Category Archives: Uncategorized

Lou Reed’s Meditative Death

This is an except from a longer piece by Laurie Anderson about her partner, Lou Reed. It speaks to the precious work that may be done in our lives in preparing for the inevitability of out deaths, via our meditative and spiritual practice. The couple were students of Yonge Mingur Rinpoche and had studied Buddhist teachings on how to prepare for death — and how to live when one spouse has a terminal illness. After Reed became sick with liver cancer and then other diseases, Anderson writes:




“We tried to understand and apply things our teacher Mingyur Rinpoche said — especially hard ones like, “You need to try to master the ability to feel sad without actually being sad.” As his death approached, he came home from the hospital: As meditators, we had prepared for this — how to move the energy up from the belly and into the heart and out through the head. I have never seen an expression as full of wonder as Lou’s as he died. His hands were doing the water-flowing 21-form of tai chi. His eyes were wide open. I was holding in my arms the person I loved the most in the world, and talking to him as he died. His heart stopped. He wasn’t afraid. I had gotten to walk with him to the end of the world.

“Life — so beautiful, painful and dazzling — does not get better than that. And death? I believe that the purpose of death is the release of love. At the moment, I have only the greatest happiness and I am so proud of the way he lived and died, of his incredible power and grace. I’m sure he will come to me in my dreams and will seem to be alive again. And I am suddenly standing here by myself stunned and grateful. How strange, exciting and miraculous that we can change each other so much, love each other so much through our words and music and our real lives.”

Full Rolling Stone article: http://rol.st/1aF8CDH>

What do you lack?

Photo by Wonderlane on Unsplash

“Make no mistake about it; if you do not find it now, you will repeat the same routines for myriad eons, a thousand times over again, following and picking up on objects that attract you.

“We are no different from Shakyamuni Buddha. Today, in your various activities, what do you lack? The spiritual light coursing through your six senses has never been interrupted. If you can see in this way, you will simply be free of burdens all your life.”

~ Lin Chi
(Quote courtesy of DailyZen.com)

Recipe for Contentment

“If one’s life is simple, contentment has to come. Simplicity is extremely important for happiness. Having few desires, feeling satisfied with what you have, is very vital: satisfaction with just enough food, clothing, and shelter to protect yourself from the elements. And finally, there is an intense delight in abandoning faulty states of mind and in cultivating helpful ones in meditation.”

~ H.H. the Dalai Lama

Invisible turmoil

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Withdraw now from
the invisible pounding and weaving
of your ingrained ideas.
If you want to be rid of this
invisible turmoil, you must just sit
through it and let go of everything.
Attain fulfillment and illuminate thoroughly.
Light and shadow altogether forgotten.
Drop off your own skin,
and the sense-dusts will be fully purified.
The eye then readily discerns the brightness.

~ Hongzhi Zhengjue (1091–1157)

This Cup Is Already Broken


One day Ajahn Chah held up a beautiful Chinese tea cup:

“To me this cup is already broken. Because I know its fate, I can enjoy it fully here and now. And when it’s gone, it’s gone.” When we understand the truth of uncertainty and relax, we become free. The broken cup helps us see beyond our illusion of control.

~ From “The Wisdom of Uncertainty” by Jack Kornfield

No Squandering

TheStoryIsTheThing.com image

“Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken! Take heed, do not squander your life.”

~ Dōgen

Step-by-Step

Photo by Max on Unsplash

“So, don’t be in a hurry and try to push or rush your practice. Do your meditation gently and gradually, step-by-step. In regard to peacefulness, if you become peaceful, then accept it; if you don’t become peaceful, then accept that also. That’s the nature of the mind. We must find our own practice and persistently keep at it.”

~ Ajahn Chah (from the book “Bodhinyana”)