that we want our daughter to mimic and giving her the reins to hold on for her behavior seems to have worked. I am enough of a realist to know that this was just one day, and a small victory at best but hope still springs eternal. The real test will be after a week-end of dance classes, sleepovers, and homework -projects to see if Monday morning awakens Godzilla in our home or whether we have Snow White and chirping whistling birds. OK I admit I like juxtaposition and dichotomies.
Oh well...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lost it, then found something

Had a not so proud moment today, my temper got the better of me and I really let it fly. The kind of temper that used to make me cringe when my Dad got angry and lost it. What kinds of surprises me is that I have tried so hard to not be my Dad. In a lot of ways I have succeeded in breaking some of the behavior I was exposed to. Although every now and again a situation arises that fans the flames, and I really let it fly. It's instantly regrettable and yet there are times where I can see it and I put on the brakes and avoid it ,but sadly today was not one of those moments.
I need help to channel these moments, something concrete,  a method to allow me to make a division or separate the issue from my reaction and step back. The suffering created by my anger is so reflected back at me, the challenge I face is not letting other people's anger (not to name drop but a certain pre-teen daughter comes to mind) ignite that flame in me and set me ablaze. Wow that was a tad dramatic, guess she gets that from me too.
So in the end I found the distaste I needed for getting rid of this anger. I know that it is an uphill climb as I feel a certain genetic pre-programming for it , but with all the might I can muster I am going to finally but this to rest.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Monkey Mind, Pain and anesthesia

Today while driving home I had this fantastic idea , theme for a blog post , and once I get home , get my youngest off the bus, plan supper and get everything underway and have a moment to actually type something up for my blog... I can't remember for the life of me what I had wanted to say.
Not a senior moment, more of a spur of the moment thing it seemed important but must have been just a flash in the pan. Oh well, monkey mind I guess.
Oh yeah, I remember , I heard a lyric on the radio 'bout feeling no pain. Made me think that even no pain is pain. Even for the self medicating crowd, the feeling of no pain, getting to that point, their concern immediately turns to worrying about the wearing off of the anesthesia. 
Never ending.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fear, ( We are what we think!)

It's amazing what fear can do.It cripples, renders someone emotionally sterile and often is misconstrued by the one with the fear and those that it is projected on.
It does stem back to the giant misconception of self that we all have, and that we can control everything around us. It's been my experience and still continues to surprise me that we are what we think. The person that is fearful eventually self fulfills that prophecy and bad things happen.  There is a need to unlearn our fearful attitudes from our parents(or from whomever they had originated) and move forward,
Does it mean that bad things will never happen, Of course not ! but how you handle them when they do happen is of paramount importance.  Life can only be lived in the now, the past is done, future hasn't happened yet so there is only the now.
A monk had asked his master the following :
Q. Where am I?

A. I will refer to the I you still think you are and not that I whom I just told you you were; as if you had grasped my last answer you would not have asked this.

Tell me, are your lungs part of you?

Monk. Of course.

Master. Then may I ask you what you would rather I took away from you; your lungs or all the air?


Monk. I cannot separate them, now I realize master!


This self we think we are is separate and inseparable both are needed just as lungs serve no purpose without air and air without lungs to process the air, being fearful for something that hasn't happened serves no purpose, and once it has happened it has already passed, therefore the fear still serves no-one.
That is my Sunday diatribe for today.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sitting in rush hour traffic for a good reason.

Off to a meeting , my youngest daughter has been selected for a free trip to Walt Disney. The whole thing is sponsored by Air Canada. In less than a month she gets to board a plane with roughly 150 other kids for a full day in Orlando. Only catch, no parents and the trip is one day only. Departure at 05:30 and back around midnight, or 1 A.M.
But she deserves it,

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Anger

The state of anger, irritation, judgement, fear are all part and parcel of anger it seems.
For a lot of people(myself especially included) it's done out of habit. That and the feeling of being right.
In some ways that's probably why I get angry. I now am starting to realize the how and why it is sometimes satisfying , as it strengthens the sense of self.
Spinning the wheels(hey that's a good name for a blog !) , imagining the past and future most certainly stirs up the pot. Haven't we all got angry about things we imagine someone will do ? I know I have.
We end up projecting that feeling of anger,pain and it bounces right back at us.
My relationship with my daughter is an example of this. The two of us have spent an inordinate amount of time projecting at each other, pain ,fear, worry.
It bounces off of me unto her and back to me in a quasi ping-pong game of emotions. The feeling of suffering afterward for both of us is extreme and incredibly fatiguing.
At least she and I have have to some sort of terms lately ( OK maybe me more than her at this point, but I'll digress) but it's a start. She has even agreed to sit with me when her stress is getting to high.
A good sign I think...

