-isms and the need to belong

“The desire to…the identity to belong is based on fear, and inclusion and exclusion. The aspiration to awaken is prepared to negotiate all of those boundaries.”

I was particularly struck by Ajahn Thanasanti’s words in this conversation with Gina Sharpe because of my own strong desire to be inclusive, which is then reflected in a corresponding aversion to any sense of exclusion and perhaps paradoxically, if unchecked, results in the same! Sadly, I sense a lot of “clubby” behavior, particularly online.


Not enough

Who among us has not suffered the thought “I’m not ___ enough” at some point or another. Whether it’s physical (not strong enough), or intellectual (not smart enough), or psychological (not sensitive enough)…it all comes down to not good enough. And that’s a pretty awful way to feel. In most cases, it’s just a thought. It’s not true at all.


The dirty on desire

What is the condition of the mind before wanting arises? It is actually quite okay, isn’t it? The mind that is not disturbed by wanting anything at all is peaceful. It is when wanting arises that we feel the itch, but if we scratch the itch straight-away–gratifying the desire immediately without stopping to investigate–we won’t notice how irritating desire can be.


The power of community

It is hard to live
the life of renunciation;
its challenges
are difficult to find pleasant.
Yet it is also hard to live
the householder’s life;
there is pain
when associating with those
among whom one feels no companionship.


Unraveling anonymity and identity

Identity itself is an outdated concept. We are not some static and immutable list of descriptors and qualities. We are flexible and under constant change—we’re all in perpetual beta.¹


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