by Keith Knapp I walked that early morning path of stillness and embraced that felt comfort of expansive solitude, the moist air, and wind inspired whispering trees. Looking left and right, what should I see, but two shadows there beside me. Walking in lock step. How could this be, how could this be? It justContinue reading “The Earth, Sun, Moon, and Me”
Carrots are extraordinarily versatile root vegetables. They can be used raw in salads, cooked into soups and stews, mashed into pancakes, and entwined into a host of other dishes. Recipes that involve carrots will describe the amounts needed and the size or shape to make with them. Some books are adorned with colorful arrangements ofContinue reading “Zen Cooking Lesson: Candescent Carrots”
People were suffering long ago. People are suffering today. Old age is suffering. Sickness, the loss of loved ones, our own impending death – these all point us to question what our life is about. While we can look for philosophical or religious answers to the deep questions of “why am I breathing?”, yoga imploresContinue reading “What is real Yoga?”
Several years ago, I was seeing a Naturopathic doctor who recommended that I get at least 9 hours of sleep every night. At that time, I was struggling with poor health that included dangerously low levels of white and red blood cells, as well as low platelets. My energy was also very low. Allopathic DoctorsContinue reading “Sleep – Buddhist and Yogic Perspectives”
A Robert Johnson crossroads dilemma, perhaps, has been reached or may soon come for many that could result in a slipping back into the reestablishment of our habitual definition of community as “us” and “them” or “it”. A definition fed by decades of illusionary support and planetary sustenance. Or it could lead onto an entirely different path. A path that is unknown and feels difficult and scary, but when done as a community may result in worldwide rewards. Like a flock of birds can we turn in mass in the direction of the “World of We”? Let’s take flight and gather in our common unity, hold on tightly, and lean into it time and time again.
The Abrahamic faiths as well as Buddhism offer ethical guidelines for how to attain their respective goals – whether it be intimacy with God or Awakening. The Hebrew Bible talks about, among other things, Commandments. But just the word, “Commandment” can be problematic if we have not properly developed our ability to choose from an early age, prior to understanding right from wrong. The 10 Commandments are really an advanced kind of practice, in my view, once an understanding of choice has been well established. If choice has not been well established during youth, in other words if a young person is consistently denied opportunities to make choices, or even consistently given things that they would never choose, then that person will not be prepared to even consider living by the 10 Commandments. I think the same can be said of the Buddhist precepts. The flip side of this is that – considering that the mental factor of choice has not been well developed – then precepts or “commandments” will most likely be followed blindly without the ability to question them.
Sangha member, Keith Knapp, has offered his musings on what it means to “self isolate”. Keith’s blog post recently appeared in Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center. Please join me in welcoming him to this blog.
Today, we see and hear the searing pain and anger of Black people, who have endured centuries of oppression in the United States and who, as a community, continue to suffer acts of violence and discrimination, including at the hands of law enforcement. We grieve the disproportionate number of people of color who have died of the coronavirus, and see that many people of color performing essential functions of society are undervalued and oppressed economically.
Is it ever okay to hit your child? If so, what are the reasons that parents do this? If not, what can support a parent in choosing not to use physical punishment on their child?
A prejudice mind is one that is experiencing fluctuations. It is the opposite of steady. When our mind is not steady, we know we are not seeing reality as it is. But this insight into our fluctuating mind only comes if we have a practice well established. Otherwise, we filter what we perceive through our confused senses as reality. We think what we are seeing is real, when in fact we are mistaking a distortion for reality.