Friday, August 28, 2020

Can we let go of the Raft?

The primary source for The Parable of the Ferryboat is found in MAJJHIMA NIKAYA 22, Alagaddupama Sutta, The Water-Snake Simile, as the Buddha explains the proper attitude to take to the Buddha Dharma using the parable:

"Monks, I will teach you the Dhamma compared to a raft, for the purpose of crossing over, not for the purpose of holding onto. Listen and pay close attention. I will speak." 

"As you say, lord," the monks responded to the Blessed One. 

The Blessed One said: "Suppose a man were traveling along a path. He would see a great expanse of water, with the near shore dubious and risky, the further shore secure and free from risk, but with neither a ferryboat nor a bridge going from this shore to the other. The thought would occur to him, 'Here is this great expanse of water, with the near shore dubious and risky, the further shore secure and free from risk, but with neither a ferryboat nor a bridge going from this shore to the other. What if I were to gather grass, twigs, branches, and leaves and, having bound them together to make a raft, were to cross over to safety on the other shore in dependence on the raft, making an effort with my hands and feet?' Then the man, having gathered grass, twigs, branches, and leaves, having bound them together to make a raft, would cross over to safety on the other shore in dependence on the raft, making an effort with his hands and feet. Having crossed over to the further shore, he might think, 'How useful this raft has been to me! For it was in dependence on this raft that, making an effort with my hands and feet, I have crossed over to safety on the further shore. Why don't I, having hoisted it on my head or carrying on my back, go wherever I like?' What do you think, monks: Would the man, in doing that, be doing what should be done with the raft?" 

"No, lord." 

"And what should the man do in order to be doing what should be done with the raft? There is the case where the man, having crossed over, would think, 'How useful this raft has been to me! For it was in dependence on this raft that, making an effort with my hands and feet, I have crossed over to safety on the further shore. Why don't I, having dragged it on dry land or sinking it in the water, go wherever I like?' In doing this, he would be doing what should be done with the raft. In the same way, monks, I have taught the Dhamma compared to a raft, for the purpose of crossing over, not for the purpose of holding onto. Understanding the Dhamma as taught compared to a raft, you should let go even of Dhammas, to say nothing of non-Dhammas."

Friday, January 26, 2018

What can happen when we Show Up, for Real?

I think of this Jetson's clip regularly!
(Video Phone Mask Fail - >
So human, and hilarious ; )

"Don't compare your insides        
to someone else's outsides."

Most of us have heard this, by now
- and its hard to know who said it first -
but this is Hard to do!

Most everyone is putting our best foot forward,
in most of our social interactions,
in media, in business, in politics, in religion, in school,
even with lovers, friends, family...

And there is a complaint about how detrimental social media is,
because we are getting fed a stream of that;
on top of all the 'success' and 'looking-good'
we have to be-with from almost all directions, almost all relationships...

We are getting a lot of mirrors for
our successes, 'looking good', good-days.
AND not a lot of mirrors for
our failures, 'looking bad', our bad-days.

How come everyone else is succeeding,
and looking-good,
and making it look easy?
And that isn't my experience...

This can leave us feeling
striving to be better, look better, do more...
and very lonely.

It is normal to want to wear the mask,
put our best face forward...

And I believe, I experience:
finding a place to BE with others
and people with whom we can share for Real
is very useful for our well-being.

Real life includes struggle.
Every day is not sunny.
Not everything is great and woo-hoo!

Can we be with ourselves in this?
Can we share with each other:
hear each other? hold each other?
When, Where, How can we safety do this?

Seeing only others' Best-face
can feel like we are the only one
who isn't living up-to the perfect-pictures
- and we are not the only one,
we are in very good company!

Sharing our challenges with others,
helps them
and it helps us.

We are not alone
in our challenges, in our failures, in our darkness...
It is the human expereince.

