September 5, 2015
The keys to our wanting less, grasping less—whether it be new shoes or a relationship or keeping our job—are gratitude and generosity. Gratitude comes first because it leads to generosity. Both are messages to our spirit that our lives, however simple, are plentiful.
September 6, 2015
The social worlds of Jews, even after pogroms and concentration camps, and black folks in the face of slavery, lynchings and police brutality, are characterized by laughter. It has never been the laughter of denial. It is a laughter that sees clearly the world’s terrible craziness and cruelty and allows it to dissolve in that moment into emptiness, a laughter that says whoever is laughing refuses to be caught in those forms.
September 7, 2015
Lately I’ve spent my days involved in preparing for a move to a different apartment.
The process of moving is of course a series of teachings about letting go—about our resistances to change and loss, and the joys and freedoms that come when we ride through those resistances.
These days, in the light of the Heart Sutra, I can see that at its “heart” the process is one of deciding which things—letters/objects/photographs/whatever—I will allow to retain form and which, with my shredder or Goodwill box, I’ll allow to fade into emptiness.
September 9, 2015
It’s not unusual to hear people disparage Buddhism as more depressing than the religions they are more familiar with, because of the First Noble Truth—that life is suffering. So it was interesting to read in an Apostolic Letter of Pope John Paul II that “suffering seems to be, and is, almost inseparable from man’s earthly existence.” (Italics are from the letter).
In Buddhism we are enjoined to know this even as we “live happily in the here and now.”