Listening to one another with compassion

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1 Meditation = accepting all your experiencing 2 Listening = checking your understandings 3 Compassion = kindness, understanding and tenderness What is meditation? “Meditation is awareness without judgment in the whole of your life”. Meditation has nothing to do with sitting, nothing to do with specific forms of practice. These we might call “meditative practices”. [...]

Teaching focusing-and-listening to a Muslim

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As always, it is both. I must listen to the students about what they feel they need to learn; and I must listen to myself. We have to reach a place of unity with one another about the process of learning together. The students need space to reflect on their journey. They need to find [...]

Remembering Akong

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REMEMBERING AKONG Akong is murdered. Of all people. It is hard to take it in. I met Chöje Akong Tulku Rinpoche on a number of occasions. I recall him saying, “Do you help with our soup-kitchens?” I recall him saying, “Meditation has nothing to do with sitting. Meditation is awareness without judgement in the whole [...]

How to govern a diverse, widespread community

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This is an open letter to my friend, Josiah, about one possible form of government for the focusing community. There might be many possible forms, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. I suggest a way to think about diversity of language and practice. Dear Josiah, ​​ You say that the focusing community is “truly [...]

A company or a circle of friends?

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We have a Board? This isn’t satisfactory. Where did the Board come from? Were they delivered on lotus leaves by the angels? It matters how a government is chosen, as well as how it goes once it has met. I never doubted that our Board was distinguished by patient mutual listening. I never doubted that [...]

Empathy is the Essence of our Humanity

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ABOUT EMPATHY Everybody needs empathy. Everybody needs to receive empathy from others. Everybody needs self-empathy. Everybody needs to offer empathy to others. Without empathy, we are nothing. Our practice, then, must be quite simple – as simple as possible. All we have to do is sit down quietly and listen to our feelings. There is [...]

Knocking at Heaven’s Gate

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REMEMBRANCE The stardust rose, So ancient, glows, A phosphorescent haze. Though billions mourn, You are alone The sum of all your days. Both boy and flower Perfect the hour In which you briefly bloom, And soon are gone Where all are one, An iridescent womb.   THE SLANDERER More a mist Than a voice, More [...]

Meditative Listening and Meditative Enquiry

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Meditative Listening The known life is no more than a clearing in the forest. There is another life in the shadows, treetops and margins. This hidden life is rather felt than thought. It is mysterious, fertile, moist and passionate. Life is a moving edge. Everything flows, nothing remains the same. Since life is so hard [...]

Aspiration

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I tend to feel more and more that the only thing worth hoping for is a kind of inner peace that makes love possible.

Community feeling

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Little by little, we come to understand that the whole world is one community. Our community includes everybody. We have a natural feeling for others. How can we turn our backs on the pain of the poor, the vulnerable and the disenfranchised? Because of the economic, political and social interwovenness of the modern world, we [...]