I guess I could've said something. I really didn't plan to check out of the blogosphere for as long as I have... almost a month now... but that's how it goes sometimes. At the end of the year I was experiencing total burnout. It affected everything... my attitude, my tolerance level, my yoga and meditation practice. I needed to do three things, and I alternated my time between cleaning house, resting and playing with my daughter.
I've missed out on several comments... I'll catch up over the next few days. For now, I'll just thank those of you who stopped by with a few words. I'm also late responding to several requests to join the Buddhist Blogs webring. I've just added three new blogs as I'm typing this. I browsed them a bit today. Here are a few snippets from these new members of the blangha.
First, there's Michael. He's writing about life with an incurable illness... and like all else that confronts us in life, he deals by placing One Foot in Front of the Other. In a post titled That's Not Buddhism, he shares this cogent quote:
Regretting the fact that you likely won't have a long life isn't Buddhism. Giving thanks for a long life isn't Buddhism, either.
Buddhism is living in the moment and making the most of the life you have.
Next, we welcome Manoverboard, the stew of an anonymous chef who blends quotes, art, short musings and miscellaneous obscure facts... mostly short entries that can be read quickly. This post on meditation practice caught my eye:
When I teach meditation, I often begin by saying: "Bring your mind home. And release. And relax."
To bring your mind home means to bring the mind into the state of Calm Abiding through the practice of mindfulness. In its deepest sense, to bring your mind home is to turn your mind inward and rest in the nature of mind. This itself is the highest meditation.
To release means to release the mind from its prison of grasping, since you recognize that all pain and fear and distress arise from the craving of the grasping mind. On a deeper level, the realization and confidence that arise from your growing understanding of the nature of mind inspire the profound and natural generosity that enables you to release all grasping from your heart, letting it free itself to melt away in the inspiration of meditation.
To relax means to be spacious and to relax the mind of its tensions. More deeply, you relax into the true nature of your mind, the state of Rigpa. It is like pouring a handful of sand onto a hot surface, and each grain settles of its own accord. This is how you relax into your true nature, letting all thoughts and emotions naturally subside and dissolve into the state of the nature of mind.
Last but not least, I welcome tonight Jayarava of The Jayarava Rave whose recent post speaks to responsibility from a Buddhist perspective. While there are no rules, there are always consequences. Jayarava closes it out with the following:
I don't think rules will help me be a better person. Only awareness can do that. As a member of the Western Buddhist Order I have made an explicit commitment to develop that kind of awareness. This apparent abrogation of rules is not a shrugging off of responsibility. On the contrary I am taking seriously the responsibility to weigh my every action of body, speech and mind, to see whether it is likely to cause harm to any living being.
The post speaks to karma and right action in the absence of coersion. Worth reading. Check it out.