contemplating snow clouds —
whitened landscape, I am part
of the winter scene ~bckofford
Today, I like the word Wintering (the act of staying at a place throughout the winter) as it has an underlying message of being at…rest, peace. A seasonal nap time.
During this time of year in which nature slumbers, there is an invitation to sit beside the fireplace and study the amazing images of Michael Kenna and Bruce Percy.
February has within it whispers of spring, It also–like November–is a time of heavy snow storms and cabin fever. Last year I set out on a “frame within a frame” photo assignment.
What gifts did February, 2018 bring you this year?
You can learn about the pine only from the pine, or about the bamboo only from bamboo. When you see an object, you must leave your subjective pre-occupation with yourself; otherwise you impose yourself on the object, and do not learn. The object and yourself must become one, and from that feeling of oneness issues your poetry. However well phrased it may be, if your feeling is not natural—if the object and our self are separate—then your poetry is not true poetry but merely your subjective counterfeit. ~ Basho
None calls upon me, or remembers me in my mountain village.
On the reeds by the thin hedge, the Autumn winds are sighing.
~The Sarashina Diary, A.D. 1009-1059 (Diaries of Old Japan)
I am like dew on the grass–
And pitiable wherever I may be–
But especially am I oppressed with sadness
In a field with a thin growth of reeds.
~The Sarashina Diary, 1009-1059 (Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan
May I be peaceful, happy, and light in body and spirit.
May she be peaceful, happy, and light in body and spirit.
May he be peaceful, happy, and light in body and spirit.
May they be peaceful, happy, and light in body and spirit.
May I be safe and free from injury.
May she be safe and free from injury.
May he be safe and free from injury.
May they be safe and free from injury.
May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety.
May she be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety.
May he be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety.
May they be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety
Metta means “lovingkindness” in Pali. We begin this with an aspiration: “May I be . . . ” Then we transcend the level of aspiration and look deeply at all the positive and negative characteristics of the object of our meditation, in this case ourselves. The willingness to love is not yet love. We look deeply, with all our being, in order to understand. We don’t just repeat the words, or imitate others, or strive after some ideal. The practice of love meditation is not autosuggestion. We don’t just say, “I love myself. I love all beings.” We look deeply at our body, our feelings, our perceptions, our mental formations, and our consciousness, and in just a few weeks, our aspiration to love will become a deep intention. Love will enter our thoughts, our words, and our actions, and we will notice that we have become “peaceful, happy, and light in body and spirit; safe and free from injury; and free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety.”
When we practice, we observe how much peace, happiness, and lightness we already have. We notice whether we are anxious about accidents or misfortunes, and how much anger, irritation, fear, anxiety, or worry are already in us. As we become aware of the feelings in us, our self-understanding will deepen. We will see how our fears and lack of peace contribute to our unhappiness, and we will see the value of loving ourselves and cultivating a heart of compassion.
In this love meditation, “anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety” refer to all the unwholesome, negative states of mind that dwell in us and rob us of our peace and happiness. Anger, fear, anxiety, craving, greed, and ignorance are the great afflictions of our time. By practicing mindful living, we are able to deal with them, and our love is translated into effective action.
cited: Tricycle Cultivating Compassion byThich Nhat Hanh, Spring 2015
A Darma Talk by Sr Chan Duc
Sister Annabel Laity, Chan Duc, True Virtue, was born in England, and studied Classics and Sanskrit before going to India to study and practice with Tibetan nuns. She has been a disciple of Thich Nhat Hanh since 1986, became a Dharma Teacher in 1990, and was Director of Practice at Plum Village for many years. Since 1997, she has been director of the Maple Forest Monastery, Vermont, and was installed as abbess at the Green Mountain Dharma Center in 1998. In 2000, she was the first Western nun to teach the Dharma in China