Opening to vulnerability

Chris Rand

This practice is really about deeper and deeper love. That’s what my teacher Doug says. It’s true, I know, but there are so many walls up still. It’s quite difficult to plow straight into the heart. And it’s much easier to just keep it all nice and intellectual, even in the practice itself — to somehow divide mind from heart. But, that’s just not how things actually are. And it catches up with you.


Solitude and the mirror of relationship

reflecting solitude

by Ebru Sidar

A commenter on a previous post asked “I wonder if you have read the story of the great Zen master Bankei?” And then proceeds to tell the story: “He was on retreat for 10 years and nothing changed in his life. One day he discovered his own Unborn Buddha mind at the age of 26. From that time on he taught only that. He told others all the retreat and practices are basically meaningless. They are all just ‘Zen devices’. Retreat or no retreat makes no difference. The only people qualified to teach the Dharma are those who have experienced it directly, and then they do not teach. Those who know, do….those who do not know, teach.”


The dangers of expectation

From what I can tell, expectation is one of the more wily of mind states. Dangerously close to the Christian concept of the devil, in fact. What I mean by that is, expectation – and its cousins (it’s greed and aversion all wrapped up into one), are single-handedly the greatest single source of suffering I can point to in my experience. For much of my late twenties and early thirties, I would have said that expectation in terms of the love relationship was the number one, number two arrow and it was, but now I see it’s trickier than that.


A revolutionary view on relationship

When one has a dedicated meditation practice, one of the things that is unmistakable in watching our thoughts, bodily sensations, reactions, emotions, mental wanderings, and the like is that everything is impermanent. Anicca. How does the idea of a committed partnership or love relationship reconcile with this very basic fact of life, the arising and passing of everything? In many ways it doesn’t. And yet, there is such a good reason to work at it, and commit to relationship as practice, as long as we keep in mind the following reflections / remembrances. (more…)

Everything called into question

So there were two parallel transformations going on while I was in Mongolia. The first involved the putting into daily practice one of the deepest heart connections I have ever experienced with another person, and had previously had in an almost exclusively verbal and intellectual realm from afar; and the second involved seeing how simply people can live and contentedly so.

Ultimately, I was being faced with the decision between freedom and security. I chose freedom, even though it certainly felt like it was being chosen for me.


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