All posts by Mugo

Dance the Ancient Dance

If you are alone
or if you are in company
and feel alone
Then listening and watching
will remind you that

Listening, not being SO busy
so involved in getting things done
or overly involved
in your own hard times
or the hard times around you.

Stop! Listen!
Together with.
and the Great Universe
will dance the Ancient Dance.

David Whyte from Laura Hope-Gill on Vimeo.

All that said, and but that I would be faultless at taking my own advice, it is onwards to cooking! I’ll be listening to ‘you all’. Happy Holidays.

Have a peaceful day, wherever you are.

Recognizing Yourself, Accepting Yourself

At last, a moment to share this poem with you all. Turning around and coming back to yourself, recognizing yourself and knowing yourself. Make of this poem what you will. I love listening to the author reading their poem, the Irish lilt, the repetitions to add emphasis. The sentiment.

by David Whyte

There is a faith in loving fiercely
the one who is rightfully yours,
especially if you have
waited years and especially
if part of you never believed
you could deserve this
loved and beckoning hand
held out to you this way.

I am thinking of faith now
and the testaments of loneliness
and what we feel we are
worthy of in this world.

Years ago in the Hebrides,
I remember an old man
who walked every morning
on the grey stones
to the shore of baying seals,
who would press his hat
to his chest in the blustering
salt wind and say his prayer
to the turbulent Jesus
hidden in the water,

and I think of the story
of the storm and everyone
waking and seeing
the distant
yet familiar figure
far across the water
calling to them

and how we are all
preparing for that
abrupt waking,
and that calling,
and that moment
we have to say yes,
except it will
not come so grandly
so Biblically
but more subtly
and intimately in the face
of the one you know
you have to love

so that when
we finally step out of the boat
toward them, we find
everything holds
us, and everything confirms
our courage, and if you wanted
to drown you could,
but you don’t
because finally
after all this struggle
and all these years
you simply don’t want to
any more
you’ve simply had enough
of drowning
and you want to live and you
want to love and you will
walk across any territory
and any darkness
however fluid and however
dangerous to take the
one hand you know
belongs in yours.

Bodhicitta – Part Nine

We talk about seeking enlightenment, or seeking the truth, as if we had lost, or were missing, something. And that is certainly what it feels like. Many people have a feeling there is something missing from their lives. And that feeling can last for years. In reality, nothing is missing, but there is an absence of contentment, of peace of mind. But because the truth is never hidden from us, just taking the next step can reunite us with our true self. Every moment is an opportunity to enter reality.

How many steps will we need to take? That’s the question only you can answer for yourself. And you can, by following where the bodhicitta leads.

Note: I was personally touched by this talk and saw the benefits others are likely to derive from visiting his words, published here on Jade over several days. Thanks to the Reverend for permission to do this. Listen to the talk.

Bodhcitta – Part Eight

Another way this perspective on training can be described is by examining the difference between subjective and objective views. Enlightened vision sees reality, the truth of everything. This is the objective view, where no pre-judgement is in play. We human beings with our desires and aversions almost always have a subjective view of the world – we see it in terms of how it relates (or doesn’t) to our preferences and expectations. Employing the wish for enlightenment, simply by returning to the mind of zazen, gives us the ability to drop the subjective, and just see what is there.

Seeing our selves as we really are has some potential pitfalls however. Allowing our lives to be guided by bodhicitta means we will become aware of things about ourselves which will be disturbing. Regrets about things we did in the past can be a heavy burden. And having a driven goal of becoming an exemplary trainee will mean we disappoint ourselves regularly when we fall short in preceptual practice. This is another layer of ‘what we have to train with’. Being a perfectionist can easily result in suffering because we never seem to meet the standards we aim for. And we are less open to compromise which can result in our dealings with others being unharmonious, fractious. The answer of course is in remembering letting go – and compassion. And keeping going.

Note: I was personally touched by this talk and saw the benefits others are likely to derive from visiting his words, published here on Jade over several days. Thanks to the Reverend for permission to do this. Listen to the talk.

Bodhicitta – Part Seven

Learning how to respond to conditions in this way is more important than getting right whatever practicalities we are being taught, like how to strike the gong. Can we listen and follow without the ego-self asserting itself? If we feel our ego rise up ready to strike, right there is the gateway to enlightenment. The person we think is giving us a hard time is suddenly giving us a precious opportunity. Can we give up everything in that moment?

We can learn to welcome criticism – to be grateful for it. How so? If someone criticizes us, they either have a valid point or they don’t. If they do, we can be grateful that they’re pointing something out which it would be useful for us to know. They’re helping us, in other words. If there is no justification for their criticism, if they are mistaken, we have nothing to worry about. We can be content, realizing that we’re not after all at fault.

In either case, all it takes is that we consider, with as much honesty as we can muster, what’s being said, and decide ‘what this is’. What we should not do, but usually do, is to decide they are mistaken without first considering the facts dispassionately. We have a chance to see what the truth really is. If we always react aggressively to criticism, people who may have something valid to draw to our attention will think “I know what’ll happen, they won’t listen, and I don’t think I can be bothered with that today.” and we could miss out on some useful information.

This reminds me of Rev. Master Daishin’s teaching of ‘I am involved, but it is not about me.’ ‘Me’ being the ego self. We are usually so caught up in the ‘me’ being the most important thing that we can’t see the full picture – the involvement of many other factors. Like others’ needs and wishes. We include our own needs in that, but give ourselves no more importance than that of others.

Note: I was personally touched by this talk and saw the benefits others are likely to derive from visiting his words, published here on Jade over several days. Thanks to the Reverend for permission to do this. Listen to the talk.