Tag Archives: buddhanature

Mar 25 – Levels of Consciousness


Re-reading Power vs. Force by David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., (c) 2012 Author’s Official Authoritative Edition, I was reminded that it was time to “raise my sights” from choosing joy to choosing enlightenment.

While both joy and enlightenment are in the “extraordinary outcomes” pinnacle, why stop at joy when there are still two higher vibrations levels available?

Today’s senryu: Levels of Consciousness

getting past my self

we perceive a greater truth:

interbeing Self

May we all be happy, productive, without stress and synchronistically extraordinary.

March 2 – Animals and World Religions

(c) 2012 by Lisa Kemmerer

“We need a conception of ourselves in the universe not as the master species but as the servant species … We must move from the idea that the animals were given to us and made for us, to the idea that we were made for creation, to serve it and ensure its continuance. This actually is little more than the theology of Genesis chapter two. The garden is made beautiful and abounds with life; humans are created specifically to “take care of it” (Gen. 2:15) (Linzey, “Arrogance,” 69) Animals and World Religions, Lisa Kemmerer, (c) 2012, p.217

Today’s senryu: Animals and World Religions

compassion for all

love unrestricted includes!

all earth animals

Feb 28 – The Art of Giving repost

The Art of Giving

lynnjkelly Feb 26
We learn less from what people tell us than we do from what we observe other people doing. If we’re interested in nurturing our generous tendencies, we would do well to observe others in the act of giving. It happens all the time, though we may not notice it unless we look for it. One person phones her mother overseas every day, not because she enjoys it, but because it keeps her mother mentally balanced. Another person regularly sends money for support to a family member who, in spite of doing their best, cannot make ends meet. Some will send postcards or make phone calls just to let others know they are not alone, that someone is thinking of them. Some people are such outstanding examples that they inspire others even after their deaths. One example was a relative of mine who welcomed victims of domestic violence into her home through a church-based service. The guests brought their children and pets and were often too traumatized to be gracious. And yet their host’s healing love was unstinting. She knew she was salving deep wounds and this was her calling. We can inspire ourselves by recalling people we’ve known who embodied generosity. The key feature is that they were uplifted by their own giving. Another way to look at generosity is to examine our assumptions. Do we believe that people are basically good, basically bad, or basically mixed? Quote from I May Be Wrong by Björn Natthiko Lindeblad (p. 228):…he told us about a BBC interview with the Thai king. The British journalist had asked the king what he thought of the western, Christian idea of original sin. And the king’s answer was lovely:
“As Buddhists, we do not believe in original sin. We believe in original purity.” What do we believe? We know that everyone makes mistakes, but do we attribute them to bad intentions or do we see them as best efforts that fail sometimes? This question of original sin or original purity can change our perspective on everything. If we believed that everyone, without exception, has the potential to fully awaken, wouldn’t we treat others with a fundamental respect? Cultivating generosity is the start of looking at everyone with the eyes of love, of forgiveness, of acceptance, kindness, and care. Traditionally, gifts of the Dharma are the most valuable gifts of all. Every time we consciously choose to behave virtuously, to support the growth of the Buddha’s teachings, to cultivate our inner calm, we are giving gifts of the highest value.

Feb 15 – Three Dharma Poets: Bouse, Brehm and Metters

Today’s senryu: Now and Zen

Ev’ry now and zen

we take pleasure from life’s puns,

with or without wine

Below are pictures and links for three dharma poets, three wise men, that inspire my spiritual and poetic path. Perhaps they will inspire you as well.

Ari Bouse helps you breathe fresh air into your soul so you may then exhale the dead air of old ways that no longer serve you. … Something to Chew On serves as a walking meditation that will help you align with nature as it unfolds during the spirit of the season to enable you to rekindle a sense of magic, mystery, and adventure in your life.” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45290399-something-to-chew-on

Photo by Tracy Pitts https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/john-brehm

“The experience of reading a poem is a meditative experience in and of itself. As author John Brehm writes in The Dharma of Poetry, to enter a poem is to ‘shift out of everyday consciousness. . . to step out of the ongoing flow of experience and look at it.’ A poem inspires a moment of pause in which we can ‘engage in an imaginative activity that has no practical value.’” https://tricycle.org/article/meditative-poems/

Brehm adds “a poet may be defined as one who stops, one who is inclined by temperament and training to step out of the ongoing flow of experience and look at it, and to help us do the same.” https://tricycle.org/article/poetry-meditation/

Dr. Brian Metters http://www.amazon.com/Its-Not-About-Wine-philosophy and https://thetwodoctors.uk/

“Read this slowly, take your time, just think about it. … Now that you’ve read it what are you going to do about it?” https://thetwodoctors.uk/2022/12/08/be-mindful-today-21-gradual-awakening/

Feb 7 – Racoon Reckoning


Today’s senryu: Racoon Reckoning

Momma and three kits

live under our deck with

hideaways galore

These small but fearless omnivores have decided to share our residence. While cleanliness is next to godliness, (See Exodus 30:17-21), however, they have been known to pass on diseases to nearby humans. So, we are keeping our distance.

Our house is surrounded by beauty betty bushes, hickory and oak trees which provide much of their diet we’re told. We also feed wild birds and they apparently enjoy some of the sunflower seeds we distribute.

Hmmm, wonder how long they might be here? What have your racoon experiences been? Any advice for us?


