Buddhist Protector Deities

I’ve been thinking this morning about protectors, the heroes we value in our media, wether it be Star Wars, Marvel, DC, or so many other popular and independent publishers. Many of them can seem fierce and unsettling. Yet they are all united in being protectors, non aggressive, but confronting fear in all of it’s forms. In Buddhism, these kinds of manifestations can appear in thankgas and stories reminding us of our own strength within, that can call forth speed, agility, and strength in the moments that we need them the most. There is an incredible resource here that gives some insight into the history and symbolism of these forms of art. Life isn’t always easy, but sometimes we have to call forth their essence so that we can protect our own inner harmony, and allow us to do the peace work that we need to help others around us. As I mentioned in a previous post, these kinds of depictions were at first misunderstood, yet now, in our modern age, they can speak to us. Hoping for the resiliance and passion of all of our compassionate protectors, and taking the rest of the day for peace, equanimity and hope. Thank you, protectors.

Goodbye, and New Moments

I’ve had a lot of time to think tonight. I’m waiting on hearing back about a dedicated period of Zen study, and I’m excited with anticipation about it. As a moment in time, this song resonates with me. When Harriet sings, “Why do you have to assume we’re exactly the same? No, no, you’re talking about yourself,” it really gave me a moment of pause. This to me is a breakup song, but not with another. Its with the writer themselves, and for me, this is the perfect song to mark a transition. For this next period of my life, I’m breaking up with me. I want to find someone who is only interested in peace and wellbeing, for all beings, and I can’t wait to meet them. Maybe in the next few weeks we’ll find the time to get to know one another. And then I can meet everyone, again when we all need it most.

International Women’s Day

There are so many things I could share about today, so many incredible women, who make up my life, and I wish I could thank them all personally. The rich legacy of women artists, who are my favorite composers and musicians, as you can tell from this blog, deserve to be heard. This is a track by Dorothy Ashby, one of the harpists who really convinced me to learn the harp, which I haven’t done in so long. And here is a book I’m adding to my reading list, from Jenny Odell, who I saw speak once at a poetry reading in Oakland, and a fellow SAIC alum, and lastly, without writing a 15 volume history of amazing and inspiring women, I want to give some light to Kristin Neff, who’s work helped me over the years in incredible pain. This is her work on fierce compassion, and the role it plays in defending and protecting women, children, all people and the dharma. Happy International Women’s Day.

Google Today

Google today is absolutely amazing. Their work, the illustrators and animators, and I’m not sure the size or scope of their staff, keep all of us going in this crisis, reflecting the world we live in. It’s extraordinary. The history they honor, the imagination, the beauty of art, is truly incredible. Thank you, Google, and all that you do, the world can’t be without you.

Changing of the Seasons

I really found this article by Charles M. Blow in the editorial section of the NYT this evening, after spending a Sunday off. I don’t often talk about politics, but this isn’t about politics, this is about the injust killing of Black Americans, which is continuing to this day, one of so many others in a long history of racial injustice that must stop. I try to bring peace into my world, and I hope my work can do that, but to change anything, I hope our country, and the world, can begin to take a full view of the violence and racism taking place all over the world, and so close to home in America. I’ll let the journalists tell their stories. They’ve done all the research, endured long hours assembling the facts and presenting them to us. We have to listen, and then act. There is no reason that we can’t stop this violence, and I hope this article, and all of the information it provides, can help begin that exchange.

Way Seeking Mind Talk

Morning all! This is the way seeking mind talk I’m sharing with a small group of friend this morning. It’s basicly what I wrote on the blog last month, but I hope this gives some insight into my path with Buddhism, I won’t say more, and let the film speak for itself, and some resources are avaliable below.

If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the United States at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). You can find a list of additional resources at SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources. Crisis Help line: Text HOME to 741741 for free, 24/7 crisis support in the US

Moon River

The first time I heard this song was sometime in Chicago, in one of the coldest winters I’ve ever experienced. It is a truly beautiful song, and as I’m entering new journeys, and giving a way seeking mind talk later this morning, which I will share here, it was beautiful to touch on it again. We’re all going through such a crisis, and I hope this helps along the way. 🙂

Mountains and Waters Sutra

Mountains and waters right now are the actualization of the ancient buddha way. Each, abiding in its phenomenal expression, realizes completeness. Because mountains and waters have been active since before the Empty Eon, they are alive at this moment. Because they have been the self since before form arose they are emancipation realization. 

Reading this passage after completing the Philosophy section of Moon in a Dewdrop made me reflect a bit on my past experiences. And it was just a moment for me to let it all go. This is from the beginning of the poetry section, and I really feel like it captures the essence of the title of the book. While only being four lines, if you read this passage completely, on all it’s levels, this is a true gateway into realization. 

I won’t give my own thoughts on this passage, because it is such a personal journey that you can go on at any time. That’s the beauty of the poetic form.

I will say though, that tomorrow is my way seeking mind talk with my sangha, and I’ll be preparing for that all evening. If I could invite everyone I would. I might film it later during the day, and post here, though the content is already here on the blog if you care to look.

Playing for Wyndy

It’s been my first real morning after recovering from an injury that I’ve felt that I’ve been able to get back to some of the things that I’ve forgotten in the pandemic. About this time last year I was studying Crystal Bowl Performance with Ashana, and I was grateful to be able to play it for the first time in what seems like forever ago, a distance so vast. Wyndy was blown away. She sat patiently through the entire performance, and my partner was able to catch this image as she watched. This was an album I made at the time, which was only released on bandcamp. I hope it brings some expansiveness to your day. I’ll be off of the blog for a bit, and it was an incredible morning being able to play this for you.

Despair, Hopelessness, and Joy

I’ve been thinking this morning about the unsettling nature of our times. So much of it calls for action. I know that many of us work tirelessly to create peace in the world, in whatever way we can. Authors, musicians, artists, and everyone that makes up our culture. I’m greatly inspired by the tireless work of our journalists who work so hard to educate us, and keep us on track for a better future. In my own small way, I really hope this blog can contribute to that incredible struggle, and I wish I could read it all, all the time. Even in the most trying moments, the spirit of their work brings me not only knowledge but deep joy. Not for the content alone, but the true beauty of sharing knowledge to everyone. It’s incredible. I’ll be entering a Zen program in the next few weeks, and I hope I’ll still have time to check in, and write, in addtion to a needed break from the everyday. I’ll be working and living at the temple, a true dream I’ve had for years. I hope to share those experiences with you as I start this journey. I’ll write more soon, but for the next week or so I’ll be taking a break from writing as much as I had been. These posts are always here for you, as am I. 🙂