Friday, October 1, 2010

If Only Mind

Been reading a lot lately , and I was reading a small book by Jack Kornfield where he is talking about hindrances to home practitioners and the If only mind rang true to me.
You know it too, we all do, things would be better if only... had a better job, car, more money ... the list goes on and on.
It all harks back to desire and self. What's around us is of no consequence, whether we have tons of stuff, or not, internally we are prone to wanting , desiring  'cuz what we got is never enough.
Something to work on...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Letting go,


Frustration , let it go
Relentless perfectionism , let it go
Anger, let it go
Fear , let it go...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Opposites

When I judge something as beautiful, does it automatically ensure that something is ugly ?
Birth - Death
Joy - Sorrow
Wellness - Disease
All of it is suffering, flip sides of the same coin that our Ego spins over and over again in our minds.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Spinning Wheels

Yesterday I met with the Abbess of Enpuku-ji , Zengetsu Myokyo. A small Rinzai Zen Center here in downtown Montreal. I have to say that I liked it and her openness and ease of communicating made it feel very comfortable. Along with some basic instruction on sitting Zazen and background info on the Rinzai tradition and her being here, I was able to ask her a question that often percolates in my mind.
Suffering, and the causes, or more specifically the challenges that I have had to face in my life and the life of my children.
''Do children pick their parents ?'' I asked and is there anywhere in Buddhist texts that reference something along those lines. Not coming from a desire to logically place all this in a neat, tidy order but more from the perspective is it just fluke ? or like she replied to me as she felt her teacher would reply ''Probably because you can handle it''
Which is something that my wife and I have often thought about but was interesting to hear it from someone else's perspective.
At any rate even though the neighborhood was lively to put it mildly. The atmosphere inside the Zendo was calming and natural.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

High School, Not Yelling, and an a-ha moment ...what a week

Well, my oldest started High School this week. Has to wear a uniform , commute by train and well manage all on her own. Where has the time gone. Hard to believe I used to hold her in the crook of my arm.
Had a bit of a rocky start to the week, attitudes , tempers all flared up to critical points but things are on the mend.
My a-ha moment was in listening to a podcast from Ven.Eshu Martin (link here :
 http://livingzen.libsyn.com/    about relationships.
Sometimes things are so obvious we can't seem to see the forest for the trees.
Anyway , at least I saw the forest and the trees today.

Monday, August 30, 2010

What I need to do

As I sit here contemplating yesterday and this morning's actions I want to say I am disappointed with myself. I was in a headlong confrontational situation and started out with keeping my cool, but at some point the button was kicked on and I started to lose it.
I can't figure out what makes me more angry, the fact that I am being disregarded or disrespected or both.
I know, I know my generation ( or least me) would not even dared to talk to my parents in this way but somehow she feels she can. Is that a sign that she is so comfortable with us or is it just plain simply lack of respect. I can't tell.
What I can say is that it makes my blood boil, especially when it is directed at someone else, I feel compelled to jump in and control the situation.
Not only does that make things worse, it paints me as the uncontrollable one, even if a minute before it's not me that's losing it, I need it to stop .
It's sooo not worth it .

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tao te Ching Chapter 2

When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.
Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.
Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and he lets them come;
things disappear and he lets them go.
He has but doesn’t possess,
acts but doesn’t expect.
When his work is done, he forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.

