The thief left it behind: the moon at my window - Ryokan

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A dream


A precious being, 'X', told me a dream he had the other night.

A friend was committing suicide.
He poured petrol over himself and set himself ablaze.
It was a shocking and horrifying experience.
X ran inside to call people and tell them what was happening.
When he returned
...he saw Buddha seated where his friend had been
At that moment he woke.

I found this dream beautiful and meaningful
It spoke to me of the masks of Buddha.

Everyone is a masked Buddha (universal truth)

Life, the great Guru
brings us many many sacred lessons
- they all take the form of the Masked Buddha

We went on to speak about the difficulties life presents.
The great suffering one experiences.
Death of beloveds, financial hardship, loss, loss, loss...

I thought of the shock 'X' experienced in the dream
- seeing his friend in flames
then the awed amazement to find
Buddha sitting amongst the ashes

I thought of that feeling in our hearts and bodies
at the moment of trauma
loss or extreme hardship
- that sharp pain
that sense of 'AAAAH!'

What is the cause of the immense pain?
Is it the holding on to the mask
which will shift in time
if we allow it
to reveal
the Buddha

Pain is...
holding onto the mask

We went on to speak of the ultimate loss we will all experience
- the loss of our own lives.

I thought of the so obvious yet surprising statement
i heard on the radio the other day:
In 90 years
only a handful of all people living today
will still be alive.

Life is our guru
bearing sacred lessons
preparing us for the final letting go

Each painful experience we have
is an opportunity
to prepare for the final letting go

is an opportunity
to practice acceptance
and going with the flow

This morning I was reflecting on X's dream again/still
and I remembered a while back when I became aware
of the umbilical cord
which holds 'us' to this body.
A sense of awareness that there is an 'etheric body' (for want of another term)
connected to this physical body
And I could feel the cord somewhere above the physical navel area,
perhaps in the area of the solar plexus chakra.

- the sense of this cord is an echo or imprint of that 'aaah' we experience
in those very tough moments,
I wandered if this umbilical cord is also the cord
between ego and higher awareness

The physical body, it's emotions, survival instincts
bound up with the ego's sense of mortality, limitations, need to be in control. etc
whereas our higher awareness which we develop/commune with when we are meditating
is boundless, non dual, etc...

I wondered if enlightenment is the cutting of this umbilical cord
in the same way a baby's is cut
to be freed to live independent of the womb
which brought it to earthly existence

This blog has been quite hard to write
in the sense to trying to describe feelings coherently

it always seems to come back to

Acceptance and

Letting Go


Friday, August 29, 2008

A personal request

A Personal Request

Dear Friends,
You might have seen the Appeal issued by the Tibetan Solidarity Committee to request all Tibetans, Tibet Support Groups and peace-loving people of the world to observe a 12-hour symbolic fasting
and prayer on 30th August 2008 for world peace and, particularly, for the departed souls of the Tibetan people in recent months in Tibet . The appeal also re-commits ourselves to the path of non-violence. The objectives and how to observe the fasting are mentioned in detail in the appeal. If you have not received the appeal as yet, please visit our official website
http://tibet/en/prelease/2008/140808.html and

We consider this as extremely important non-violent action taken by Tibetans under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in a very critical period for Tibet , particularly the post-Olympic period. I personally request you and your organization to kindly participate in this fast and prayer and encourage many other people to join us in this effort to reduce our own defilements and to create wisdom and compassion in the minds of the oppressor. I believe you will cooperate
us in this non-violent action.
With my warm personal greetings,

Your sincerely,
Samdhong Rinpoche

We consider this as extremely important non-violent action taken by Tibetans under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in a very critical period for Tibet , particularly the post-Olympic period. I personally request you and your organization to kindly participate in this fast and prayer and encourage many other people to join us in this effort to reduce our own defilements and to create wisdom and compassion in the minds of the oppressor.

I believe you will cooperate us in this non-violent action.
With my warm personal greetings,
Your sincerely,
Samdhong Rinpoche

