Archive for the Buddhism Category

What Right Speech Means

Posted in Buddhism on October 18, 2008 by boychick1

This seems very appropriate, especially current as the political climate turns even uglier. I receive these daily Dharmas from Tricycle and really enjoy them, useful e-mail.

What Right Speech Means

Right speech means abstention (1) from telling lies, (2) from backbiting and slander and talk that may bring about hatred, enmity, disunity and disharmony among individuals or groups of people, (3) from harsh, rude, impolite, malicious and abusive language, and (4) from idle, useless and foolish babble and gossip. When one abstains from these forms of wrong and harmful speech one naturally has to speak the truth, has to use words that are friendly and benevolent, pleasant and gentle, meaningful and useful. One should not speak carelessly: speech should, be at the right time and place. If one cannot say something useful, one should keep “noble silence.”

–Walpola Rahula, What the Buddha Taught

from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book

I’m a role model ONLY in reverse…

Posted in Buddhism, Personal ramblings, tattoos on October 3, 2008 by boychick1


I am a role model, only in reverse for little white girls everywhere. Or at least around this neck of the woods.

So I am at class setting up a (neighbor, friend, acquaintance, woman who wants to work for me) shows up with her daughter and dog in tow. Another friend of mine is there one I have known for oh, I dunno, 10 plus years.

(let’s change the names to protect the guilty)

“Kathy – do you see what is on Janet’s arm”?
“Yes”.
“Do you know that is NOT magic marker and someone sticks sharp needles in her arm to make that”. (her wide eyed four year old looks a little anxious)
“You shouldn’t scare her”, I said.
“I am NOT scaring her, I want to talk to her about something”.
(Ok, ok whatever…I am thinking to myself)

“It is OK for Janet to have something like that BUT YOU can never have something like that”.

I was completely and utterly flabbergasted and dumbstruck. “At least not until you are an adult and can make your own decisions” — I growled out.

“YOU CAN NEVER DO ANYTHING LIKE THAT” exclaims Mommy. My other friend says “all you can have are this kind…and she pretends to lick a stamp and stick it on her arm”. Mommy smiles “oh she doesn’t even like that kind”. They share a chuckle at my expense.

WTF?!! I just stood there…when I replay the event in my mind several other alternative responses on my part are rehearsed.

One is…

“Kathy when you grow up your Mommy does not want you to be like me — a happy, well adjusted, passionate adult person with real interests and genuine pursuits. Who owns a house, a business and takes care of herself. Instead your mommy would like you to be like her…a closet case, boring, bored, miserable stay around at home with kids mom who does nothing but bend my ear about how unfulfilled she is. You can be just like me or just like your mommy – just DON’T get a tattoo.”

Another is…

“Kathy do you know what this tattoo is of? It’s of a koi fish…the Buddhists (that’s another religion besides Protestant) believe that humans swim through the suffering in their lives just as a fish swims through water. This symbol right here is the Buddhist symbol for compassion Buddhists believe true happiness comes not from a limited concern for one’s own well-being, or that of those one feels close to, but from developing love and compassion for all sentient beings. Here, love means wishing that all sentient beings should find happiness, and compassion means wishing that they should all be free of suffering. The development of this attitude gives rise to a sense of openness and trust that provides the basis for peace.”

Sigh.

I LOVE my tattoo it says exactly who I am, it also tells me exactly who you are and today it revealed a great deal to me about my friends and neighbors.

And next time – I won’t smile quite so silently or maybe that was exactly the right response.

I’m a role model ONLY in reverse…

Posted in Buddhism, Personal ramblings, tattoos on October 3, 2008 by boychick1


I am a role model, only in reverse for little white girls everywhere. Or at least around this neck of the woods.

So I am at class setting up a (neighbor, friend, acquaintance, woman who wants to work for me) shows up with her daughter and dog in tow. Another friend of mine is there one I have known for oh, I dunno, 10 plus years.

(let’s change the names to protect the guilty)

“Kathy – do you see what is on Janet’s arm”?
“Yes”.
“Do you know that is NOT magic marker and someone sticks sharp needles in her arm to make that”. (her wide eyed four year old looks a little anxious)
“You shouldn’t scare her”, I said.
“I am NOT scaring her, I want to talk to her about something”.
(Ok, ok whatever…I am thinking to myself)

“It is OK for Janet to have something like that BUT YOU can never have something like that”.

I was completely and utterly flabbergasted and dumbstruck. “At least not until you are an adult and can make your own decisions” — I growled out.

“YOU CAN NEVER DO ANYTHING LIKE THAT” exclaims Mommy. My other friend says “all you can have are this kind…and she pretends to lick a stamp and stick it on her arm”. Mommy smiles “oh she doesn’t even like that kind”. They share a chuckle at my expense.

WTF?!! I just stood there…when I replay the event in my mind several other alternative responses on my part are rehearsed.