Anger, patience, trying times

You ever notice how things come in threes, anger , patience , trying times. Bad luck , sometimes I think if I didn't have bad luck I'd have no luck.
Is it a self fulfilling prophecy ?
There are days where I think so.
I am starting a daily affirmation. Not so much like the Jack Handy of SNL fame ( ''Gosh darn it , people like me!'') but more like just starting the day positively with an approach of gratitude for whatever comes my way.
If it is positive, all good, if negative, all good.
They say ( whomever they are) that it takes 21 days to break a habit. Well, it's on, check back regularly for my progress reports .

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Another Day,

Another day, another exercise in patience.
I can say today that I kinda flunked my own test of patience, I did recover and the day got better however.
Not a giant a-ha moment or anything, just back-sliding.
At least I feel that I have moved forward from where I slid.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Now


What time is it now?
The time is now, always is
Where to be ? Right now !

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Out of our control...

Visited an exhibition of the Rapa Nui, inhabitants of Easter Island today. It was a very interesting take on their culture as the reality of shipping giant statues (weighing 27 tonnes on average) all the way to North America would be a logistical nightmare, and the descendants who still live there refused as well. So the exhibit took a different tone, focused more on their life, achievements and way of thinking.
At one point there was a statement that the Rapa Nui accepted that everything that happened, was out of their control.
I have to agree and yet have to say that it must have been an interesting civilization if that was truly the case.
Like Genkaku posted today about barking dogs (see here http://genkaku-again.blogspot.com/2010/08/barking-dogs.html) we all have our reticence to allowing the world unfurl around us and fight it tooth and nail at times. Some more than others,

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How we see ourselves,

You know, sometimes the smallest things , or big things unexpectedly provide insight into the workings and or illusion of everything.
My daughter and I recently had a little blow-out. Not the first time , and realistically probably not the last either, but what that provided for me anyway, was a window into the misconception of who we think we are.
She had her view and wasn't budging and after a day and a half of stewing (both her and I ) did we come to realize what we really ended up arguing about.
The important thing was that we both ended up realizing our misconceptions.
Sometimes I think we just have to listen and live and observe, Zen and Right Way do present themselves in every day situations,
Hence Everyday Zen I guess,

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Zen Path by Robert Aitken Roshi

Came across this today and could not help but feel the honesty dripping off the page.

''On the Zen path , we seek for ourselves the experience of Shakyamuni. However, we do not owe fundamental allegiance to him, but to ourselves and to our environment. If it could be shown that Shakyamuni never lived, the myth of his life would be our guide. in fact it is better to acknowledge at the outset that myths and religious archetypes guide us, just as they do every religious person. The myth of the Buddha is my own myth.
Thus it is essential at the beginning of practice to acknowledge that the path is personal and intimate. It is no good to examine it from a distance as if it were someone else's. You must walk it for yourself. In this spirit, you invest yourself in your practice, confident of your heritage, and train earnestly side by side with your sisters and brothers. It is this engagement that brings peace and realization.''

From Taking the Path of Zen, by Robert Aitken.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Teachers, and the passing of Aitken Roshi


With the passing of Aitken Roshi, it has made me wonder about the choices we make for a teacher. I have never met, or read any of his books yet, although I was making my way towards them.
Can one have a teacher that we have never met ?
In the Vedic tradition you have a guru, and within those circles there is some debate as to whether you can choose a guru that has deceased.
What do you do if your teacher has fallen ? Can you replace them ? Should we ?
If we choose a teacher that has deceased , and choose them as our guide, have we elevated them to a stature that can be without equal ?
As I am preparing to meet several Zen teachers in the next few weeks these are questions that keep ruminating in my mind.
I have to say from all the posts that I have read, Aitken Roshi seems to have lived a good life, in that he did real good with his time , inspired others , and will continue to inspire.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Went hiking

So , we packed up and went hiking, not an easy endeavor for us, our dog is slowly losing her eyesight-retinas detaching. My youngest doesn't have the mobility to walk so we use an over-sized stroller-which is not made for off-roading and a pre-teen full of angst.
Motley crew as we were it actually turned out nice. Was a lot of effort but in the end everyone slept well that night. The kind of good tired from lots of fresh air and hard work.
Along the way I spotted this tree, roots have taken hold in a minimum of soil and rocks and yet hanging on.
I could relate to this tree and some of the others on our trail that we hiked. Bent from the elements, crooked, but still there , hanging on for all to see and appreciate. Provided that you take the time.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Many roads, One destination...


