The attempt to look at your attitude — what you are feeling and thinking and the frame that holds it –
and then your attitude to your attitude,
is one of the routes to freedom
John Tarrant, In the Wild Places
The first half of life feeds on projections – this is how the unconscious becomes conscious. If we did not project idealism and love, we might never leave home. However, in the second half of the journey our projected values, hopes, and dreams lose some of their magical power. Our illusions are disillusioned. It must be so if we are to collect our own missing pieces and become more whole.
Jerry Ruhl, Inner Work Blog
What is balance in a society whose skewing of time has it totally off-balance? What is balance in a culture that has destroyed the night with perpetual light and keeps equipment going twenty-four hours a day because it is more costly to turn machines on and of than it is to pay people to run them at strange and difficult hours? In the first place balance for us is obviously not a mathematical division of the day. For most of us our days simply do not divide that easily. In the second place, balance for us is clearly not equivalence. Because I have done forty hours of work this week doesn’t mean that I will have forty hours of prayer and leisure. What it does mean, however, is that somehow I must make time for both. I must make time or die inside.
Joan Chittister, Wisdom Distilled from the Daily
As long as anyone believes that his ideal and purpose is outside him, that it is above the clouds, in the past or in the future, he will go outside himself and seek fulfillment where it cannot be found. He will look for solutions and answers at every point except where they can be found – in himself.
Through recognizing the distinction between appearance and illusion, you give yourself permission to acknowledge that some of your perceptions may be wrong or biased, that your ideas of how things are may have solidified to the degree that you cannot see any other point of view but your own. When I began to recognize the emptiness and clarity of my own mind, my life became richer in ways I never could have imagined. Once I shed my ideas about how things should be, I became free to respond to my experience exactly as it was and exactly as I was, right there, right then.
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, The Joy of Living
Every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.
Thich Nhat Hahn
In this part of the world there are not so many English Speaking Retreats available, besides the excellent ones offered all year round at Gaia House in the UK. Therefore, deepening practice through an extended period of silence can be difficult to organize without the extra expense of long travel. For this reason I am delighted to be able to post that James Baraz, the author of the well-known book and programme Awakening Joy, will be leading a Mindfulness Retreat, from June 27 – July 5, in the lovely retreat center at Götzis, Austria, just across the border from Switzerland. The title of the retreat is Being Present for Your Life and the emphasis is on quieting the mind, opening the heart, and developing loving-kindness, clarity and depth of practice. Because the format includes periods of silent sitting and walking meditation along with discussion and mindful movement, this is a great place to start one’s retreat experience, with an excellent teacher. It would be very suitable for all who have completed the MBSR programme and who wish to deepen their practice. More details can be found by clicking on the link : http://www.arbor-seminare.de/being-present-your-life
Here in France, the 4th International Forum on Buddhism and Medicine will be held at the end of May in Lerab Linn near Montpellier, with a range of international speakers coming. Again, details can be found by clicking the link http://2013.buddhismandmedicine.org/en/
Finally, since this is a practical post, the blog had its 200,000 visitor last week, one year after we reached our first 100,000, which took over two and a half years. I want to thank everyone of you who stops by for your readership and comments, and all who follow the Blog for your support, practice and presence on this journey.