Important Appeal

The world, at large, is plagued by hosts of problem such as poverty, violence, environmental degradation, religious disharmony etc., that are the reasons for various unending sufferings humanity is facing today, and will so in future too.
For the last nearly about sixty years, as a direct result of PRC's ultra leftist policy & their discriminatory programs aimed at Tibetan Nationality and oppression of Tibetan people, hundreds of thousand of Tibetans have lost their lives and thousands of Tibetan cultural and sacred religious institutions have been demolished so far.
Whether intentionally or unintentionally, the various policies and decisions that are currently being implemented in Tibet is leading to 'Cultural Genocide' in Tibet . Furthermore, the merciless and harsh crackdown on the non-violent, peaceful Tibetan protestors since March this year over demonstrating their deep anguish and aspiration has left many hundreds dead and thousands more injured, tortured and detained.
Unfortunately, this unthinkable atrocity is still continuing unabatedly with the apprehensions growing about further intensification of repression after the Olympic Games.
It is evident that, not just Tibetan, but the Chinese masses are also deprived of religious freedom and freedom of conscience & expression that can be understood from The Tiananmen Square Massacre and how the legitimate demands and grievances of many farmers and workers are meted with force and intimidation.
To bring an end to such injustices, a 12-hour symbolic fasting shall be observed by all truth and justice loving people of the international community and, particularly, by Tibetans in exile and Tibet supporters everywhere on Saturday, 30 Aug 2008, which is the last day of 6th month in Tibetan calendar. This symbolic fasting, which will begin and end at 0700-1900 hrs, is done in order to purify oneself from negative actions and to accumulate good karma, to stress the non-violent perseverance in struggle for the ideals of freedom, justice, democracy, freedom of expression and for transparent
political order for the whole world, Tibetans and Chinese people in particular. It is an appeal to all the justice, truth and peace loving people to effectively support such non-violent struggle and cause in whatever capacity.
This is also appealed to all the Tibetan elsewhere, Tibet Supporters and international community supporting truth and justice, and believing in non-violent struggle, to participate and observe this symbolic fasting and prayer service at your respective places. If we are able to observe this fast and prayer with loving compassion and in most altruist spirit, we believe it will certainly bring changes in the hearts of all beings, even in the hearts of our oppressor, to shed ignorance and confusion of mind, help pacify feelings of hatred and foster love and trust in the creation of a harmonious society.
The details of this program will be sent to you shortly.

Tibetan Solidarity Committee.
August 07, 2008

Detail programme of 12-hour long Fasting and Prayer Service to be observed by Tibetans, Tibet supporters and by the peace loving people of the world on 30th August 2008 or Last day of the 6th Month in Tibetan Calendar.

1. Aims of this Fasting and Prayer Service:

a) To purify negative actions of all beings, particularly of Tibetan and Chinese
people, and, to accumulate and multiply our collective good karma. As a result, this
b) Bring long, healthy life to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and help his activities to
prosper and benefit all sentient beings.
c) Ease all the conflicts, diseases, sufferings, and natural calamities in the world, so
that all beings shall live in peace and harmony.
d) Cleanse the negative actions of all those Tibetans who have died fighting for their
political cause in the aftermath of March protest in Tibet this year and help them
reborn in higher realm and eventually get freed from vicious Samsaric cycle. And,
instantaneously relieve those Tibetan who are still enduring atrocities under the
brutal Chinese oppression from their sufferings, and for the truth of Tibetan issue to
prevail soon.
e) Finally get all those people in the world in general and Tibetans in particular, who
have been victims of forced oppression and violence and deprived of their religious
freedom and freedom of conscience and expression, be freed and enjoy state of
well-being and freedom. And, dismantle all the hatred in the hearts of oppressors
and guide them with discerning wisdom, and
f) Earnestly remind and appeal to all the human beings to effectively counter the acts
of oppression, violence and injustice with non-violent and peaceful means, borne
out of compassion and loving kindness to our oppressor.

2. Duration of Fasting and Prayer Service:

a) On the auspicious day of 30thAugust 2008 and the last day of 6th Month in Tibetan
Calendar, the Fasting and Prayer Service shall be observed in one's respective area
from 7 a.m. till 7 p.m. for 12 hours.
b) In specific area of special cases, if the above timing is inconvenient they can modify
the timeline, suppose, from 0800 hrs to 2000 hrs but the idea is to observe 12 hours
long fast and prayer on that day.
c) Those who are old and infirm, patients and children who cannot participate in a
12-hour fast can join in for 10 minutes or half an hour or up to one hour, according
to their disposition.

3. Observing Fast:

During the period of observing fast, one is allowed to drink hot or cold water (plain
water). But drinking tea, milk, fruit juice and other energy drinks should be barred as
well as eating, chewing and munching any eatables. However, daily medical
prescriptions are exception; one can take them as in their daily routine.

4. Program of the Prayer Service:

a) In the monastic assemblies of four great traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, and Bon,
as well as in other smaller monasteries and nunneries, apart from performing one's
own traditional pujas and activities unique to them, all should recite as many as
possible the Payers for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Guru Prayers, Dhen-pai
Nga-dra, Dhen-stik Mon-lam (Prayer of Truth), Prayer of 21 Taras, Six-syllable Mani
mantra and invocation prayers of deities Palden Lhamo and Nechung.
b) Those Tibet supporters and others who are non-Tibetan and who do not recite
Tibetan prayers can observe silent fast or they can recite prayers and hymns of their
respective faiths.

c) At intervals, official statements may be read out and speech on introduction of this
fast campaign should be invited. But raising slogans and aggressive speeches
should be avoided.
d) To make offerings and prayers to any place of worship nearby your fast observing

5. How to assemble:

a) In monasteries and in nunneries, all the monks or nuns should assemble together
for mass in their respective Prayer Halls or Monastery Assembly Halls.
b) Dharma and Retreat Centers should assemble as many people as possible in their
prayer halls.
c) In schools, all the students and staff should gather in the school auditorium/hall to
observe the fast.
d) In Tibetan settlements, people may assemble in community halls or any other
facilities available in the area.
e) Hospitals and Old Age Homes that have difficulty assembling with masses can
gather on their own in their respective premises.
f) Scattered Tibetan community who don't have specific meeting place can observe by
themselves at home or together with their neighbours.
g) Tibet Support Groups can observe fast by gathering at convenient location or at
specific place where large participation is possible
h) Those Tibetans, Tibetan supporters and justice and peace loving people of the
world, who cannot go and join the masses to observe fast and prayer service, can
observe it at their own home.