It strikes me lately that in our modern secular society that there is a real fear in imagining God . Not that I have any idea what he or she looks like, but more from the point of just being comfortable with the concept that there is one.
In Zen (in my limited experience) I have not come across much if any reference to God specifically, although you could argue I think that there is an undercurrent present in what I have read thus far.
I have done some searching in the past in other traditions(aside from Buddhism) and would be willing to admit that it could be clouding or muddying the waters but it leaves me with a strong feeling that all roads endeavor to get us back, to where we came from or belong.
Some people will call it the source, eternal, Godhead, either way it does seem that we are all searching for something.
Perhaps it's like when you are in a hurry to boil water, the more you look at it, the longer it takes.
Either way no one ever said it was a race.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dharma is everywhere...



Dharma is everywhere

Zazen is not doing but being.
Because of the ego-self we view things as good or bad-where things just simply are.

Look inside....


To think that the cause of the problem is anywhere other than yourself is a big mistake. It is complete delusion. This is the proof of the statement that by investigating and examining yourself,all anxiety can be completely eliminated, there is not doubt of this. (Sekkei Harada)

Every day mind is the way-(Master Namsen)

Irritation

If you are irritated by every rub,
How will you be polished ? (Rumi Sage)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A podcast from Ven.Eshu Martin that I really enjoyed

If anyone is interested the link below is for a podcast that I really enjoyed about back-sliding. Something we all do regardless of the path we are on. Eshu Martin is the abbot of the Victoria Zen Center in British Columbia.


http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/livingzen/~3/E7jdfVuAcFM/index.php

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Canada..eh !

Well, being Canadian and all, today is Canada Day. Used to be a much bigger deal for me in the past. In my youth and while in the military my sense of nationalism was perhaps much greater than now. While I feel lucky to be living in Canada as a nation as opposed to say a nation that restricts your every thought, movement, my sense of who I am in the larger sense has changed.

I do wonder as a planet if we will ever get to the point of oneness that if often portrayed in science fiction. If we do who is the leader ? Would we as humans ever progress to allow ego to take a back seat and allow the lines to blur. If we do who will we hate collectively next ? Or will we ever get past the us vs. them mentality that we seemingly need as Nations to spur on that Nationalistic pride we exhibit time and time again.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Woo-Hoo (Insert pre-teen eye-rolling here !)

I know, I know, not supposed to be boastful or too full of pride, but...my daughter graduated elementary school and while that is not at all shocking or all that impossible to achieve, she was voted valedictorian and received an award for her outstanding academic achievements during her elementary school career. She is a smart cookie and I am proud of her regardless.
Now if I could only get her to do her chores...

Summer has started in earnest, and I find myself with jobs around the house that are slowly getting done. It's a good thing as they were long overdue but I find that I am getting so busy I have very little time to reflect or meditate.
Tomorrow I plan on walking early around 5am while listening to a podcast on a discourse on Rinzai,
and if that fails try some Zazen before work.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day-It's been a slice !


Well, it's my twelfth year as a Dad. There have been some brilliant moments( even if I do say so myself) and some moments I have disappointed myself. I have managed to shake myself off and pick myself up from the downers though and march on forward.
I am starting to understand things better, and understanding my daughters as well. Nowhere near enough to claim expertise or any such folly.
On a separate note I am also realizing my body's limitation and the need to stretch more and strengthen more.
My body needs a little help, and I need to listen to it. Nothing serious but limping around like a septuagenarian( no offense to septuagenarians anywhere) has not been easy, although good for my ego.
A good slap every now and again is a good thing , even if it hurts.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Zen , Martial Arts, and how full is your cup?

Remembering a part in Joe Hyams -''Zen in the martial arts'' where Bruce Lee recounts his Sifu asking how will he learn if his cup is too full ? , makes me laugh as we all have that tendency to not like being new, not expert.
Personally it has never bothered me being a novice in something and in fact I take pleasure in discovering something for the first time.
Lately in my Karate class I am noticing kids that sometimes get offended when the Shihan corrects them. They feel that they are above correction.
Adults too, sometimes the combination of older student and younger teacher also offends some.
Either way the more Karate I do the more that I realize I am just a novice, maybe no longer a white belt, but even when I eventually get to a black belt ( if all goes well !) I am still a novice as there will always be someone with more experience, knowledge to impart and woe is the student that refuses to let his cup empty or overflow.
My observation for today.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Afternoon

Mosquitoes biting,
Squirrels around the tree branch,
Grass finally cut

Friday, May 21, 2010

Patience, do you have it ?

