and also receives rain from above
sent by the rain-god from time to time,
so that the rain from above and the spring water from below
this pond will become washed through and radiant with fresh
When I was a child I believed, as did many my age, that carrying a rabbit's foot in my pocket had the power to bring me luck. I never left home without my precious lucky charm, and I would close my eyes while rubbing the fetish, hoping that my latest wish would come true. This ritual was not unlike the fervour I put into my evening prayers, kneeling with my hands folded: "God, please let me have a new pair of skates for Christmas!" or "God, please don't let my mother find out I broke her mirror!"
At some point I had to face the fact that my prayers were rarely answered, and so the rabbit's foot eventually ended its career at the bottom of a trash can along with my declaration: "That thing doesn’t work!"
My mind races and rides
through its maze byzantine
as it reads the blogs and views
of people on the news.
I reflected on all the positive benefits that I had drawn with only a week of employing the Vipassana technique and how seismically my mindset and behavioral orientation was tilting in a new and positive direction. I then started to think about what it would be like when I returned to my life as a consultant, with clients and colleagues, and with my friends and family who had all known and experienced me previously in a certain way.
A case in point—I had come to a fairly informed conclusion that I would find it easy to give up alcohol because I had discovered that my preexisting logical basis to consume it to relax the mind was flawed at its core, if I was also to believe that continuous happiness can only be achieved through a highly vigilant and equanimous mind, which runs counter to consuming substances that can overpower or numb the senses. I reckoned most of my family wouldn’t mind my resolve to abstain from drinking, but certain friends, colleagues and clients might find it more than a bit odd and potentially off-putting or anti-social in its appeal.
The Buddha's inheritance
is enlightenment's imminence
in a lineage of eminence
and unequaled benevolence.
The path that he represents
is walked in full confidence
by disciples of excellence
beyond all comparisons.
Dedication: I think of Webu’s sick-bed inside his dwelling, the renovated meditation hut next door that we could share. Beyond a devotional exercise, which is present, the following explores an underlying feeling of strangeness, or perhaps it’s an unfamiliarity that doesn’t feel strange, or unpleasant to experience. It reaches into a gratitude that wants to be precisely expressed.
It hurts to confront myself.
It’s not rainbows and butterflies.
There are parts of me that I don’t want to look at…that I’ve protected…that I hide from the world and from myself.
Pull down the blind, tune out the time. Sitting hour after hour, from
4:30 in the morning until 9:00 o'clock at night. In silence. One day,
two days, three days...
I sit, get up, stretch, sit, repeat. I observe the mind, coming and going. I recognize myself running away from the inevitable. I nod off the accumulated fatigue of the previous months. I procrastinate, postponing concentration with thoughts, thoughts, thoughts. I know the process well (or so I think), and still the mind plays tricks.
Geneticists tell us that cows and humans share about 80 per cent of their genes. Two eyes, two ears, a nose, lungs, liver, a heart, etc. Moreover—because of genetics—both have something else in common: they ruminate.
The cow brings up food already swallowed to chew it again, while humans bring up long-gone events, to chew them again.
Over millennia, the cow has slowly developed this ability, which has contributed to her very survival. Grazing too long in an open meadow, in danger, she has cultivated the ability to minimally chew grass and swallow it quickly, and then regurgitate and rechew it calmly later, out of the sun and away from predators.
Biologists call this intelligence. Can we say the same about humans?
DHAMMA MAHI - August 1988
The first two courses at Dhamma Mahi in Louesme, France, were conducted by Goenka and managed by Gerhard and me (Pierluigi). The courses were hosted in a big white tent where about a hundred students participated in each course. In the second course, there were approximately 30 Italian students. Probably the influence of an Italian manager with 30 Italian students gave Goenka a particular idea.