A Joyous Occasion

2 planes of existence

a melting vertical line

from the crown of the head,

forehead,

center above eyes

nose…

lips…

chin…

throat…

all the way down and through

a merging of the dynamic 

and the empty

~a joyous occasion~

night sky, showered with stars

buddhas and bodhisattvas rejoicing 

in the fireworks

simplicity uncovered

in the blue center of a flame

requesting

offering

accepting

and bowing in deep gratitude

E Ma Ho!

How Wonderful!

Chenrezig imprinted 

Here Now

Unconditional love,

Infinite light. _/\_


Jennifer, Heart of Practice Retreat 2021

Together and Alone

Together and alone – in a cabin amongst the trees

Slowed down from my habitual rush

Nothing to do but this – but this is so much

Quietly enjoying lunch while thinking too much about this poem  

Who do I need to impress?

Each day a collection of small experiences – 

Cool air and warm sun

Pine trees basking in light

The wind and the birds

The neighbor’s muted radio

Can’t they enjoy nature too?

Ah, judging

A humming fridge

A ticking clock

Drifting in and out between awareness and my own distracted thoughts

Chenrezig song stuck in my head

Simple yet profound teachings inspiring and energizing me to do more – to dig in

Feeling content and wishing life could always be like this

Perhaps it can, if I let it.


– Leslie, Heart of Practice Retreat 2021

Dear Bodhisattvas…

We held our 6th annual “Heart of Practice” retreat last month and it was another wonderful event! The dedication of all the participants to be the guardians of their own practice was inspiring! We concluded this year’s retreat with songs of realization (poetry) from everyone! I’ll be posting these beautiful offerings in the coming days. But for now, here are some lovely offerings from our teacher and spiritual friend, Khaydroup!

Dear Bodhisattvas

My sisters and brothers,

meeting again all our fathers and mothers,

daily arriving in our zoom little squares,

from across many miles, yet alone in our chairs.

So many challenges to show up and share,

so even though hard, we continue to dare.

And why do we do it, we know very well,

we feel the connection, it makes us feel swell.

And so my dear friends, what I’ve come here to say,

From the depths of my heart, I thank you each and every day.


Experience

Simple, ordinary, fresh,

forgetting, grasping, feeling it, letting go

seeing, resting, relaxing

happening all by itself.


Much More

Thoughts, words, language,

all useful to explain.

So easy to be good at this relentless game.

There is so much more to explore,

look behind and beyond,

that which confines

so as not to ignore

or mistake

the description for what is described.

Let the spacious moment arise and subside

again and again infinite openness has ever been here.


More to come soon!

Jampa

Wandering…But Not Lost

Wandering…But Not Lost

Watched a beautiful documentary this weekend telling the story of Mingyur Rinpoche’s “Wandering Retreat”. I had read his memoir “In Love with the World: A Monk’s Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying” and this is a wonderful companion. The film is beautifully shot with Rinpoche telling his own story. Highly recommend watching.

Under cover of darkness and with no word of his plans, much-beloved Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Master Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche walked away from his life on the international stage to live that of a wandering yogi. Unheard of among eminent teachers today, such a practice is rife with hardships. For Mingyur Rinpoche, these challenges—begging, finding food and shelter, illness, and all the attendant risks of wandering incognito from place to place with the barest of possessions—present fertile ground for deepening insight into the true nature of the mind.

Wandering . . . But Not Lost is an intimate account of Mingyur Rinpoche’s four-and-a-half-year retreat (June 2011 – November 2015) interspersed with Rinpoche’s own guidance in applying Buddhist wisdom to our daily modern lives that will touch—and inspire—audiences everywhere.

Heart of Practice ONLINE Summer Retreat June 6-12, 2021

We are happy to announce that registration is now open for our annual June retreat practice intensive, meeting for the second year in a row online. We hope to meet in person again in Badger, California in 2022.


It is fortunate indeed to have the time to delve deeply into spiritual discovery. This is a rare opportunity to set aside our normal routines, unplug from distractions, and allow ourselves to experience the true relief that comes from cultivating a quiet mind and an open heart. Learning to be gentle with ourselves and “to relax in the doing” is liberating and transformative. Being at home in our own environments may prove supremely challenging. We may have to modify expectations, but at the same time it gives us more flexibility to participate fully or in a modified way to suit your individual needs.


We will still have the support of practicing together. The key is finding the balance between, “not too tight, and not too loose”, between relaxed discipline and awake relaxation. In doing so, we discover that peace and happiness are already present within our own mind, we only have to relax into our practice and let go of everything that obscures the innate qualities of wisdom and compassion.


