Tag Archives: zen

Who am I really?

Gardenia bud

We live in illusion and the appearance of things.
There is a reality, we are that reality.
When you understand this, you will see “you” are nothing.
And, being nothing, you are everything.
Kalu Ripnoche

Valentine’s Day beckons, and, like all single folk, I am meant to be either moping around because I am on my own, or celebrating the fabulousness of being a single gal by going out and treating myself to all sorts of indulgent goodies.

I am, however, not doing that. Instead I am going to my friends’ wedding, and I couldn’t be happier about it as they are a lovely couple who give me hope that true love exists because of the way they care for, and connect with, each other. It will be a delight to celebrate this day with them

Besides, it’s just another day – sunrise, sunset, stuff in-between. Like most things in our lives, the meaning it has is created in our heads – it doesn’t really exist except as concept. For example, even though it is February 14 here in New Zealand, on the other side of the dateline it is still February 13 – Black Friday. We are in the same time/space continuum but two very different meanings are given to this time and place – because – well just because somebody said so.

One of the hardest concepts I’ve found  to grasp in Buddhism is the concept of ego and self. That our ego is a construct of our mind and is an illusion. So in same way that Friday the 13th is considered unlucky, yet Saturday the 14th romantic even though it is the exact same day on earth, so is our ego or sense of self  a construct that we have build over the years from experiences, memories and predisposition.

So what if we let this all go? What if we could release the ego and embrace who we want to be without being held back by the artificial construct we have created about ourselves? It is a powerful freedom – not that easy but surely worth a try?

Perhaps one way to look at this is when, in one of my favourite episodes of Seinfeld,  George Costanza decides to do the opposite of everything he has ever done. Because, why not? Who says we have to be the way we are, who says it has to always be done that way and why can’t we be whatever we want to be?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKUvKE3bQlYGardenia bud

The simple and the ordinary


Buddha Plaque
Every so often someone says something that really resonates with me and helps me to connect or to see my world, my life in a different way.

A few years ago, my children gave me this plaque which I see every day – and aspire to achieve. But what does it really mean to live in the present? Continue reading The simple and the ordinary

Zen and the art of surfing – riding a wave as therapy.

One happy girl!
One happy girl!

It has been a shit few months for me. Apart from my relationship going south, I also have been recovering from back surgery for a prolapsed disc which I had in November 2013.

Prior to that, I had always been fit – I had trained in karate and obtained my black belt, been a keen sailor – going out weekly – and generally thought of myself of being in rude good health. It was a real shock when my back blew out and I went from being a fit health person to being in constant pain and barely being able to climb a flight of stairs. Couple that with the stress of a highly dysfunctional relationship, I became dependent on painkillers and piled on the weight. Even though after surgery I was much better, I became scared of pushing my body too hard in case my back went again. Continue reading Zen and the art of surfing – riding a wave as therapy.

The sun is always there, it is just hiding behind the clouds

A week or so before the Christchurch earthquake, some 19 months after my father died, my family gathered to scatter his ashes. He had often joked that he wanted them to be spread in the sea near my parent’s home so he could float in and out on the tide and keep an eye on my mother.

There was no good reason why we didn’t do it sooner, and it took a great deal of persuasion, several arguments and a tad of negotiation to get us together on that afternoon. Behind our reticence lay one thing – we weren’t ready to say goodbye.

How can someone we loved, and who was so much part of the fabric of our lives, become this dust that scatters in the wind and sinks beneath water? Continue reading The sun is always there, it is just hiding behind the clouds

Your true home

EndlessKnot03d
The endless knot is a Buddhist symbol representing the intertwining of wisdom and compassion

Your true home is in the here and the now. It is not limited by time, space, nationality, or race. Your true home is not an abstract idea. It is something you can touch and live in every moment. With mindfulness and concentration, the energies of the Buddha, you can find your true home in the full relaxation of your mind and body in the present moment. No one can take it away from you. Other people can occupy your country, they can even put you in prison, but they cannot take away your true home and your freedom.

Thich Nhat Hanh