There is something very important about:

- being Real, dealing with and being honest about our the full-spectrum of our lives;
- honoring the challenges we are each in, have been in;
- noting how living through these things in the open, uncovers who we are, and helps us build our capacity for the next challenges.

I believe sharing these things is:

- more useful as contributions to others;
- more efficacious in building community; and
- more healing for us to share, than all the 'looking good' stuff.

ALL Real sharing is Wonderful!

And especially sharing the underside-stuff
needs more encouragement, more safety, more bravery;
AND also bears more fruit
- of connection, acceptance, transformation...

I believe it can help to notice,
we may not Only be hiding because of our ego.
We are sometimes trying to make it easier for Them.

We don't want to pour all our crap on them,
we don't want to overwhelm them with our darkness and our needs
- and I believe that is wise.

BUT, can we find a middle ground?Can we consider just BEing? just SAYing what IS?
Can we practice not having to make it smooth for others, all the time?

Can we give them a chance to be OK with us?
to really Know us?
to actually love Us?

By just BEing us,
can we give them a chance to be ok with themselves,
in a whole new way?

And, can we all get a chance to learn a new way?
By us sharing together:

- how do we handle the challenges that come up in our lives?
- how do we build strength and resilience, even while the waves just keep coming?
- how can we allow safety in ourselves and in community, even as the real boats rock?

What say you?
; ) Wendy

Monday, September 25, 2017

I am just THRILLED to Have a Cup

lots of people tell me i am an optimist, i’m optimistic.
That is not my perception of myself - i believe i am a realist.

i don’t focus on the cup half- full OR half-empty 
- nor do I mean to project that into the future.
I don’t believe any of this is useful.

I am just THRILLED to Have a Cup
(and hoping to keep having a cup for a while longer ; )

I have a CUP!

I Get to play this challenging game, 
on this beautiful earth, 
with so many amazing characters, 
and unending scenarios to explore.

I can 
- enjoy it or not,
- seem to be winning or not.

Meanwhile, I can step-off the game board any time I choose.
I don’t HAVE to play.
But I do GET to play.

(I find this choice is very important to me, not just theoretically, 
but in my everyday processing of my life, experience of my challenges.
It is my choice, to play, so I might as well enjoy it!! ; )

I am blessed beyond measure 
- I can receive and drink it from my cup.

I know humans have an endless ability to take stuff for granted.
We can get used to almost anything - wonderful or terrible

So, it helps to remember:
I have a cup
and I get to decide, not just how to SEE it, but what to DO with it.

I chose to 
- play my own game.
- go Onward, Adventuring in the hero’s journey of my Soul.

I may or I may not be tilting at windmills
but I am happy and I live in hope.

So, I like my game, 
even when it isn’t so popular, 
or others don’t get it, 
or think I am losing the game.

My perception is, I am winning my game.

Because I am playing my own game and 
Beyond all reason and rationale and deserving and reasonable expectation 
I have a CUP, and a lot of opportunities to enjoy it.

The who, what, where, why, how
what it all means, what are the stories,
and what do i do about it? how do i live?

I have some working theories. 
Better ones than I used to have!
These days, I have some places to stand and how to operate my life, that seem to work really well.

I used to get all snarled-up.
and miserable about Meaning...
what does it all mean? what are supposed-tis? the stories about?…

But regardless of the meaning
(or gauging my current success or future outcome)

I have rarely heard better coaching than these 2 perspectives, 
which I have learned myself, the hard way, 
and bow to the wisdom of these men as well:

My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, 
but just enjoy your ice cream while it's on your plate
— that's my philosophy.
- Thornton Wilder, The Skin of Our Teeth (1942) (I added white-space)

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart
and try to love the questions themselves,
like locked rooms and
like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue.
Do not now seek the answers,
which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is, to live everything.
Live the questions now.
Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it,
live along some distant day into the answer.
- Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet (1934) (I added white-space)

thanks for reading ; )


Thursday, September 7, 2017

the independence and interdependence of the major body chakras

I wrote this post to review and explicate some distinctions for recent meditation participants, and I thought I would share:

Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning wheel, which refers to the different energy centers within our body.
There are very many of these, all over our system - big and small.