We will provide various “Zoom Rooms” for the different practice sessions. The practice sessions will open and close together with traditional prayers. Which practice you do during the session can vary. Some of you will focus on sitting practice, others Ngondro, others on a particular visualization, generally called “deity” practice, and some will do combinations of the above. This is up to you. In addition we will offer morning Yoga sessions and evening Feldenkrais sessions as well as a daily Dharma talk.


We hope you will join us!

Registration is now open until June 1


Please follow the link for additional information and to registration:


https://ezregister.com/events/34170/

Offerings for the 2021

Dear friends,

2020 is in the books! And so are many, many, lovely poems! We concluded the year with offerings of poetry by our sangha members. Wishing you all a year of fruition in your practice! – Jampa

Prayer – Khalil Gibran

Then a priestess said, “Speak to us of Prayer.”

And he answered, saying:

You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.

For what is prayer but the expansion of yourself into the living ether?

And if it is for your comfort to pour your darkness into space, it is also for your delight to pour forth the dawning of your heart.

And if you cannot but weep when your soul summons you to prayer, she should spur you again and yet again, though weeping, until you shall come laughing.

When you pray you rise to meet in the air those who are praying at that very hour, and whom save in prayer you may not meet.

Therefore let your visit to that temple invisible be for naught but ecstasy and sweet communion.

For if you should enter the temple for no other purpose than asking you shall not receive.

And if you should enter into it to humble yourself you shall not be lifted:

Or even if you should enter into it to beg for the good of others you shall not be heard.

It is enough that you enter the temple invisible.

I cannot teach you how to pray in words.

God listens not to your words save when He Himself utters them through your lips.

And I cannot teach you the prayer of the seas and the forests and the mountains.

But you who are born of the mountains and the forests and the seas can find their prayer in your heart,

And if you but listen in the stillness of the night you shall hear them saying in silence,

“Our God, who art our winged self, it is thy will in us that willeth.

It is thy desire in us that desireth.

It is thy urge in us that would turn our nights, which are thine, into days which are thine also.

We cannot ask thee for aught, for thou knowest our needs before they are born in us:

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all.”

(Luzi’s offering)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Auguries of Innocence – William Blake

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43650/auguries-of-innocence

(Rene’s offering)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Good News

They don’t publish

the good news.

The good news is published
by us.
We have a special edition every moment,
and we need you to read it.
The good news is that you are alive,
and the linden tree is still there,
standing firm in the harsh Winter.
The good news is that you have wonderful eyes
to touch the blue sky.
The good news is that your child is there before you,
and your arms are available:
hugging is possible.
They only print what is wrong.
Look at each of our special editions.
We always offer the things that are not wrong.
We want you to benefit from them
and help protect them.
The dandelion is there by the sidewalk,
smiling its wondrous smile,
singing the song of eternity.
Listen! You have ears that can hear it.
Bow your head.
Listen to it.
Leave behind the world of sorrow
and preoccupation
and get free.
The latest good news
is that you can do it.

– Thich Nhat Hanh

Plum Village, March 1992

(Rachel’s offering)

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Eternity – William Blake


He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy
He who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise 

(Levon’s offering)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Kindness – Naomi Shihab Nye


Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

(Jampa’s offering)

Khaydroup’s Ark

Paul

E Ma Ahoy!

 

Climb aboard!

Can’t you see!

 

There’s an ocean of suffering,

It’s time to be free.

 

Please come and relax,

You have been struggling for so long.

 

Please come and wake up,

From the sound of the morning gong.

 

Please come and be kind,

To yourself and to others.

 

After all…

All beings have been your fathers and mothers.

 

–Paul

 

Heart of Practice Retreat 2020

Tiny Spiders

Don

Tiny spiders to us

Is like us

To thousand year old redwoods.

–Aloha, Don

 

Heart of Practice Retreat 2020

Joyful Presence!

Peggy

I may not have become a better meditator.

But there were moments of being present,

There was an appreciation for the teachers

and an acknowledgement of how important

Supportive dharma friends are in our practice.

Thank You!

 

I may not have loved every activity,

But dharma methods were revived,

Enthusiasm for the Path rekindled,

And thanks to flexibility and creativity,

This retreat became possible.

Blessings.

 

–Peggy

 

Heart of Practice Retreat 2020

Mahākaruṇā

Doug

Great Compassion

 

Not from a sense of duty comes compassion to the fore.

It’s deep human understanding that can open wide your door

A gust of Grace now rushing in

Is all we need, no more.

 

Through Love’s most perfect grace

I offer up my self,

I offer myself up

To you,

To you dear one

No longer as a stranger

No longer fearing danger.

 

–Doug

 

Heart of Practice Retreat 2020

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