A life dedicated to service...

Week 39: Words of encouragement

Careful what you wish for, or, Beware of advice you give to others! A couple of posts ago I inserted an exchange between student and teacher. “I feel discouraged. What should I do?” laments the one. “Go and encourage others,” replies the other. For most of...
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Week 38: We can’t, and yet …

Each loss, be it physical or emotional, opens a door to new experience. When I first came to Victoria, a beloved person vanished from my life and I collapsed — heart over heels — deep down deep hole of grief and self-pity. Within a year I ‘found myself’...
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Week 37: Do this for those who love you

NEWS. Officials at the World Health Organization expressed disappointment last week over recent findings that, despite enormous efforts the global death rate remains at 100 percent. Death, a metabolic affliction causing shutdown of all life functions, has long been considered...
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Week 36: Be kind to your body

Do you ever feel stressed, weighed down with worries and concerns, at your wits’ end? Times when your body aches and your mind doesn’t seem to stop spinning? Perhaps iy’s time to step aside and take a rest. To bring attention to the breath, to the body, to THIS....
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Week 35: What might be your life vow?

“We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.” – Thich Nhat Hanh, contemporary Zen teacher Many years ago, during a leave-taking ceremony at the monastery, I was asked how I proposed to go from the structured routines to the world out-there? I want to...
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Week 34: How’d you like to die?

I’ve raised this question before and here it is again. How ready can we be for something we don’t want to think about — in fact, are virtually incapable of imagining — an event that will occur with 100% certainty. Just the when and the how are in question....
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Week 33: Smell the tea before you drink

Dear Ones — we’re way past the half-way point on our exploration of living each day as if it were our last. It began with my post on Jan 3, 2017 and many of you have been walking along ever since. Please feel free to join today. Think of it as your personal...
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Week 32: Pain by any other name

It’s one thing to hope that the next test, consult, or treatment will make it go away — yet another to lament the unfairness of it all, the loneliness of affliction, the blame for having brought this on yourself. But there it is. Pain, discomfort, unpleasantness,...
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Week 31: Cut carrots like you mean it

Big deal. Anyone can do it. Take a knife, a cutting board, and off you go. Be careful not to cut your fingers. Start with one and stop when you’re done. Nothing to it. What’s next? Now imagine your first day at a Zen monastery. One October morning 16 years ago, near...
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Week 30: Sweep like a monk

You don’t have to dress like one or sit on a cushion for hours on end, meditating. That what monastics do, women and men, day in and day out. They step into the stream of awakening’ in doing so pointing the way for us all. Simply being who they are and doing ordinary...
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