Thích Nhất Hạnh is a 90 year old Vietnamese Zen Master. He is a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered around the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings. To my opinion, he is one of the greatest teacher of our time…
“Hands of Compassion” by Mayumi Oda.
In these challenging times we get to see a lot of people – especially women – rising and standing up for their voices to be heard. After decades of feminism, western women have become strong and powerful. “The fight isn’t over” I hear some of you say. Sure. But it’s been a long way.
Sadly I have met a lot of western mamas who told me how much they wish they had more time to do yoga. More time to do art… but what about being yoga?
As I told you last night, we have been spending quite some time in and around Brighton earlier on this week… well, this is why:
“The heart is like a garden. It can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love. What seeds will you grow there?” – The Buddha.
I took a week off blogging last week, as I have been reflecting on the loss of Chatral Rinpoche.
As the western world is busy mourning David Bowie, truth be said I personnaly felt very sad and a lot more affected by the loss of Chatral Rinpoche, who died at age 102, on the 30th of December.
With Christmas being nearly here, I have been thinking about the practice of Random Acts of Kindness.
Giving selflessly is likely to be one of the most useful things to do at this moment in time, if we want to honour the spirit of Christmas.
In Buddhism, Green Tara is often referred to as the women’s ally. Her mantra is : oṃ tāre tu tāre ture soha.
“Tārā also embodies many of the qualities of feminine principle. She is known as the Mother of Mercy and Compassion. She is the source, the female aspect of the universe, which gives birth to warmth, compassion and relief from bad karma as experienced by ordinary beings in cyclic existence. She engenders, nourishes, smiles at the vitality of creation, and has sympathy for all beings as a mother does for her children. As Green Tārā she offers succor and protection from all the unfortunate circumstances one can encounter within the samsaric world”
I highly recommend to everyone – especially women – to memorise it, and repeat it to yourself whenever you can, especially in those moments when fear or anxiety arise or when one needs strength or courage. It could also be written down on a piece of paper and kept in your pocket.
I used to think that if I could ever have a superpower, I’d like mine to be invisibility. As a child, teenager and young adult, I used to imagine how much fun it would be to become invisible whenever I wanted to.
Sometimes, you don’t need to do something ground breaking to be a hero.
ordinary, anonymous, unsung heroes
are the ones who inspire me the most.
the ones who are not attention seeking or looking for praise.
the ones who are not trying hard to prove themselves,
who don’t need the world or anyone else watching them,
for they are not trying to impress or to entertain.
they are getting on with it.
in their day to day lives,
they make sure they are present.
they don’t neglect the ones around them for
the benefits of a greater good, or some bigger picture
for details and small things are
what make big, great pictures.
the true heroes are not super,
but anonymous and local
they help whenever they can,
whoever needs them.
a child, a lost dog, an injured bird,
a dying badger on the side of the road,
a lost soul, an old one, the cashier, the neighbour…
they give their time and attention,
a friendly hear, a wish, a positive thought, a prayer…
or just a smile.
they often appear out of nowhere,
like an angel, springing out of the (blue) shadows.
unrecognised, they don’t share their good deeds on facebook,
because like it or not, they are busy doing the actual work
not just talking about it.
I hope it’s in all of us.
we all have our own heroic solitary moments, when no one is watching.
and keeping them to ourselves might be
what makes them even more special.
“I want to write because I find expression of my thoughts and emotions releasing and revealing”
Hooded crow (Corvus cornix) in flight
… and also because it takes me to an unknown path.
When I go down that path,
I hear a crow and I feel safe,
like I have a life long friend by my side.
I might sometimes write my way to Africa,
sometimes only down the road,
but it always takes me somewhere safe, and clear.
I connect with my old friend soul,
together we detangle the yarn of life.
The happy times, the grieving times,
the times when I feel lost and alone, unloved
and the times when I feel life is the most precious gift.
I heal my relationship with others, and with myself.
I learn to trust, others and myself.
I reflect, self-reflect
Doubt and self-doubt…
And I always feel better for it.
“Live your life as an experiment” – Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
His Holiness Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche. Photo from here.
In the eyes of every yogi there is sadness
And dear ones left behind.
A yogi feels kindness
Towards the suffering of the mind
Of those caught up in the never ending
Place of being best, first, having this
but also that. No end, no beginning,
Chasing the tail of happiness, but never bliss.
Contentment, compassion, self-study…
Here are some of the jewels hidden
In the heart of a yogi.