Sunday, August 21, 2011

Use the time of your life.

Patrul Rinpoche, Patrul Rinpoche poetry, Buddhist, Buddhist poetry, Tibetan poetry, [TRADITION SUB2] poetry,  poetry

Use the time of your life.                                                     Develop your inner happiness.

Recognize the impermanence

of all outer pleasure.

Live as a Yogi
Do your spiritual practices.
Work as a Bodhisattva
for a happy world.

Become an Amitabha
a Buddha of love and light.
Turn your world into the paradise Sukhavati,
by unfolding the enlightenment energy within you.

Search you a spiritual master,
who knows the goal of enlightenment.
Change your world into a place of grace,
by understanding all the phenomena as spiritual exercises.

Dedicate your actions to the benefit of all beings.
Send all beings light.
Live for the happiness of all beings.
So you get the energy of light.

~Patrul Rinpoche

Thursday, August 18, 2011

to cover her eyes and sing

Cindy Jeanne Cohen (1949 - 2011)

I will not be able to put into words the depth of sorrow I feel for the passing of Cindy Cohen. So, perhaps it would be best to crystalize the memories and meanings of my childhood as seen from the innocent view of the “children's table”. It was here that it truly began-- my Jewish childhood; not in the hallways of Hebrew school or dressed up in that flattering teal bat mitzvah dress, but perched into the fold-out card table at the end of another Passover dinner; an unfathomable seder plate spread out with untouchable and curious tasting nuggets of history.

And then, there was Cindy: the good-smelling unspoken conductor of it all who would be gracefully pulling things out of the oven while simutaneously stirring things in the pot, brewing the decaf, and controlling the little dogs. Cindy was a Master of Ceremony. But in my eyes and in my heart, Cindy held just one beautiful purpose- to cover her eyes and sing. When she this, all time stopped, and even my young heart understood that what was happening was timeless and sacred. She was my corner stone, her face now eternally etched into my memory with peace and sacrality; bathing in the candle light soft with her own love and affection.

Every year, for just about all of them, the Carmona family would walk down Conifer Street to the Cohen's house dressed in our holiday best. We would walk together past the crickets and the creek, already hungry for Charoset, this exodus as a family becoming more important then I will ever realize. Even as I grew into a teenager showing up drunk on wine coolers or home from college and feeling like the self-righteous Buddhist, I showed up. We always made it to the Passover table. Even now, with our own kids and new families, the new dogs and new vegetarian recipes, tradition remains the simple act of coming together. These precious evenings came together not without the strong and supportive husbands, the tolerable if not excited children, timeless friendships, gifts of good food and abundance, of loving servitude, perseverance, and now a deeply felt humility.

It is undeniable that Cindy will be missed and always loved. I am so grateful for her life and her friendship and her gifts. May we all learn from her to be reverent of tradition and generous with body and spirit.

Rest in Infinite Peace dear Cindy Cohen.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Mind of Absolute Trust

The great way isn't difficult
     for those who are unattached to their preferences.
Let go of longing and aversion,
     and everything will be perfectly clear.
When you cling to a hairbreadth of distinction,
     heaven and earth are set apart.
If you want to realize the truth,
     don't be for or against.
The struggle between good and evil
     is the primal disease of the mind.
Not grasping the deeper meaning,
     you just trouble your mind's serenity.
As vast as infinite space,
     it is perfect and lacks nothing.
But because you select and reject,
     you can't perceive its true nature.
Don't get entangled in the world;
     don't lose yourself in emptiness.
Be at peace in the oneness of things,
     and all errors will disappear by themselves.

If you don't live the Tao,
     you fall into assertion or denial.
Asserting that the world is real,
     you are blind to its deeper reality;
denying that the world is real,
     you are blind to the selflessness of all things.
The more you think about these matters,
     the farther you are from the truth.
Step aside from all thinking,
     and there is nowhere you can't go.
Returning to the root, you find the meaning;
     chasing appearances, you lose their source.
At the moment of profound insight,
     you transcend both appearance and emptiness.
Don't keep searching for the truth;
     just let go of your opinions.

For the mind in harmony with the Tao,
     all selfishness disappears.
With not even a trace of self-doubt,
     you can trust the universe completely.
All at once you are free,
     with nothing left to hold on to.
All is empty, brilliant,
     perfect in its own being.
In the world of things as they are,
     there is no self, no non self.
If you want to describe its essence,
     the best you can say is "Not-two."
In this "Not-two" nothing is separate,
     and nothing in the world is excluded.
The enlightened of all times and places
     have entered into this truth.
In it there is no gain or loss;
     one instant is ten thousand years.
There is no here, no there;
     infinity is right before your eyes.

The tiny is as large as the vast
     when objective boundaries have vanished;
the vast is as small as the tiny
     when you don't have external limits.
Being is an aspect of non-being;
     non-being is no different from being.
Until you understand this truth,
     you won't see anything clearly.
One is all; all
     are one. When you realize this,
     what reason for holiness or wisdom?
The mind of absolute trust
     is beyond all thought, all striving,
is perfectly at peace, for in it
     there is no yesterday, no today, no tomorrow.