Feb 6 – Doomsday Clock Update – Just Another Monday


“We are living in a time of unprecedented danger, and the Doomsday clock time reflects that reality. 90 seconds to midnight is the closest the clock has ever been set to midnight, and it’s a decision our experts do not take lightly,” Rachel Bronson, the president and CEO of BAS, said at a news conference on Tuesday (Jan. 24).”

Today’s senryu: Just Another Monday

spy balloon shot down …

do you feel safer today?

proceed with caution

Feb 4 – ARISE – BIPOC Buddhism

If your black, indigenous, or another person of color (BIPOC) and are looking for a place to learn more about building a Beloved Community and/or the Plum Village Tradition of Zen Buddhism then check out ARISE at https://arisesangha.org.

If you’re not BIPOC but are interested in learning more about being an ally, like I am, then we can check out, join and support ARISE as well.

Let us remember Helen Keller’s words of advice:


Feb 3 – Dr. Larry Ward – Black Bodhisattva

Dr. Larry Ward is a senior dharma teacher in the Thich Nhat Hanh Plum Village Tradition. He is a noted author and co-founder with his wife, Dr. Peggy Ward, of The Lotus Institute (http://www.thelotusinstitute.org).

A beautiful writer and poet, Dr. Ward has a strong physical and metaphysical voice which informs us of our opportunities for learning and sharing a deep, fierce love.

Today’s homage senryu: Dr. Larry Ward

Potential to learn?

YES, we still have love to share!

Let’s be wise, right now.

Check out this 8-minute video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiGlceGBfzc from Dr. Elli Weisbaum with the Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health program at the University of Toronto: https://www.newcollege.utoronto.ca/

And check out Dr. Ward’s book published in 2020.

Feb 1 – The Mixed Messages of February


What comes to mind when you first realize it’s February? What memories, historical events or important people come to mind? What about February do you look forward to this year?

Personally, I first think of another Valentine’s Day that I won’t be celebrating. My partner doesn’t like this day and I became less interested myself when my beloved grandfather died on this day. This “holiday” has become more of a dirge than a celebration, a personal St. Valentine’s Day massacre.

Next, I think of Groundhog Day. A funny day and an even funnier movie. Did you know that the Groundhog Day movie is considered a great metaphor for life from a Buddhist perspective?

Then I remember the U.S. Presidential holidays which quite frankly are another mixed message, from my perspective. George Washington was a rich slave owner and Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer who used the Emancipation Proclamation as a war tactic. Fortunately, both of these thoughts remind me that February is Black History Month in the U.S. which is a very good thing to celebrate.

My life has benefited greatly from African American contributions and specific individuals who have demonstrated honor and nobility in their own lives. Many black Mindfulness practitioners have especially role-modeled the benefits of nonduality and nonviolent principles.

Now I’m looking forward to this month and the topics I will be blogging about.

Finally, this mixed-emotional month reminds me of a poem published last year in a self-published book Natural Beauty and Other Poems (c) 2022 Patrick J. Cole

Here’s the poem:

One Tree, One Lonely, February Afternoon

In the middle of a field, far apart from others, that lie in the woods to the West,

stands a tree, alone, exposed on every side; a tree looking different from the rest.

How did this tree end up here, all alone? Does a tree ever have a choice?

Perhaps our ancestral seeds blow where they will and all we have is our voice,

to tell what we know, however small it may be, in whatever field we find ourself.

Sometimes, what stands out, catches our eye, ends up on a mantle or a shelf.

Alone and lonely are two separate states but sometimes they’re intertwined,

like the branches of a tree, one lonely afternoon, in a late February state of mind.

Photo taken by the author in a nearby nature park.

Jan 14 – What Is a Sentient Being?

Today’s senryu: What Is a Sentient Being?

Can we feel our pain?

Can we communicate care?

Are we sentient?

I sometimes wonder if all humans are sentient beings (i.e., able to care for self and others). Some human behavior can appear sociopathic (i.e., lacking empathy with little or no remorse).

I rarely wonder if other-than-human animals are sentient. Companion animals, especially, will often demonstrate a variety of feelings and they are able to communicate those feelings without words.

Below are five references I recommend for learning more about sentient beings and how we might be more sentient ourselves.

“A sentient being can feel, perceive and sense things. They have an awareness of surroundings, sensations, thoughts and an ability to show responsiveness. Having senses makes something sentient, or able to smell, communicate, touch, see, or hear. All sentient beings have an awareness of themselves they can feel happiness, sadness, pain and fear.” Jenni Madison, What Is a Sentient Being? @ naturesheart.org

“Humans have long insisted on believing that we are different from other animals, and somehow better. This idea, however, is slowly starting to change. Animals have moved into our homes as companions. We spend hours watching their antics on social media. We throw birthday parties on their behalf and spend millions every year on their care. And while our relationships with our pets are changing, research is also increasingly demonstrating sentience in nonhuman animals, challenging the idea that humans and animals are separated by an insurmountable gap.” Grace Hussain, https://sentientmedia.org/sentient-being/

Based on award-winning scientist Marc Bekoff’s years studying social communication in a wide range of species, this important book shows that animals have rich emotional lives. Bekoff skillfully blends extraordinary stories of animal joy, empathy, grief, embarrassment, anger, and love with the latest scientific research confirming the existence of emotions that common sense and experience have long implied. Filled with Bekoff’s light humor and touching stories, The Emotional Lives of Animals is a clarion call for reassessing both how we view animals and how we treat them. https://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Lives-Animals-Scientist-Explores/dp/1577316290


By Thich Nhat Hanh