Field Notes January 14, 2015


I had to think about that….the year. I was already to find the numbers one and nine. It hasn’t been nineteen something in quite some time. It seems that life has been reminding me of what I have carried forward from the past into the present and also, what I’d like to continue with, take forward into the future. I’ve been asking myself, what still serves me? What is dying and what is asking to be born?
Am I listening? That’s my intention.

One of my Buddhist teachers posted something on Facebook yesterday about not needing to “fix” oneself, but to fully accept where we are. And, that we in fact, need no fixing. Someone commented that she totally disagreed and even said point blank, the teacher was wrong. The commenter said fixing things is good, like, when we are sick and we go to the doctor. Or, when we have a problem with our finances and we go to our accountant to fix them. I thought, what a wonderful example of how a teaching, or for that matter, anything one says, can be misinterpreted or misunderstood. And then I thought, this is how war starts. First, there’s disagreement, then no understanding what the other is saying and then, we’re killing one another.

This teacher was talking about acceptance, not about taking care of the practicalities of one’s life, being a responsible human being. How can we talk to each other, how can we listen to one another if we’re coming from a place of thinking we are the one who’s right? How can we possibly learn anything? How can we grow if we are so damn sure of ourselves? When we walk around with our agendas tied around our neck how can we hear each other, let alone have an open heart and show genuine concern for what another’s thoughts and ideas and feelings are?

My next door neighbors house burnt last week. They lost their 3 animal companions to smoke inhalation. We created an easy way for folks to donate financially to help the rebuilding of their lives. Watching humanities’ heart open wide has been both moving and inspiring. With everything that’s been happening in the world these days, it is a beautiful witnessing of how we can act towards one another; how we can treat our fellow brothers and sisters. Maybe try this, remembering, that along with the “bad” there is good happening.

Kuan Yin is the Buddhist goddess of compassion who “hears the cries of the world”. She is an outward manifestation of the inner reflection of our deepest felt sense and knowing of the undeniable interconnectedness we all share with one another. When we can experience compassion in our own selves, we too can hear the longings of those who are in need… to be listened to without judgment, to simply “hold the space” for another so that they might say their truth, or not say anything at all.
To give comfort in stillness and silence. To reflect another’s humanity back to them, to say yes, you are valued/have value.

No one gives you value. You are born with it, like your Buddha nature. Zen Master Bankei, from the fifteenth century called it, the “Unborn Buddha Mind.” He basically was saying that, when we were born, we were already enlightened, pure, clear and we spend our lives getting back to this place. It is our innate nature, from the moment we arrive.
Isn’t this beautiful?

We already have, you already have everything you need. You ARE everything you need.

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