One is…

“Kathy when you grow up your Mommy does not want you to be like me — a happy, well adjusted, passionate adult person with real interests and genuine pursuits. Who owns a house, a business and takes care of herself. Instead your mommy would like you to be like her…a closet case, boring, bored, miserable stay around at home with kids mom who does nothing but bend my ear about how unfulfilled she is. You can be just like me or just like your mommy – just DON’T get a tattoo.”

Another is…

“Kathy do you know what this tattoo is of? It’s of a koi fish…the Buddhists (that’s another religion besides Protestant) believe that humans swim through the suffering in their lives just as a fish swims through water. This symbol right here is the Buddhist symbol for compassion Buddhists believe true happiness comes not from a limited concern for one’s own well-being, or that of those one feels close to, but from developing love and compassion for all sentient beings. Here, love means wishing that all sentient beings should find happiness, and compassion means wishing that they should all be free of suffering. The development of this attitude gives rise to a sense of openness and trust that provides the basis for peace.”

Sigh.

I LOVE my tattoo it says exactly who I am, it also tells me exactly who you are and today it revealed a great deal to me about my friends and neighbors.

And next time – I won’t smile quite so silently or maybe that was exactly the right response.

The Same People…

Posted in Buddhism, Personal ramblings, Queer Issues on June 4, 2008 by boychick1

I have always enjoyed the writing of Anna Quindlen so I was delighted to run across this article in Newsweek.

The Same People
Scream, shout, jump up and down. No matter. The gay-marriage issue is over and done with. The upshot: love won. You can read the article here.

And it is the politics of the individual that are going to change society not from the top down but from the bottom up – one person at at time committing to living peacefully and mindfully. Young people and youthful ideas will save us.

This is a historic year in terms of our election and while I was hoping for Hillary Clinton to gain the nomination as she is the most qualified for the job, most able to hit the ground running – we have another candidate. And I’ll vote for him, as I vote democratic period. Perhaps we can move forward now, a united party, with a candidate for the white house — or maybe the media coverage will grow even uglier.

I will say I don’t miss my television set or television. I don’t miss CNN, or Fox, or… But I am so uninformed? NO. All the media was informing me of was how sexist, racist and homophobic a society we still live in. Turn on the idiot box, turn up one’s bloodpressure- turn down one’s brain activity.

But still I believe in the individual and peace starts at home, with oneself and it spirals out until we have peace in the world.

“It’s painful to face how we harm others, and it takes a while. It’s a journey that happens because of our commitment to gentleness and honesty, our commitment to staying awake, to being mindful.” -Pema Chodron

So find peace in your day, in every step you take —

janet

Offerings 6.3.08

Posted in Buddhism on June 3, 2008 by boychick1


“On days when the sky is grey, the sun has not disappeared forever.” – Arnaud Desjardins

Long week, longer weekend…

Posted in Buddhism, Personal ramblings on May 17, 2008 by boychick1

It’s been a long week and the weekend will be longer — frustrated, tired with no one to blame as I have simply overbooked myself, volunteered for too much and now am missing time for myself. Time for myself, it sounds so strange, those words, slipping off the lips of the serially single girl. And in that regard I am spending too much time looking backwards over my shoulder which means I will either run smack dab into something or miss something right in front of me.

My weekend all full of stuff -working & volunteering, working and volunteering…
but for now a moment to sit quietly with my coffee, be relieved by the cool grayness of the day. Months ago my friend Ann gave me a wonderful book that I had promised to share bits of each day and I dropped that practice almost as soon as it started. This morning I picked up Blessings again – there were some very relevant quotes this week that relate to how I am feeling.

Underneath our ordinary lives, underneath all the talking we do, all the moving we do, all the thoughts in our minds, there’s a fundamental groundlessness. It’s there bubbling along all the time. We experience it as restlessness and edginess. We experience it as fear. It motivates passion, aggression, jealousy, and pride, but we never get down to the essence of it. – Pema Chodron

Feelings like dissapointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. – Pema Chodron

As we willingly enter each place of fear, each place of deficiency and insecurity in ourselves, we will discover that its walls are made of untruths, of old images of ourselves, of ancient fears, of false ideas of what is pure and what is not. -Jack Kornfield

Suffering begins to dissolve when we can question the belief or the hope that there’s anything to hide. – Pema Chodron

walking on the earth.

Posted in Buddhism, My Photos, Personal ramblings on April 13, 2008 by boychick1

Catskill Mountains…New York, the view with you was beautiful that day, the sky almost rivaled your eyes.

My head would like to go back to that warm summer day, especially as Michigan has tossed us a hideous joke in the form of snow this morning. It’s not really sticking to any organic surface but it is beginning to coat other stuff like my car.

I want to skip to summer days, biting into the gush of a warm tomato fresh off of the vine. Consider this snow something to escape but then I will miss what this day has to offer. And so it goes…so she goes forth.

Ran across this quote on a blog yesterday and it’s simply beautiful and simply complicated embracing the present moment. I am inclined to spend my time in moments past and dreams that seem to swirl just past my shoulder of where I’d like to go.

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Enjoy the miracle that is your day.

Namaste-
j.