OK , not a particularly interesting post today. The theme seems to be patience. Patience at work, at home, never ending patience.
I am trying to not lose my cool, and the medium for not losing my cool is trying to imagine what a Buddha or a Zen master would do in that given situation.
It seems to help a little, at least enough to keep me thinking critically and not emotionally.
It is funny how we fall into the trap of treating the ones that we hold closest the worst and complete strangers better.
I realize that a large part of that is we expect forgiveness from family , and some how that excuses the behavior.
At least today I can look myself in the eye and say ''I kept my patience''

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Number 9-Happy Mother's Day!

No, not the song from John Lennon, but post number 9. Today is Mother's Day, Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms and Dad's that do double duty as well.
Raising children is really quite the task.
I remember years ago someone asking me just shortly after my first was born, ''How do you know when you're ready to have children ?''
My reply was you never are, children present themselves and you do the best you can.
Looking back, my statement rings true.
I wonder as souls do we pick an environment given the choice , to continue work we have not finished or to help our perspective parents work out their issues.
Either way our collective karma brought us together and getting along sometimes is harder than it needs to be, but it is part of the journey and perhaps just perhaps , I am starting to get that.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Post # 8

OK , post number 8 and aside from myself no one is reading this methinks. Of course, I haven't promoted or even emailed anyone to say that I am writing online. I guess part of me figured that the magic of the Internet would prevail and that my ego would be satisfied that on some level I managed to communicate with someone other than my self.
Funny how my main goal was to just write and see what becomes of it, and yet I still retained a feeling or aspiration that someone else would read what I've written and agree or disagree.

All that being said, having grown up in Lasalle, QC I am stunned to find out that there was / is a Tibetan Buddhist temple in Verdun. Never did I know ,or even see it. Although looking at Google maps I am convinced I must have driven by it before.

I am going to inquire about visiting it, and maybe attending a meditation session or two. Up until this point I have pretty much been going it alone and I am curious what it would be like in a formal setting.
I have a question though, Buddhism for the most part sees God as impersonal if you will, not so much a person but as all pervasive , a source , etc., and yet he was present, in human form and is worshipped with puja ceremonies, and his pastimes are recounted and prayers are offered and there are innumerable reincarnations. Is this incongruous ? I think I am missing something.
That's it for this post.
BD

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Twofold question

OK , here is the deal that is preoccupying my mind. Attachments-try as I might I am finding it extremely difficult to separate my feelings (anger , frustration) those type of feelings from when my wife and daughter are sad, angry or just irritated.... I end up being pulled into their vortex of misery and rather than making things better, I just end up as miserable as they are.

How to separate attachment to being angry , sad frustrated etc., while at the same time not detaching from the people that I love, or even humankind.

It's simple to cut and burn-but not really very realistic. The balance is the key, but how to regain my footing once the teeter-toter of emotions takes over and bring it back in line.

Not so much of a two-fold question after all , in so much as it seems to be my constant state of juggling that I need to acheive this time around.

BD

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Never know who'll you'll meet...

So, my daughter is having a few friends over for a birthday party. As any modern parent asks , are there any allergies, food restrictions etc. that we need to know about. Aside from peanut allergies , one kid is newly vegetarian. Okay , cool with me as I am too, but then this is when it gets odd.
The kid also wants to be a Buddhist. There is no-one in his family that is...and questioning his parents their not sure where it came from. My daughter had told him not to worry, my Dad is Buddhist and vegetarian. It made for some interesting conversations with a twelve year old.

Now can it be that his past lives are close to the surface, and that on some level he remembers ?
Either way I am happy for this kid, he gets a head start on his Dharma hopefully.