Several years ago, the metaphor of the tiered tray started coming to me, as a way to see and nurture the relationship between the Major chakras of the body.
I like the image becasue it shows how the major body chakras are both independent and interdependent.

Each chakra is unique, with focused intelligence & genius, specialized abilities & responsibilities.
All the chakras are connected:
the upper chakras build on the lower ones,
the lower ones are watered by the upper ones.

Leading to a cornucopia of blessing thoughout our own system
and fortifying us to BE who we are in the world, DOing what we are here to do, what only we can do!

It is vital that we gently awaken and nurture all of our energy centers to help us enjoy a powerful, integrated human life.

- If we want a sustainable and safe spiritual journey,
- if we want to enjoy our human embodied lifetime,
- if we want to expereince deep connection with others, and/or the bliss of Divine expereince,
- if we want to actively dive into spiritual evolution...

If we want any of these things, or most anything else in this life:

We cannot skip steps
We cannot run ahead to high spiritual experiences and ignore the base.

And at the same time, If we want a joyful, fulfilled human experience,
it behooves us to go beyond the basics of physical focus and existence, to spiritual depth.

Remembering and investing-in
- the independent fruition of
- the interdependent relationship between
ALL our major chakras

So in very simple terms:

from grounding, being supported from the earth,

supporting our (1) root chakra,
our relationship with this reality - safe, basic needs met, belonging

supporting our (2) sacral chakra,
our relationship with our body experience, communication, expression

supporting our (3) solar plexis chakra,
our relationship with our will, power, the energy we need and how we use it.

supporting our (4) heart chakra,
our relationship with the spiritual Oneness that IS, All our Relations.

supporting our (5) throat chakra,
our relationship with communication, self-expression, the stories we live-in.

supporting our (6) brow chakra,
our relationship with how we see the truth, past the lies; seeing our Way.

supporting our (7) chakra,
our relationship with knowing our Way, Light, Love, Truth, Glory, Wisdom, Unique experience of the Divine... spiritually IN our body, engaged in our life.

And at the same time, the blessings of these upper chakras rain down upon the lower ones - enlivening, feeding, filling them with the water of life...


Saturday, August 19, 2017

"He simply becomes friends with them and they give up the KKK on their own"

Katie said:
As an answer to the question, "What can we do?",
I offer this article.
If we want to see the hate dissipate, we need to engage in conversation.
Shouting from the roof top to deaf ears (and echo chambers) will do very little to move this country forward,
instead be mindful of your interactions with people.
Bring up the tough topics and discuss.
Be willing to listen AND share.

BTW, a documentary about this guy is now streaming on Netflix: “Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America”

The article contains this powerful quote:
He never tries to convert the Klansmen. He simply becomes friends with them and they give up the KKK on their own.

From my perspective, 
this is how life actually works.

What we Resist, persists.
What we run-from, chases us.

Resist not evil.
Love your Enemies.

What if Jesus wasn't just being spiritually revolutionary, 
what if he was being pragmatic? 
when he said:

"do good to those hating you, 
bless those cursing you, 
and pray for those accusing you falsely"

With a deep bow to race,
I would also like to note some of the other issues that divide us:
  • religion/spirituality
  • sexual orientation
  • gender and gender orientation
  • nationality and country of origin
  • political and economic theories we identify-with…
  • As well as our everyday human disagreements and conflicts.

The healing power of 
is huge IMO/E.

From my perspective:
Acceptance produces change.
Hate can only hurt, not Heal.