6. Reporting:

On completion of one-day fast, a report should be submitted by Regional Committees, Associations or individuals clearly mentioning the number of attendance and the detail programmes of the event, to Tibetan Solidarity Committee, Dharamsala.

Tibetan Solidarity Committee
13th August 2008


Monday, August 25, 2008

Sharing True Eloquence

I was looking at Assaji son's (True Eloquence) photo this morning
and we were sharing our sadness that traditional clothing is not often worn

my thoughts:

isn't it like that?
The youth always want to create something new
or at least 'be modern'
and so what was once status quo becomes traditional
and 'an old hat'
... to be followed by nostalgia

I guess that's why I loved wearing a chuba and following the traditional Tibetan ceremony on my wedding day!
Because Tibet is so threatened a culture
- having the opportunity to bring these traditions into the wider world
is so special - and gives them longevity

The other thing is -
the new is also inevitable

We have a push and pull situation going on

... looking over our shoulder with longing
while forging new paths ahead ...


Saturday, August 23, 2008


1 makes a difference

...may every single person know their heart can make a difference...
Gandhiji was ONE man...
May we never march as though peace does not exist...
Never put ourselves on the outside
Of the experience of love...

There is only love
Love is all there is...
all else is tricky shadow
Sun will cast away
As sure as night flees the day

Peace does not arrive
Peace is
Om resonates over all earth

On the outside all is chaos and confusion...
Within is emptiness where all is peace
leap off the cliff into the Arms of the Divine
Om Shanti


Where is it?


where is my heart?



Salutations; Madiba, Graça Machel-Mandela, Steve Biko, Bob Marley, Hector Pieterson...
to mention but a few...
But we are all here
...In this crowd

It's all the same

You say I am prettifying..
White washing
with sweetness

I am taking a ride through the galaxy
on the tail
of a shooting star

We see Biko in his coffin
His face has been tidied up
But not enough to hide the hideous atrocities
Which break our heart so

we zoom in further..
We see ourselves..
The pain underlying the rage...
see the causes of this pain
The impotence felt as witnesses
The guilt not having acted more..
Always could have done more...
Always reasons for holding back...
The anger..
The... WHY!!! WHY!!! WHY???
Echoing thunderously through the mind

Zooming in further..
The killer is embracing the murdered...

The murdered... The killer...
Finding true essence...
one in all...

And zooming out
Same thing..
Same thing...

we start... seeing others
end with self...

Then beyond

all the same

All the same


To mention but a few...

lack of love... so costly...




we merge to find the nondual

laudnon eht dnif ot egrem ew


power of love

May mercy flow to all beings...
may suffering and pain on earth be embraced rather than denied...
so it can be seen as the illusion it is...
And give way to the eternal power of Love

tears are shed...
listen.. the sobbing echoes through all time

in this life
...arranged bundle of bones look out knowingly through large eyes
...woman burned by your husband bear the scars of war... below the skin

aah my cry echoes through all time...
my arms reach out to enfold
to my weeping heart

Kali looks on...
she knows the cycles
of this dual existence

and we fear her! and these cycles...
...until we embrace them lovingly to our Heart

when we reject the object of our fear
how fear thrives!

and fear
must dissipate in the face of love...

... written after reflecting on a trauma counseling session


Gra-anna's Wings, Gra-anna's Love

Flames rain
Falling upon me,
I am aflame
My wings are the drum

In the sun, rivers explode
in rippling laughter
She is dancing
upon the crescent moon
My wings are the drum

From the essence of my being
I am called to be free
Inspired by the moment
My wings are the drum

Rising from the ashes renewed
I greet the dawn
Listening to Earth's heartbeat
Child's laughter echoes
across the Earth
My wings are the drum

by Gra-anna


Suffering in Burma (1 Oct 07)


Sharing Blog with Love Gien who received the following mail from a friend

We just got phone call with our sister living in Yangon about a few hours ago.

We saw on BBC world, saying that 200 monks were arrested. The true picture

is far worse!!!!!!!!!

For one instance, the monastery at an obscure neighborhood of Yangon,called

Ngwe Kyar Yan (on Wei-za-yan-tar Road, Yangon) had been raided early this


A troop of lone-tein (riot police comprised of paid thugs) protected

by the military trucks, raided the monastery with 200 studying monks.

They systematically ordered all the monks to line up and banged and

crushed each one's head against the brick wall of the monastery. One

by one, the peaceful, non resisting monks, fell to the ground,

screaming in pain. Then, they tore off the red robes and threw them

all in the military trucks (like rice bags) and took the bodies away.

