the mountain walks



Take a step and set your foot down like you are pressing a stamp into the soft wax to make a seal. When that foot is firmly on the ground and your weight is on it, lift the other foot and carry it forward. Then press feel how you set that foot onto the ground like you are pressing a stamp into the soft wax to make a seal. When you lift the foot you breathe in and when you set it down you breathe out. You can also set one foot with the in-breath and then carry the other foot forward and set it with the out-breath. Always keep the back foot on the ground until the front foot takes the weight fully.

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Upeksha is Sanskrit word. It is a seminal term in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. English words that give us a sense of what this term signifies are: equanimity, non-attachment, non-discrimination, even-mindedness or letting go. In the Yoga Sutras it is mentioned as the state of being ‘close to the Seer with great patience’.

Thich Nhat Hanh in his new book “At Home in the World” mentions this term in the following passage that I feel is a great way to set an intention for the coming solar cycle,  the New Year 2017. Continue reading

look into your hand


This is another short chapter from Thich Nhat Hanh’s newest book, his memoirs, called At Home in the World. It is a meditation on endless life. It strikes a strong chord in me because when I was about twenty years old I once had a remarkable vision of the eternity and infinity of life while captivated by the intricacy and aliveness of my own palm Continue reading

smile when I’m feeling bad?



I must be able to smile to my sorrow,

because we are more than our sorrow


My Comment: This is one of the hardest places to be. I know that I am more than my sorrow, anger, disappointment, irritation, impatience etc. And yet it feels like going against gravity to shift and “turn a smile on” that is really a smile, not a fake. It means gathering myself just as if I were the Samurai on the battlefield. Letting go of the anger is like centering myself with my sword so that I am wielding my instrument (the body-mind-spirit) from the deepest place in me, from my Truth. 

Here is a short except from Thich Nhat Hanh (Being Peace): Continue reading

the crucible


The Sanskrit syllable “tap” means “to be hot”. From it the Sanskrit term “tapas” is derived and that term generally is translated as “penance” or ascetic practices  in the yoga literature. Most generally this term is used to mean abstinence from worldly pleasures for the purpose of pursuing spiritual goals. It can also mean extremely rigorous practices of self-denial.

However, the inner meaning is better understood as a fine austerity as in simplicity in one’s behavior. In this simplicity I find confusing thoughts and impulses are better seen and avoided, not as in denial of anything, but as restraint from allowing my energy to flow into triviality that doesn’t really interest me any longer.

The wisdom teachings speak of ‘holding one’s vital energy inside’ because I am not just letting it flow to any of the myriad distractions which our modern life continually offers to our sensory system. 

From this understanding I entered this morning into the following meditation:

I awaken to the beauty and pain of life and so I awaken to my own sorrow. Holding this sorrow in my awareness like a man whose hair is on fire, without a thought, with a brain that is completely still, there is great heat in me.

I am the crucible of the inner alchemy. The impurities are burnt to ash. I direct the energy of my attention to this terrible-wonderful ‘what is’ I call my world and the fire is ignited.

With the power of smiling I contain the sorrow within my being and thus no contamination of the world occurs.

The power of smiling is the inner power of holding both ends of the spectrum of terrible-wonderful so that I am able to see the whole business, not just a fragment. The smile is not an expression of joy or happiness, but rather as Thich Nhat Hanh puts it:

“Smiling means that we are ourselves, that we have sovereignty over ourselves, that we are not drowned in forgetfulness.”




to my brain cells

thought = a mental movement with meaning

I can feel my brain from the inside. Who this ‘I’ is that is feeling this, I do not know. I feel the quivering of the brain cells in hot anticipation of the next data input – much like a junkie waiting for the needle. I send sweet caresses to my brain cells, telling them that everything is alright and comforting them. 

I feel the brain like the CPU of my computer. I see how its activity level jumps to 89% and then up to 100% when data input tells it to process signs of a possible threat to its safety and the safety of the ‘me’.  Continue reading

True Mind and False Mind

Mind of Unity and Thusness

HUANG Po, in speaking of the reality of true nature (what he called “the mind of Unity and Thusness”), said:

“Buddhas and living beings participate in the same one and unique mind. There is no separation concerning this mind. Since time immemorial this mind has never been created or destroyed; it is neither green nor yellow; it has neither form nor aspect; it is neither being nor non-being; it is neither old nor new, neither short nor long, neither big nor small. It transcends all the intellectual categories, all words and expressions, all signs and marks, all comparisons and discriminations. It is what it is; if one tries to conceive it, one loses it. Unlimited like space, it has no boundaries and cannot be measured. This Mind is Unity and Thusness, it is Buddha.”

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