Buddhist Practice

Attention Affection Meditation

Attention, Affection, and Meditation

For the last two months on Thursday evenings I’ve been offering teachings on meditation.  These teachings have been loosely based on Pema Chodron’s brief, easy to read and highly understandable book called How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends With Your Mind. I especially like Pema Chodron’s making friends with your mind approach to meditation. It’s so down-to-earth and real.

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Mind of Good-Will

Speak With A Mind Of Good-Will

Given my role as a Zen priest, if I do harm to another person these days that harm generally springs from either something I’ve said, or from how I’ve said it. Or, the harm might also arise from something I’ve left unsaid because I didn’t have the courage, compassion, or wisdom to say it when it could have made a beneficial difference.  For this reason, Right Speech is a central focuses in my practice. I try to be as absolutely harmless with my speech as I’m able.

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NOW

Now, the Best Teacher

What we’re learning in Buddhist practice, and in Buddhist meditation specifically, is to let go of our attachments and our aversions, our likes, dislikes, and biases so we can rest and relax in now. The pure potential of being in every moment is now. Fortunately, we have unrestricted access to now. That’s fortunate because now is the most instructive teacher we could ever have.

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Generosity Buddha

Out of Compassion for the World

One out of one hundred Americans is currently behind bars. At our April 2018 meeting, the Sweeping Heart Zen Board voted unanimously to send ongoing financial support to the Prison Mindfulness Institute.  Support for PMI and its programs to relieve suffering is now part of Sweeping Heart Zen’s ongoing community service work.  At the present time then we’ve added our support for PMI to the monthly support we provide to The Grace Center and Action, Inc. in Gloucester.

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Cherry Blossoms

“Buddhism… Schmuddhism,” Just Wake Up!

Okay, I love the point, so I borrowed the “Buddhism Schmuddhism,” thing from Lama Surya Das.  His point?  The point?  Don’t bother becoming a Buddhist, or becoming  anything at all, for that matter.  Just wake up to the way things are now, to the way you are now.  Wake up to your life. Grow your inner goodness. Be the wide open knowing at your center.  Fall in love with and share your gifts.  Live who you truly are. Not tomorrow, not last week, live right now.

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It's Enough

Awakened Action and Letting Go

Though I was thirteen when the song Me and Bobby McGee came out, as I listened to Janice Joplin sing, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose…” those words touched my heart and blew my mind and I still love that lyric to this day. Then I loved the rebelliousness of the lyric.  Now I feel and think that having “nothing left to lose” is just another way to say “Awakened.”  And those who have nothing left to lose are capable of what we need more of today, which is Awakened Action.

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fearless-girl-bull

Mindfulness, Turning Fear and Unpleasantness into Fluency

Diane Constantino is a member of the Sweeping Heart Zen sangha and a fluency specialist at The Center for Stuttering Therapy at Boston University.  In her inaugural  guest post here at sweepingheartzen.org, Diane writes about how she and her profession use mindfulness-based therapies to help people who stutter free themselves from the clutches of “shenpa.”  What’s shenpa?  Most of us face some version of it everyday.  Diane skillfully fills us in on the nuts and bolts of mindfulness and shenpa below.

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Spring Rain Renewal Meditation

Spring Rain, Renewal, And Meditation

One of the things we’re learning in meditation is to  live in the always present, unspeakably spontaneous, unpredictable liveliness of each moment.  After our early morning meditation at Sweeping Heart Zen we chant “May the mind flower bloom in eternal spring.”  That is, we remind ourselves that human beings can touch the eternal spring in each moment.

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