The head monk of the monastery, was tied up in the middle of the

monastery, tortured , bludgeoned, and later died the same day, today.

Tens of thousands of people gathered outside the monastery, warded off

by troops with bayoneted rifles, unable to help their helpless monks

being slaughtered inside the monastery. Their every try to forge

ahead was met with the bayonets.

When all is done, only 10 out of 200 remained alive, hiding in the

monastery. Blood stained everywhere on the walls and floors of the


Please tell your audience of the full extent of the fate of the monks

please please !!!!!!!!!!!!

'Arrested' is not enough expression. They have been bludgeoned to

death !!!!!!


Dear friends,
Burma's generals have brought their brutal iron hand down on peaceful monks and protesters -- but in response, a massive global outcry is gathering pace. The roar of global public opinion is being heard in hundreds of protests outside Chinese and Burmese embassies, people round the world wearing the monks' color red, and on the internet-- where our petition has exploded to over 200,000 signers in just 72 hours.
People power can win this. Burma's powerful sponsor China can halt the crackdown, if it believes that its international reputation and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing depend on it. To convince the Chinese government and other key countries, Avaaz is launching a major global and Asian ad campaign on Wednesday, including full page ads in the Financial Times and other newspapers, that will deliver our message and the number of signers. We need 1 million voices to be the global roar that will get China's attention. If every one of us forwards this email to just 20 friends, we'll reach our target in the next 72 hours. Please sign the petition at the link below -if you haven't already- and forward this email to everyone you care about:
The pressure is working - already, there are signs of splits in the Burmese Army, as some soldiers refuse to attack their own people. The brutal top General, Than Shwe, has reportedly moved his family out of the country – he must fear his rule may crumble.
The Burmese people are showing incredible courage in the face of horror. We're broadcasting updates on our effort over the radio into Burma itself – telling the people that growing numbers of us stand with them. Let's do everything we can to help them – we have hours, not days, to do it. Please sign the petition and forward this email to at least 20 friends right now. Scroll down our petition page for details of times and events to join in the massive wave of demonstrations happening around the world at Burmese and Chinese embassies.
With hope and determination,
Ricken, Paul, Pascal, Graziela, Galit, Ben, Milena and the whole Avaaz Team




falling into emptiness

takes us home

every time




Beautiful Spirit

Love and Devotion

humbling all who cast their eyes
upon this magnificent Being
so ancient
this lined face
so endlessly youthful
so slight in frame
so boundless in spirit

Jopoa left this realm

but her presence ever here




Tenzin Palmo

sharing what I wrote...

last night listening to Tenzin Palmo
what beautiful spirit
bringing up a vision of a surfer
sitting in perfect poise
meditation on the crest of a wave
saying 'I am bliss
no wave shall ever rock me
I am perfectly centred
knowing every trial
strengthens me
and is welcomed as an opportunity'

...and when she reached for a bottle of water to drink...
there was an endless moment of poignant silence
and an unexplained tear ran from each of my eyes...
feeling utter love

I'm adding to this entry a few days after writing the above....having reflected with loved ones....

….that moment when she stopped…
and reached for a bottle of water to drink.
when I felt tears spring to my eyes and roll down my cheeks.

... Later talking about it to Gien
… he is so beautiful… the way he reflects things back…
we reach greater understanding this way…
...made me I realise what moved me so intensely

…. it was the way she held the moment...
she wasn't 'taking time out'
saying.. 'aaah excuse me for a second.. just need a drink' … and then returning…
she was moving into this moment.. as she had the previous…
and Being in this moment
as authentically
as she had been in the previous…
it was as though it didn't matter
if she was saying something profound
or having a sip of water…
it was all the same…
…sooo beautiful!







Maitreya's name is derived from the Sanskrit 'maitri' meaning 'universal loving-kindness'. Infinitely compassionate and all-knowing, Buddhas teach by their words and example in order to guide us along the path to our own spiritual maturity.

When Shakyamuni Buddha's teachings disappear from this world (the teachings of the historical Buddha of our current age), negativity and misfortune will grow until, spontaneously moved by his overwhelming compassion, Maitreya will manifest in our world as a radiantly beautiful spiritual teacher inspiring people to practice the path of virtue, especially loving-kindness. '




Meditation with my love


Where do I feel I most belong?

In the moment...




These beautiful poems were gathered by Gra-anna from our Friend Stephen Moss

Poems by Rumi

I am a painter,
Painting pictures all the time,
Yet when I see them near Your beauty
I want to throw them all away.

I am a sculptor, carving images
and filling each with life,
Yet when I compare these with Your beauty
I want to dump them in a fire.

O bringer of sweet wine,
Enemy of the sober
You have laid waste to
every house I ever built!

Tell me, are You the cupbearer or do You take the cup from my sober lips?
Perhaps You are both, the builder and the ruiner of all that I build

My soul has merges with Yours-
Water into wine, wine into wine.
Now there is only the scent of Your rose perfume.

Every drop of my blood calls out,
Dye me the colour of Your love
Make me the jewel of Your affection.

