From the BlogMeet Ron

SEPT.1,2016 MINDFUL MOMENTS IN MANOA

Honolulu folks –> Join us for meditation tomorrow, Thursday 9/1/16, 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.
 
*** NEWS FLASH–We will be hosting a special guest teacher, the American Buddhist nun Karma Lekshe Tsomo — she is back in town! ***
 
 
Dear friends,
 
Here in Hawai’i we are preparing for what one local TV station is calling The Double Threat – two hurricanes approaching our Islands like a one-two punch.
 
Newspapers are carrying stories and photos of folks stocking up on supplies.
 
With all the commotion and rush to prepare, there is no better time to reflect on the inner shelter we have always have right here, which never needs re-stocking.
 
A safe, reliable inner refuge from all threats, outer and inner. 
 
We live in a seemingly secure age – we have eradicated many of the illnesses which decimated tens of thousands just a hundred years ago; yet we are now facing potentially enormous suffering from the spread of Zika on the Mainland, and most probably here in our Islands. 
 
We live in relative comfort, yet the realities and uncomfortable implications of climate change stare us in the face, and cloud the future of our children.
 
Yes, we need bottled water and batteries and gas in our cars in case the worst happens. But how much of this scrambling for supplies is just an outbreak of fear from knowing, deep down, that we are in an untenable situation, globally and existentially?
 
In the coming days if trees and wires are down, can we practice with that?
 
If darkness descends, rather than feel cut off – can we feel closer to the aina (land) and our family?
 
Can we reflect on how our ancestors lived and thrived without electricity and the Internet?
 
Can we appreciate the wonder and awe of night, and how we can draw close to an inner stillness?
 
Can we reflect on the early Buddhist communities of women and men practicing in the forest?
 
Can we reflect on our own fears?
 
Can we reflect on receiving life as it unfolds as we wait for the power company and the water department folks who work so hard for our comfort?
 
Can we reflect on the core teaching of the Buddha: impermanence, disillusionment, and non-substantiality?
 
And how grasping born of fear (of our discomforts) leads to dissatisfaction and unease?
 
Ajaan Suwat, from the Thai Forest tradition, once said that one of the most important early insights in meditation are “seeing how the mind likes to play make believe with itself.”
 
We have all been swept away at some time by the storms and dramas we create in our own minds.
 
Can we reflect on our immense good fortune to have found the Dharma?
 
Can we see how at times we “play make believe with ourselves,” and in seeing this, let it go?
 
Can we see how, when the stories and dramas we create pass, we are left with our life just as it is – vulnerable to disease and climate change, lack of electricity, and (heavens no!) Internet access?
 
And be happy and at peace with the ways things are?
 
Aloha,
 
Tom, Katina, Kupaianaha .. and Uilalani
 
 
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