Saturday, October 20, 2018

A story I hadn't heard before



When it came out that the Buddha was going to let himself die, his stepmother asked if she could go first, and she led many of her elderly cohorts with her. Here is a female who's attainments were great, and Analayo suggests with all the men about, reflecting on her would be a good antidote. She did something amazing and you 'd have to read Analayo's translation to get a sense of it. What a lovely book, my best book of 2017 so far.

He says that exhaling is relaxing and inhaling is energizing. I guess that's true broadly, but I feel like so much goes on with the breath.

I wonder what it would have been like to grow up with Buddhist parents. Instead I found Buddhism in 2004.

Reading and listening to talks and audio books is one way I keep connected to the Dharma. Listening to The Dalai Lama's Little Book of Mysticism: The Essential Teachings was off-putting in several ways. First the collection was a hodgepodge. One minute we were skimming the surface, another we were plumbing the depths. The second problems was that the actor reading the book mispronounced so many Tibetan names, and even English words. Even so, the influence was positive, I was more kind at work.

What should I read next? I've been working my way through Shakespeare but I always am reading a Dharma book.

Monday, October 01, 2018

sleep

(Rupa at DHARMADHARA (Lake Country CA)) 

I noticed that sleep was not on list of asceticism the Buddha tried (link to book I've been reflecting on). But he could easily meditate all night and probably for several nights. Just like eating, bathing and breathing, sleep serves a function to the mind, to reset and refresh. We don't have limitless energy. Having children and working at night, I have pushed through some of my conceptions about how much rest I need. In the end it's the middle way. You don't ignore your needs, but you don't indulge yourself and put comfort first always. You can't progress on the path without extending effort.