In this house of water and clay
my heart is in ruins.
O Beloved, please enter my house or let me leave this empty world


Last night I gave a star a message for You.
On my bended knees, I begged her to tell You
How much I pray that You turn my stony heart
golden with Your radiance

I bared my chest to show my wounds
And asked her to tell You that if I sway this way and that, it is because I need to calm
the infant of my heart
As babies sleep when rocked in their cradles

My beloved, my heart was Yours always,
nurse it like a child, save it from wandering

How long will You keep me in exile?

I will be quiet now, but even in my silence
my heart will long for one glance of Your grace.


Do not worry if our harp breaks, thousands more will appear.
We have fallen into the arms of love, where all is music.
If all the harps in the world were burned down,
still inside the heart
there will be hidden music playing

Do not worry if all the candles in the world flicker and die
We have the spark to start the fire

The songs we sing are like foam on the surface of the sea of being,
whilst the precious gems lie deep beneath
But the tenderness in our songs is a reflection of what lies in the depths

Stop the flow of words
Open the window of you heart
And let the spirit speak


When You come back inside my chest
No matter how long I've been away
I look around and see the way

At the end of my life, when I have one, last breath left in me
If You come to me then, I will sit up and sing


Gra-anna's Memorial Day (4 Dec)


this was probably the hardest poem I ever wrote...
and like all tough journeys undertaken
a door opens

Loved one

Dear one you came to this planet
through the passage
of my womb
You reached for the umbilical cord again
as you took your life
hanging from this tree
with the scarf I¹d given you
a little while before

I think of this
as I sit at the foot of the tree
molten rock of attachment
runs red rivers from my eyes
I say quietly
'loved one, I gave birth to you,
you never asked
if you could end it all'
A bowl of swirling liquid
filled with silver and shadow
presents itself to me
In it I see the blend and journeys
of your sacred life
These I did not sanction either
none of this was mine to direct
I thank the Great Mystery for imparting this wisdom
softly returning to the arms of the Beloved
the place of 'It is so'
the place of eternal rest


Wordless prayer

mmm.. I am loving wordless prayer...

... exploring the breath...
seeing how the breath reflects the whole....
reflecting duality..
in-breath... out-breath..
warm nostril... cooler nostril...
dominating nostril alternating throughout the day...

...listening to the sound...
like the ocean..
waves rising and falling...

reflecting action with the in-breath
letting go with the out-breath...

aah...then the 3rd way... the middle way
reflected in the Khumbaka; breath retention
...that pause between each breath...
at the beginning and the end of each breath...

how breath and mind are intimately connected...
one reflecting the other...

...when we are anxious...
the breath shallow... fast...
when we are relaxed..
breath even...

pranayama.. control of vital energy..
can also control the mind...
we learn this in yoga...

same pause again
.... in between thoughts...

we think a thought...
then a pause...
and in this space...
the next thought is born...

this pause...
this empty space
... the space
where we dive into deep meditation...

mm Deepac Chopra speaks beautifully of this..

this space
...the womb of all creation...

Om Shanti


Dream appearances

dreaming you...
dreaming me...

dreaming this
which we name Life....

body is birthed
by mother earth

body & earth
each belonging to the other
...made of the same stuff
...all material realm....

fleeting visit

blink of an eye

sacred precious moment

no matter what's the matter...
...always sacred...


living compassion


Compassion is not an idle word
but is a living expression of love
that we embody in every single action

There is no enemy other than ignorance
Ultimate freedom means ultimate awareness
All beings have been our mothers since beginningless time
Other living beings don't harm us
but their ignorance does

When confronted with ignorance
be like a doctor fighting a disease
love and care for the patient
but heal the sickness

(by Gien and HummingBird)


The path

the path is breathtakingly beautiful
there's no doubt about it

at times we are presented with difficulties
which may feel daunting
and cause us to shed tears
but they are never insurmountable
we always always have what it takes
to meet the challenges these initiations present
...and we are spiritually strengthened as a result
... then we can share with others what we learn

brave fellow travelers
this path is breathtakingly beautiful
...have no doubts


May I speak to you

May I speak flowers to you
precious Be-ing

may my words be silent
...and my heart spill from my lips

may my small heart beat resonate
with earth's pulse
....aah I am of the same stuff of this Mother
...this precious Earth
who births this body in every moment

may I release all that stains this emptiness
so I may be open
and my heart rays shine with the sun


Friday, August 22, 2008

Peace of Mind

we are manifestations

of one mind...

animosity is like

inner conflict

...there can be no peace of mind

while it exists...


On a friend's blog...

