I have been meditating still, I just haven’t had the time to post on WordPress on a daily basis. I apologize to my followers.
I’ve been doing a lot of metta, but today I focused on my breath.
Meditation Poem #62
how precious is each breath
each my last
Life definitely full. Grateful for meditation practice. I am listening to a podcast called On Being with Krista Trippet, where she interviews Matthieu Ricard. Ricard is a scientist turned Tibetan monk, who is very involved in collaborating with scientists with researching effects of meditation on the brain. I am paraphrasing, but at point he talked about cultivating kindness and compassion as something we can learn to do, same as other skills we can develop as adults like learning a new route, a new song, or training our bodies. I found his ideas thought provoking, and also encouraging to keep sitting.
Meditation Poem #53
all is not lost
when we return to
I didn’t really make new year’s resolutions, but I would like to set the intention to keep meditation on a daily basis, to go deepen my experience by connecting more deeply with my Sangha (community), study the Dharma (the teachings), and find a teacher or guide in the Dharma. I don’t fit into a neat spiritual category, but for now I am happy being a Catholic/Quaker/Buddhist. 🙂
I woke up bright and early to attend a 7AM All Team meeting at work, and to offer a prayer to start the meeting. I was able to sit and breathe in my office for 20 minutes, before facing the tasks of the day.
Meditation Poem #44
stillness, peace, quiet,
noise, chaos, movement,
all converging in me
I don’t talk about my vocation as a chaplain a lot, but I’ve worked in hospital settings to currently a retirement community. Grief, loss, and death seem to be reoccurring themes in the life of chaplaincy.
I do enjoy being a chaplain in more of a communal setting than the random visits that happen in a hospital setting, but it also makes it more difficult when people die. Pastors and ministers are people too, and it’s sad, when I am constantly saying goodbye to people I form a deep bond with. However, I know God is using me and my gifts to journey with folks as they approach the end, or approach the ultimate new beginning for those of who believe that death is not the end.
It’s interesting what our pop culture says about death. I know Star Wars takes myth and views of multiple religions and blends them in one; I equated Zen Buddhism and Taoism as the largest spiritual inspirations of Star Wars. The Force seems similar to the Great Tao that cannot be named. Jedi masters like Yoda act as strange Taoist sages, or eccentric Zen monks that talk in paradox. I am still unsure where Force ghosts fit into all this, but it does strike to this notion that death is not the end for all of us that we are still tied to life by the Force even in death.
In Christianity, there is a strong sense of the communion of saints. Saints aren’t necessarily force ghosts that come back after death to give us wisdom, but they do speak to us through the walls that divide life and death. All of this to say that what separates life and death is not as clear as we make it out to be. I love the Buddhist notion that each breath leads to our last, and this is not to make us depressed and withdraw from life, but the awareness of death allows to see each breath as a precious moment and gift.
I woke up super early, but I was able to still sit on my meditation cushion (zafu). I don’t realize how exhausted I am sometimes till I am still.
Meditation Poem #26
keep coming back
sign of fruitful practice
breathing, just sitting
A bit of a struggle to get out of bed this morning. My room is pretty frigid, and blankets feel so cozy. I sat for 15 minutes, tired and cold. I had to wrap myself in a quilt while in sitting position.
Meditation Poem #25
the Dharma cuts
through it all
Today, I sat in meditation on a wooden bench at a Quaker meeting for worship. There are different sects of Quakerism, but I belong to one where people sit in Silence and speak out that Silence. I was pretty physically tired, the drowsiest I’ve been in sitting meditation.
Meditation Poem #18
the deepest silence cannot
hold the infinite emptiness