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Buddhism 101: The Bodhisattva and Jizo

Bodhisattva. For the non-Buddhist, it is almost certainly a foreign term.  Maybe you recall the name of an old Steely Dan album, at best. Put simply, bodhisattva is “a Sanskrit term for anyone or anything motivated by great compassion.” It is a combination of two separate Sanskrit concepts: Bodhi—meaning awakening or enlightenment Sattva—meaning existence, reality [...]

By |February 2nd, 2016|Buddhism, Education, Inner Child, Meditation, Mindfulness, News|0 Comments

How to resist Halloween candy with meditation

Sugar.  Childhood obesity.  Adult onset diabetes.  Makes one anxious.  Feeling uncomfortable?  Hey, h ave something sweet.  Then, beat yourself up.  Then try to get back in "control" of it.  Then, eat it again.  And again.  Try to stop.  Can't?  If this sounds familiar, you are so Not Alone.  Me, I ask Jizo to hold the Craving Child inside me safely, just for this moment.  Just For This Moment.  No craving is permanent, even the ones I have been feeling lately. I usually don't walk down candy aisles.  Usually.  A couple of weeks ago I was in a big name drug store to pick up some sundries and I ran smack into an aisle of Halloween candy, side by side with an aisle of, yes, Christmas candy. [...]
By |October 15th, 2015|Holidays, Meditation, Uncategorized|1 Comment

Healing your pelvic floor with Buddhism

Most folks in the West don't know who Jizo is; I don't expect them to. They know even less about how the Buddhist bodhisattva relates to the health of our pelvic floors. Such things are never written about. But the relationship is much closer than even lovers of Jizo may realize. In Sanskrit, Jizo's name, Ksitigarbha, (kee-shee-tee-gar-bah) translates to Earth Womb or Earth Treasury — our core. It is the archetype for our Center, our Ground. And what is our internal ground but our pelvic floor?  [...]
By |November 25th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

I Hate My Husband, I Hate My Wife: Healing through The F*ck You Letter

There is an underbelly to our most intimate relationships: the dark side of love. When people announce they are getting married, we might give our condolences along with our congratulations to offer a more holistic picture of the institution. Until then, let's work out some of the awful kinks. [...]
By |August 1st, 2014|Therapy, Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Dark Side of Marriage

This could be a book. But right now I don't have time to write it, and you might not have time to read it, so I'll just send out postcards, aka blog posts, for now. I've been seeing families, couples and individuals for almost 25 years now, and I am sure of a few things, not many, but a few.  One is that most marriages fail because nobody tells us about the dark side of love, the dark side of parenting, the dark side of aging, the dark side of working hard. [...]
By |July 28th, 2014|Therapy, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Hate to Meditate? Try Tapping into Jizo

In the ongoing quest to mend our anxious minds, many of us are drawn to meditation. Once we begin, we find that we fidget, we get sleepy, we get bored. We don't do it right, we fail, we quit, we start again only to quit again. Our expectations of finding peace are not met and we think we have failed. We want to be grounded, we want to detach, but we can't -- or if we do, it only lasts until the next car cuts us off on the freeway, someone disappoints us or we have a craving for chocolate. Accepting that the ground within us is always in motion, like weather patterns, is difficult. After all, our psyche is invisible to us. [...]
By |July 7th, 2014|Meditation, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Harvey and Harvey, The Baby in Jizo’s Arms

In the movie Harvey, starring James Stewart, he has an invisible friend, a puka, who is a 6-foot-tall rabbit. In college, it was one of my favorite old films to watch. [...]
By |June 2nd, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Jizo Therapy: Kintsugi and The Broken Places

A funny thing happens after sitting in meditation for a long time, gazing at my Jizos, who are gazing back at the not-me — my mind becomes at ease. I promise it only took around 20 years for me to stop controlling my breath and just let it be. For years, my mind would always go straight to, "Am I doing this right?  Can I let go the breath?" There was usually a resounding, "No, you're breathing is all wrong."  Sigh. I am not certain of the time, perhaps it was at Webster College in 1972, John Lennon and Yoko Ono were on TV, was it Dick Cavett? Or maybe David Frost? Yoko brought a broken tea cup to mend a piece of each day of the interview.  I liked the metaphor; a seed was planted.  It lay there a long, long time. [...]
By |May 22nd, 2014|Shopping, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Just Sit, Just Do Yoga: Know Yourself

I feel as if I need to explain that without having encountered Jizo on the hillsides of Kyoto in 2006, the stuff I write about would be more grounded in knowledge than experience. I had no idea how much I lived in my intellect, in my mind, and how little I resided within my body. It was not safe to be "at one." Enlightenment means "awake" and I have found that the combination of yoga and sitting meditation has been the best prescription for me to practice mindful living, to wake up. The operative word is Practice. We Practice yoga, we Practice mindfulness.  We have a meditation practice. I found a definition of practice: "the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use." There are thousands of books about this stuff and then there is the Being. The Doing.  Over and over again. And then, again. [...]
By |April 19th, 2014|Meditation, Mindfulness, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Upon Enlightenment Every Human Becomes Wonderful

This was supposed to be a blog about Suzuki Roshi's quote about making mistake after mistake after mistake.  As often happens, wonderful mistakes occur when I search the Internet.  First, I found this -- a quote from Winston Churchill, "Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." He was a Zen Master. And then I found a teisho, a Dharma talk, by Soen Nakagawa Roshi. [...]
By |April 30th, 2013|Buddhism, Uncategorized|0 Comments
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