“The needs that weren't fulfilled by your parents won't be fulfilled by your mate. “

...there is ‘love’ and there is love...
love is healing…
but our intentions are sometimes not aligned with love
sometimes we have obstructions to love…
like damage and stuff arising from childhood or other events in our lives…

sometimes we turn to another for our healing
when in fact we need to take on this responsibility ourselves…

sometimes the person we turn to is even more wounded than we are…
has even more obscurations…
and we end up in a mighty muddle…

sometimes we meet beings…
...may be a lover or teacher in other ways…
who have less obscurations
and their open flowing love
may help us along our path of healing
… if we are open to this experience….

mmm… love is all there is;

our wounds but temporary visitors;



When food is poetry

Joong Sticky Rice Wrapped in Bamboo Leaves) - vegetarian version which
Gien is teaching to me...
and me keen on creating a South African version -
perhaps using mealie meal instead of sticky rice -
for this beautiful, tasty, yet economic meal.
In South Africa (as I guess in many countries),
meat is often equated with wealth.
I can really see how the introduction of amazing vegetarian food...
and yoga/Buddhist ways can

Aaah South Africa beloved land...
so much violence and poverty here...
yet so many transcendent beings too... of warmth...

...where Gandhi made his mark
...where Gandhi can still
...because the spirit lingers...
even while blood is staining the earth
and AIDS orphans bury their parents...

..mmm... back to Joong & yoga (union of mind, body, spirit)...

blessed be
...may the tree which grows from this seed of suffering
bear fruit which will truly amaze and astound
and lead all on earth to a new way of Be-ing...

...MMM this blog has wandered all over the place :D





Buddha Nature in All first we believe
this existence is all there is

then we believe
we must find the truth

then we find it is
there is...


Does a single tear make a difference?

Does a single tear
make a difference?

I know it does -
when it is straight from the heart
pure and salty...

I shall cry an ocean...

does a single smile
make a difference?

I know it does -
when it is straight from the heart
pure and sweet....

I shall laugh
straight into the sun...

does this wanderer
make any difference at all?

I know I do
when in silence I sit

and nothing is done
...yet nothing undone...


Notes on a still life

today I was teaching an art class….
we had a simple still life up..
a couple of black and earth pots
…made me remember Morandi whose work I love so much

aah! I fell in love
walking round and round
looking from this angle and that
bits of light
blendings of tone
one object melting into another
each angle a new drama
… took my breath away…


Who are you not to be?

Some say this was part of Madiba’s inauguration speech:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

A Return to Love - Marianne Williamson


The Child; Ingrid Jonker

By her death, she joined herself to the children of our country about whom she had written. Her tragic passing was as powerful an indictment of the apartheid system as were these verses which she has left us....


Mr Chairman, Rt. Rev. Archbishop Trevor Huddleston,

Comrade Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe, the Honourable Robert Mugabe,

Your Excellencies, members of the Diplomatic Corps,

Comrades leaders of the brother people of Zimbabwe,

Distinguished participants at this important conference,

Comrades, friends, ladies and gentlemen,

The Afrikaner poet, Ingrid Jonker, died in 1965 at the young age of 32. Consumed by a dark foreboding and overwhelmed by despair, she committed suicide as her creative intellect was coming to its ripening.

By her death, she joined herself to the children of our country about whom she had written. Her tragic passing was as powerful an indictment of the apartheid system as were these verses which she has left us:

The child is not dead

the child lifts his fists against his


who shouts Africa! shouts the breath

of freedom and the veld

in the locations of the cordoned heart.

The child is not dead

not at Langa nor at Nyanga

nor at Orlando nor at Sharpeville

nor at the police post at Philippi

where he lies with a bullet through his


The child is the dark shadow of the

soldiers on guard with their rifles,

saracens and batons

the child is present at all assemblies

and law-giving

the child peers through the windows of

houses and into the hearts of mother

this child who wanted only to play in

the sun at Nyanga is everywhere

the child grown to the man treks on

through all Africa

the child grown into a giant journeys

over the whole world without a pass


To Michelle in South Africa (Feb 7th 08)

blood is spilling

running beneath the front door

onto our pavements

down the streets

Oh South Africa
breathe the wisdom of the open sky!

Om Om Om

bless us with your life's prayer


The Infamous Proust Questionairre

What is your idea of perfect happiness?


What is your greatest fear?

a spider crawling down my back...

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Ghandi :)
...of course I have a long way to go....
(and I would like to go further)

Which living person do you most admire?

Mandela, among many, many others

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

that I tire easily

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

injustice, intolerance

What is your greatest extravagance?


What is your favorite journey?


What do you consider the most over-rated virtue?


On what occasion do you lie?

I try not to

What do you dislike most about your appearance?

... I don't have big lips :D

Which living person do you most despise?

no one

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

I love you

What is your greatest regret?

this is a tough one because I don't believe in regret....
....maybe that I wasn't with my daughter, Gra-anna at the end of her life
...and that I still had so much more to learn when my teacher died as I would have
loved him to know I was ready to take over hat he left off, which I wasn't
- but I also know all is as it must be -

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Gien & my children (not just my 'blood' children) & Awen & my sons in law and all
the beautiful beings Gra-anna brought into my life creating a huge extended

Which talent would you most like to have?

music (besides those I do have)

What is your current state of mind?


