From the BlogMeet Ron


Honolulu folks –> Join us for an evening with a special guest teacher tomorrow, Thursday 8/11/16, at our place, 3241 Alani Drive, in Manoa, at the usual time: 6 to 7:30 PM. If you have a meditation cushion please bring; if not, no worries. The front door opens at 5:50.
The American Buddhist nun Karma Lekshe Tsomo will lead our meditation and give a talk on “Crisis as Opportunity” – a particularly poignant and highly relevant topic given the many challenges, entanglements and predicaments we face today, both personally and globally.
Please try to make it for this special evening with this very warm and engaging teacher! Her picture and bio appear below.
Dear friends,
There are a lot of folks I talk to that just seem tired of feeling aggravated and burned out from all the bad news in the media – of terror, social and climatic catastrophes and political toxicities and upheavals.
Research shows that our brains evolved to react much more strongly to negative experiences than positive ones, the so-called negativity bias. So our neurons fire like mad when all this stuff happens, and are drawn almost helplessly into unease, anger and stress.
Of course the news outlets all know this very well.
Mindfulness helps us soothe ourselves, and see that we don’t have to helplessly get caught in negative mind states. Sure, we can feel and recognize morally and rationally wrong narratives in the media, and choose wise courses of action, while at the same time not being driven by “fear and loathing.”
Some years ago, the self- described “stand-up poet” Judyth Hill reflected on her website about a poem she immediately wrote upon receiving the news of the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, titled “Wage Peace” – and had this to say:
“The day the Towers fell, I had been reading Pema Chödrön’s When Things Fall Apart, and was doing the Buddhist practice of Tonglen: using our breath and heart to transform pain, suffering, grief, terror.
Instead of the Western concept of Breathe in the Good…Breathe out the Bad (spread that Bad around to someone else!) Tonglen says do the opposite! Use our mind, heart, body & breathe to heal and transform and create good in the world.
This reversal is the heart of that poem, and the heart of my practice in writing poems that Support the Good…I always find the Bad has way enough speakers! And here is the deepest truth: what we name, what we say, what we speak, write, or put out (whether for or against) that is what we create in the world.”
Her poem “Wage Peace” can easily be searched online – you might recognize it, as it was shared many times back in 2001.
I find personally one of the biggest obstacles to this alchemical/ emotional “reversal” that Judyth talks about here, which is also at the heart of our heart of our mindfulness practice, is allowing ourselves to be deeply and profoundly touched by the events of the world without being undone by them, even quietly, pre-verbally, under the level of immediate conscious awareness.
Because before you even “know it” you can find yourself tense, uneasy and more likely to act unwisely.
I will leave you today with this reflection by Thich Nhat Hahn, on how to deal with anger, as it points to the very heart of our mindfulness practice.
“The Buddhist attitude is to take care of anger. We don’t suppress it. We don’t run away from it. We just breathe and hold our anger in our arms with utmost tenderness. Becoming angry at your anger only doubles it and makes you suffer more.
The important thing is to … protect and sponsor it. Then the anger is no longer alone, it is with your mindfulness. Anger is like a closed flower in the morning. As the bright sun shines on the flower, the flower will bloom because the sunlight penetrates deep into the flower.
Mindfulness is like that. If you keep breathing and sponsoring your anger, mindfulness particles will infiltrate the anger. When sunshine penetrates a flower, the flower cannot resist. It is bound to open itself and reveal its heart to the sun.
If you keep breathing on your anger, shining your compassion and understanding on it, your anger will soon crack and you will be able to look into its depths and see its roots.”
May magic mindfulness particles release all hatred and bring deep peace and reconciliation in this crazy world of ours.
Ven. Karma Lekshe Tsomo bio
Karma Lekshe Tsomo grew in Malibu, California, and spent many years in Hawai‘i. Her Zenn family name led her to Buddhism at a young age. In 1964, she set off to go surfing in Japan and wound up doing Zen meditation.
In 1977 in France, she ordained as a Buddhist nun. She studied Buddhism in Dharamsala (India) for 15 years and received a doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 2000.
Currently, she teaches Buddhism and World Religions at the University of San Diego. She is past president of Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women and the founder and director of Jamyang Foundation, a volunteer organization that supports study program for Himalayan nuns and Marma girls in Bangladesh.
Katina and I are here to support your meditation practice in any way we can.
Tom, Katina, Uilalani and Kupaianaha Marx
If the spirit moves you, please help spread the word about mindfulness meditation by:
–>> sharing this email with friends who may be interested or
–>> following us on our Facebook Page or
–>> checking out our blog –>> 
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Hope to see tomorrow night 8/11/16 — and bring a friend!

Ron Richey
439 Nahua Street #2
Honolulu, Hi 96815

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