More lessons on the mindful, compassionate and taijiquan path
Recently, I wrote the following words inspired by my mindfulness, compassionate, taijiquan path:
– Krishna Das on Neem Karoli Baba: “It was the love then. It’s the love now.”
– Sharon Salzberg: “Love and lovingkindness, compassion, are a tremendous force which can transform this world.”
– When we are not compassionate and open to all, how can we do so with any one person? How can we just switch such an approach on and off?
– When we let ourselves repeatedly get bent out of shape by occurrences outside of us, how can we be truly content?
– Wayne Dyer: “When someone squeezes you, puts pressure on you … and out comes anger … that is what’s inside.”
– My ongoing challenge is to feel and act as calm and grounded and joyful in the courtroom battlefield ia I do with a group of meditators.
– It is not automatically coldness nor indifference to not react with utter glee nor angst over events. Equanimity is part of nondualism. Approaching life with equanimity alone is insufficient. Compassion and empathy are essential.
– With taijiquan sparring, intention interferes with strength and achievement. The same goes for meditation. The same goes for life.
A challenge for me in trial work is to harmonize having a theory, themes and plan in the battle with the power of non-intention.
– Once the framework of trial battle is laid, nonintention reminds me that I cannot control what happens outside of myself. I can only summon the best strength that I can from within. Wuwei-non-doing In the battlefield helps victory unfold.
– Non-intention is engaging the now and in the now. Intention can include struggling with a future that may never happen.
– Intention can breed hesitation, which, rather than strategic waiting, has no place in battle. The samurai who hesitates can lose his head.
– Even when things seem mundane, like when cleaning the toilet, the profound and powerful must not be overlooked.
– Rather than rolling the eyes over someone who seems annoying or heartless, it is better to recognize the person’s potential greatness and Buddha nature.
– One is not weak by having compassion for an opponent. How can we have compassion for ourselves but not for all else? By having compassion for ourselves, we are stronger. By having compassion for our opponents, we disarm them.
– Can a truly content person ever get bored, even if eternally aware but not in a body, stuck in an elevator with Muzak, or in a Target store?
– The moment is the only reality we have. Consequently, it is in the moment that we must persuade.
– To hit the target, become one with the target, the bow, and the arrow, as detailed in Eugen Herrigel’s Zen in the Art.
– “Emotions are like waves. Watch them disappear in the distance on the vast calm ocean.” -Bhagavan Das, from Be Here Now.
– Article on handling ruts. I add: Practice mindfulness; good spirit/diet/rest/exercise; serving others; and non-attachment.
– A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools. “ Spanish Proverb
– Richard Davidson on mindfulness, at Google. TY listserv member for the link.
– Michael Merzenic on thinking faster, focusing better and remembering more.
– At her November 19 dharma talk in Washington, D.C., Sharon Salzberg underlined that others may notice our advances through mindfulness practice before we do. Mindfulness reveals the good and less pleasant; it awakens us.
– D.C.-ares Dharma Punx meet every Sunday, 7-8:30 p.m., Yoga District, 526 H St., NE, Washington, DC.
– Check out the December 1 D.C. Kirtan Fest.
– How to sustain this sense and expression of powerful calmness no matter how heartless, underhanded or foul-playing my opponent seems? As Geshe Kelsant Gyatso says: “A controlled mind will remain calm and happy no matter what the conditions.” Furthermore, Ringu Tulku writes that the concept “that all phenomena are devoid of coming and going … means that an enlightened bodhisattva sees the truth, the way things are. This is seeing directly without adding any concept or philosophy. Within this clear vision there is not the slightest doubt about anything, so there is no need for clinging or running away. A realized bodhisattva has no dualistic view. Within this sheer and naked seeing, spontaneous compassion arises. Once we no longer feel compelled to cling to ourselves and fixate on our own problems all the time, we can look around and see everything clearly. We can perceive others’ lives and understand how and why they experience their problems. Although we see that others are suffering greatly, we know that their suffering is almost needless. They are not doomed to be in pain, because their suffering just comes from a wrong way of seeing and reacting. If they could see how things truly are, they would not suffer anymore. This is the understanding of an enlightened being.” Ringu Tulku, Daring Steps Toward Fearlessness: The Three Vehicles of Buddhism at 58 (Snow Lion Publications, 2005).