If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?

my children are amazing and I watch with joy
I would wish for my mother and siblings to be open to joy

What do you consider your greatest achievement

the ability to embrace whatever happens

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?

a monk (I don't like the word 'nun' - so maybe when I come back - nuns & monks
will all be called monks - I hope still to be a woman :)

If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?

see above

What is your most treasured possession?

my apple mac and my bath

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

forgetting who we truly are

Where would you like to live?

at the ocean

What is your favorite occupation?

all that I do

What is your most marked characteristic?

I don't know -
maybe that's it: that I can't see myself as a self

What is the quality you most like in a man?

the ability to share and express feelings

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

the ability to share and express feelings

What do you most value in your friends?

love and constructive critism

Who are your favorite writers?

used to be Milan Kundera - not sure anymore

Who is your favorite hero/heroine of fiction?

no one comes to mind really - any noble warrior will do

Who are your heroines/heroes in real life?

any being who lives to alleviate others from suffering

What are your favorite names?

there are many - Ananda for now...

What is it that you most dislike?


How would you like to die?

being aware

What is your motto?

be true to self


Thursday, August 21, 2008

the fullness of our emptiness

resistance causes pain

Expectations are created by preconceptions

the sense of separate self
is learned not experienced

Resistance creates tension and stress

we are the creators of our experience
by our responses to what happens

any one experience can be perceived in a myriad different ways

responses grow out of our conditioning and reference systems
fear.. happiness... including denial of feelings

our feelings are reliable messengers

when we embrace
we accept

when we accept
we surrender

when we surrender
we let go

when we let go
without resistance
we experience our emptiness

when we let go of self
we cease to be separate
from the divine intelligent universe




Om is the primeval sound, the sound of the universe, the sound from which all other sounds are formed; the sound of creation


Shanti means peace


Ahimsa is a Sanskrit word for non-violence

there can be no peace on earth
until there is peace within

until we embrace all without exception
there can be no peace

Om shanti shanti shanti


love's whispering

every footprint left in the sand
is sacred...

as is the breeze
which sweeps it up,
leaving no trace...
besides love
whispering tales through all time

... telling of steps once taken...


How do children know?

when I was 7 years old... my mother came through the gate after one of many many visits to the hospital to see my father.

I watched her from the window as she turned to close the gate and tears started flowing. I sobbed to my sister... 'he's dead... my father is dead...'
then my mother came in and broke the news... embracing us... telling us the blessing he asked her to say to us every night. I cried every night for a year...

Years later I heard Elisabeth Kubler Ross speaking on death and dying and she told of her experiences with children. An example was a certain child who hadn't been told her mother was dying, drew a picture of her mother's overturned chair at the dining room table, while the rest of the family were all occupying their seats. Displaying her awareness, DESPITE NEVER HAVING BEEN TOLD.

As I watched this programme, I remembered my own experience. My mother told me, she never spoken to us about the fact my father was dying because it had been too difficult for her to accept. Yet I knew my father was dying... felt I'd been brought up knowing this...

And this was the ground which was laid for the most crucial experience of all... when my daughter, Gra-anna, committed suicide... and my beautiful grandson, Awen, who you can see in this photo and others in my albums, needed to be spoken to - have me meet him right there in his experience, in the bewilderment and pain he was experiencing... telling him his mom is holding him so close in every moment ... he has a very special angel - a mom spirit guardian.

One of the most powerful moments of my life was when I went to see my daughters body. The last time I'd seen her was a couple of months before on a visit to London. She'd been living in the UK for about 6 years... Gra-anna had met me at the airport - her beautiful radiant face appearing from nowhere, beaming hello...

...time to go in and see her body which had been prepared... suddenly it occurred to me.. what about Awen.. almost all of 4 years old.. should he see his mom's body too? No one had spoken about this. Though Ian, his beautiful father told me he had been wondering about it, when I broached the subject. Part of me felt he should, part of me wanted to protect him...

The compassionate woman who worked there and also owned the funeral service place overheard us... she said how her heart was going out to us.. and told us we should ask Awen. That this is what she always encouraged people to do and she always found children did want to see their loved one's body...

It was like a breath of fresh air - AHA! Of course! I asked Awen, who said very simply, 'Yes, I want to see her.' I prepared him, saying she would look like she is sleeping but would no longer be in her body as she is spirit now and is holding him so close...

Ian and I and Awen went in and he stood looking quietly... after a while he asked what the thing over body her was and we explained they were coverings they had put on her ... then Ian took him out quietly and I stayed... holding this space for a short while.. the last moments I'd ever be with my daughters body on earth... this now slightly ashen face with a trace of a smile the autopsy people had probably placed there which didn't hide.. what.. what was the silent roar I could almost feel tangibly? What were her moments in this transition? This wrenching from the body where she'd experienced such adventures and so much trauma....

in subsequent months and years.. I experienced her journeys again.. sometimes struggles ..much joyousness.... always busy, this beautiful girl! Who loved mother earth and her offspring incomparably...