What is your wisdom, experience, theory? 
In practice, is this easy/hard to live?

in life! Wendy

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Invitation: OWN your Voice Retreat: Upstate NY, Labor Day Weekend 2017

Are you Ready to Welcome, on a deeper level, your innate ability to:

• Live Solidly in your Truth, Rest in your Power, Bring your Presence, Share with Charisma

• Trust Love, Life, and your Unique and Beautiful Way, as you take the Stage in your Life 

• Feel more confident in Singing from your Center, with Freedom, Joy & Inspiration

Then please come enjoy passionate community, delicious food, beautiful Momma Nature, and an amazing opportunity to:

OWN Your Voice!
DARE to Say your Truth, Sing your Beauty: 
Soul Pathways to Freedom, Power, and shifting your Experience and your World

Retreat with co-facilitators: Ben Silver & Wendy R Wolf, 
and several other special guests to support you in body care, soul healing and tending to your singing voice, so you can bloom!

in Upstate NY (20 minutes North of Poughkeepsie, East of New Paltz)
Labor Day Weekend (Friday Sept 1st evening - Monday Sept 4th afternoon)

We will work and play together with:

• Body and Soul tools; learn & practice techniques and distinctions which help you act from a stable base, with creativity and passion, in your Singing, as well as in your life.

• Movement, breath, energy, meditation, focused intention and vocalization, to support you to gently open to deeper healing, transformation and self-expression.

• Large and small group interactions; as well as individual sessions, to address your personal self-care, challenges and opportunities. Support, training, modeling from folks who embody in various ways, where we want to go in Owning Your Own Voice. 

This all-inclusive, 3 day retreat is packed with goodies, and valued at $1300.
but we are offering this for the first time at half price: $649

*** Plus we are offering a Special Early-Bird rate of only $499 ***
if you Register by the end of July with $150 deposit.

Ways to SAVE: if your budget is tight, but you are committed to participating in this retreat, please be in touch ASAP,
- limited work-study discounts are available, as well as
- generous referral discounts (so please invite your friends, it’ll be more fun AND you will save) 

Please Email Wendy for more info, and to register.
You can see this thread of my blogs for more info, and I will be adding more soon, Logistics and such.

Let’s get together and practice with playful community, and then bring to our world:

- Showing-uo Consciously here & now, within yourself and Being Present in your life.

- Being who you are here to be, Making the difference only you can make. And

- Inspiring others to do the same - shifting our world!

If you are interested, but unable to make this event:
- Email Wendy to stay in the loop for other events
- Mark your interest on this Facebook Event Page, we will be sharing on the DISCUSSION page: a taste of our our vision, as well as useful insights and practices to Own Your Voice: 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Take Your Place, on the Stage of Your Life: OWN your Voice Retreat: Upstate NY, Labor Day Weekend 2017

Are you Ready to Take Your Place, on the Stage of Your Life?

- Being Seen & Heard; Making your Unique Contribution.

- Knowing you Deserve to BE You, and to DO Your Thing.

- Realizing: we All Need to hear Your Voice in the Universal Chorus.

OWN Your Voice! Retreat - Upstate NY, Labor Day Weekend, 2017

Deepen into your birthright, be more:

- Free, to just Be, Do, Say... Simply Sing.

- Empowered, in your own free-will.

- Enlivened, to live, to grow, to blossom, as YOU.

Strengthen your strong and sure Foundation, within; supporting you to feel more:

- Safe & Sound; living & creating from a place of Ease – no matter what happens in your world.

- Worthy of attention & self-expression.

- Centered in the knowledge that You Matter; and your gifts & your message Matter.

Savor Peace & Quiet, the space to BE:

- Comfortable in your own skin; even as you go Higher, Wider, Wilder...

- Connecting & Communicating with self, others and the world; Hearing and being Heard.

- Present with Life and with your Song – pausing to magnify the deliciousness of the notes.

Heal into your Essential Wholeness, so you can enjoy Singing; become more able to:

- Shift your vibration by singing: access Beauty, bring Joy to your World... in your everyday life.

- Play, Risk with your voice... alone, in groups... Just Sing, sing a Song... without all the angst ; )