Also he wears a Che Guevara T-shirt- and knows who he is.
One non-typical twelve year old.
Glad I got to meet him.
BD

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Buddha on PBS

Well, missed the show on Wednesday night, but managed to catch it on the Internet via YouTube due to the fact the CRTC here in Canada blocks Internet feed from T.V. shows in the U.S. but PBS thankfully created a YouTube channel.
There seems to be a little disappointment that it was not more detailed, or more in depth. Realistically, I feel that they did great job. The average person without any knowledge of Buddhism would not be turned away or confused.
I for one would love to see more programming like that on TV to at least counter balance all the violence and sludge out there.
That's it for now
BD

Monday, April 5, 2010

# 4

Recently read in order to have peace in your life you need to ''be the peace''. I think I finally get it. At the time that I read this I had just had a bit of a temper tantrum and and went somewhere with my anger that I was not happy about.
It really seems to be the case however, that when you exude peace and stability it ''infects'' others around you.
It is hard though I must say , to maintain that calm and composure when around you everyone is going to pot as the expression goes.
I am making a commitment however to being that calm, cool and collected person that I want, NEED to be for myself and for the betterment of those around me.

BD

Saturday, April 3, 2010

# 3

Allright then, settling in to this idea of expressing my ideas in this format, as opposed to just writing them down in a little book that no-one will ever read.

Meditation , I really want to , but with a full time job, family life and a myriad of other responsibilites, how am I ever going to be able to make more time.
In all honesty there are some brief periods daily where I sort of do a walking meditation while walking my dog. Does that count ?
I would think it has to.

I am currently reading ''The Gateless Gate'' by Koun Yamada. This collection of Zen Koans really interests me although I find some of the commentary harder to follow than the koan itself. It is really fascinating to me how some writers tackle a subject almost as if to say, if it's not uber-complicated it (the writing) lacks depth and meaning. I guess that's where ego plays it's hand.

Personally I prefer the K.I.S.S. method(Keep it simple stupid). Perhaps a little crass but generally I would think that one writes to be understood or at the very least to transmit clearly and concisely a message.

I just read Dr.Wayne Dyer's latest post on the need to be right all the time. It is insightful ,as I think we all have a tendency to want to be right. Unfortunately sometimes the need is greater than the reason. We have all known someone (myself included) that at times refuses to listen to reason and maintains their position even when you know that you are wrong. Lately I have been making an effort and for me personally admitting my mistakes,errors or weaknesses has been a positive.
I am able to view these not as negatives but just things that are. Liberating these thoughts can be...(said in my best Yoda voice)

That's all for now,
BD

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Master Yoda was right, ''Be mindful of the Dark Side''

April fool's day tomorrow. I have always wondered where the idea for April 1st to become the day for pranks and practical jokes. Feb.29th to me always made more sense, but then again what do I know.
What I do know is that whenever I stop worrying about money, making more of it, not having enough of it, I end up getting more of it.
I had read once a quote that I'll paraphrase ;''Be careful what you think, you'll get it.''
It always amazes me that in this universe as random as everything can appear on it's surface that one can focus one's energies and have the results you are looking for.
As I type this it reminds me to keep my thoughts in the positive realm of thinking.
Master Yoda was right, ''Be mindful of the Dark Side''
I can honestly say that being negative never served any purpose for me other than ineffectual bellyaching and commiserating that when one looks back on it it seems obvious that misery loves company and a myriad of other similar catch phrases.
Well, keep passing the open windows, and have a great April 1st.
Just don't be too gullible.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Very first post !

Well, here we go. My very first post on the venerable internet. My goal in this blog, really , above all else is my attempt to be more in the moment and to provide an outlet for my thoughts, and if anyone else reads this and finds something that provokes thought and or contemplation so much the better.
The reason for the title is that at this moment in time, there is not much of a difference in my searching for satori and fumbling in the dark. There are days that it seems more one than the other. Although it probably is the flip side of the same coin.
I have to admit that I find it daunting at times when I look at some of the blogs on the internet that are available. It does leave you with the feeling that there are some very qualified people out there that should be posting their thoughts and ideas and who am I to pretend that I am in that same circle.
All that being said, I boldly set forth with laptop and an idea and in the moment see what becomes of the random thoughts that I put forth.