When I left this room... there was Awen looking at the aquarium chatting about to the fish...

moving from one moment to the next...
as children do....

in that moment I took a great lesson...
about flowing with things...

this is happening...

now this

... now this...

always in the moment
...always the moment sacred...

living as a child


random journal notes is not in the realm of thought and ideas
Though we can think about it

- the thought can hover around as indication
- rather than ever capture:

it is therefore a realm free of all preconception
a place of eternal and utter creation
convergence, timeless, perpetual

its described in literature as 'Oneness'
and it is usually said that this is arrived at through meditation
I am believing it is arrived at through awareness...
letting go of preconceptions

what I am seeing now is a rift between this state of Be-ing -
and the one who acts in the duel world

this leads me to believe a shift still needs to take place within me...

(I am seeing it's not about changing
but traveling with experiences...)
not about coming or going -

it is in the now
not the future - not time related
not about changing self
- letting go... surrender
embracing the moment/all...

letting go of past conditioning
etc: "bad news" only appears so
because we have been conditioned to believe it is so
- past references

"your house is burning down"- has a certain effect on us
because we have learned this...

embracing and acceptance
is to be in the moment..



... the essence of all teachers and gurus (ones who cast light on darkness)
is the same - and is best experienced outside the framework of thought and ideas …

When Gandhi was asked if he was a Hindu…
he responded, saying something like,
'yes, I am a Hindu.
I am a Buddhist,
I am a Christian
I am a Jew... etc'

It seems that mystics through the ages do not argue detail
their teachings do not seem to belong to a school
but people have created the schools of thought in their aftermath

Letting go of all preceptions
makes Be-ing possible

... Surrender ...

Be-ing is ever changing


Earth mother's tears

are we not everything the mind perceives?

... should we not hold this child to our breast?



It is all one


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

special opportunity

A special website with precious downloads
by His Holiness Dalai Lama and various other Buddhists including Ven. Tenzin Palmo

This site also allows you to tune into Tibetan Buddhist Radio
I will listen often ...


thoughtless (or what Thought did)


I think therefore I am

- it is true
that Thought created 'I'

- in the same way
Thought creates all our perceptions

is a state of mind

The Dalai lama - had to flee his homeland
This Simple Monk who's possessions consist of basics;
robes, spectacles, mala,
Tenzon Palmo
has 'nothing'

Dalai Lama and so many others 'lost everything'
yet never feel impoverished

In a similar situation
most would see themselves as paupers
and experience Lack

These beings
the Dalai Lama, Gandhi...
who cleave not to material power
have the power
to change the world

they never use force

the ego
is mortal
so when the body is threatened
instinctual fight/flight sets in

From a spiritual perspective
the more we develop
the less fear we experience

the less we resist

the more we let go

go with the flow


the more we surrender

the less we fear

the more obstacles are removed

from who we truly are

... this is how 'we' disappear

Om shanti shanti shanti


doorways and transformations

Sharing extracts from mails, responses to friends regarding death and loss of loved ones...

I feel we never heal - because this is not what its about.

Death is not a disease but a part of life.. a doorway ... in fact a form of birth.
As is the pain we experience from losing a loved one.
Rather, we learn to travel with this new companion which enters our life with this experience..."

death has been a life changing experience in so many ways.
As time passes, the one constant I have and hold,
is a sense of beauty

- a very quiet but intrinsically beautiful sense
which shines through the filters
of the myriad emotions which cast their colour onto it

....All that we see and all we perceive, is self.
There is nothing outside of self...."

... for sharing, visit Passing Pod


my letter to you


Our meeting of friends, colleagues, acquaintances,
From brief interactions... to deep loving bonds...
None of these meetings are accidental

We chose one another for the deep sacred lessons we present one another.
Obstacles may have occurred along the way and temporarily obscured this choice we made.

I embrace this choice and sacred pact I have with you.

From womb to death sacred connections bring invaluable lessons taking us ever closer to our true self:
Partner. family, friends, acquaintances, those we do not yet know or may not meet in this realm, all things
...all family

Thank you for being who you are
I love you

I pray all beings will be connected in their source; love

If you feel inspired to do so – pass this love letter on
– or better - your own version
To family, friends and all you meet...
So our circle may grow
Into eternity


Where are you taking risks?


the risk I take is the intention of speaking/living my truth

the greater risk I do not wish to take

is not doing this

I find that being my truth
invariably places me at odds with larger society
which wishes to take the route which appears easiest

however we see in the long term
it is not the easiest
eg: global warming

there is so much suffering which grows from ignorance

look at China and Tibet
we on this planet are all interwoven with this
...the outcomes is already echoing down the passage of time
What we see and accept happening to Tibet
is the microcosm of the macrocosm to come

the world folds its arms
in the face of others suffering

America has ongoing wars for wealth
dressed up as a righteous thing

the world watched what happened to the Jews in Germany
till five to twelve

South Africa
now Zimbabwe
...just a few examples
of suffering
all round the planet

it seems no country aids another
unless it's an opportunistic venture

and the way of the world has been
to use violence to quell violence...

karmic seeds are sewn
and the wheel of samsara turns....

caught in a web
and feel paralysed
when we do not know where to start

prayer is underestimated
start there

and start by looking at the mind
through meditation

...we can start
believing what we feel

our feelings
speak our truth