September 18 2013 Buddhism Newsletter
It is almost Equinox, a turning of the energies that is seen in many spiritual traditions around the world (including many Buddhist) as a time for deep contemplation, followed by a shift into action in our lives. Consider spending some extra time this weekend in solitude, initiating or recommitting to a meditation practice, and prioritizing your values and way of life.
To support you in this, here are two recently posted articles:
Prajna and Upaya - Wisdom and Skillful Means
Prajna and upaya, or wisdom and skillful means, are two entwined central concepts on the pathway to enlightenment within Mahayana Buddhism, which includes both Zen and Tibetan Buddhism. Learn how these two aspects interrelate, and how they correspond to the feminine and masculine within us.
Mindful Mommy's Back-to-School Survival Guide
This wonderful new book presents rich wisdom and dozens of mindfulness-based practices that any busy parent or caretaker of children can incorporate into their busy day. It also includes practices for helping children develop mindfulness.
As many of you know, I have also been running an ongoing chakra series at a site called Meditate Like a Girl, and this month's Third Eye Meditation (including a free guided mp3) is an excellent way to gain clarity and insight as you strive to see what is right for you at this time:
In closing, here is a beautiful translation of some of the Buddha's final words, as translated by Joseph Goldstein in his book The Experience of Insight. I feel these tie very well into the themes of prajna, upaya, and the contemplation theme of Equinox:
"As the Buddha was dying, Ananda asked who would be their teacher after death. The Buddha replied to his disciple -
'Be lamps unto yourselves.
Be refuges unto yourselves.
Take yourself no external refuge.
Hold fast to the truth as a lamp.
Hold fast to the truth as a refuge.
Look not for a refuge in anyone besides yourselves.
And those, Ananda, who either now or after I am dead,
Shall be a lamp unto themselves,
Shall betake themselves as no external refuge,
But holding fast to the truth as their lamp,
Holding fast to the truth as their refuge,
Shall not look for refuge to anyone else besides themselves,
It is they who shall reach to the very topmost height;
But they must be anxious to learn.'"
Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
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