Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I like this...

Sunday, October 29, 2006


In my quest to understand what compassion is, I stumbled upon this web page. One of my challenges is learning to have compassion for the part of me that sometimes doesn't have compassion for myself and others. Here's a quote from the page that I like:

Compassion is really just the opening our hearts to suffering without allowing our judgments to get in the way. If someone is suffering and we judge them, this closes our hearts and fills our mind with harsh opinions. Compassion does not mean we do not see the mistakes others make; it means we have sympathy and understanding for their difficulties, knowing we are not really different from them. We are all born and live in this human realm in which ignorance and delusion strongly influences our lives.

When I see myself making a mistake, I need to take refuge in the Dharma and do whatever action will result in good rather than more suffering. It is easy to get stuck dwelling on our unenlightened actions of the past. The absurdity of this is that we can easily stay stuck, dwelling on wrong actions while losing awareness of what the right action should be in the present situation. Faith in Buddhism is having faith in the fact that although the stream of karma that has brought us to this present moment has both good and bad within it, all we need to do is what is good in the deepest sense in the present situation. Just doing this is enough, moment by moment, day by day, year by year, life by life, to bring ourselves and all sentient beings to Buddhahood.

Key to attaining this perspective is to see all our wrong actions -- everyone's wrong actions -- as just normal karma that needs help. When someone is making a mess of their life or someone else's life, I can choose to get upset and judgmental or realize that their actions are the result of normal and understandable human karma, and then do whatever I can to help. And Buddhist training is just giving the most help we can within the limits of our situation. I always find that it is much easier to be upset with and judgmental about someone else's mistakes when I only focus on their seemingly wrong behavior. Yet if I gain a deeper understanding of the person, I find that the quick condemnation often dissolves, and sympathy and compassion arises.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Gifts of Ego

I have been interested in ego psychology for a long time. Coming to understand the nature and purpose of the ego from a spiritual perspective has been [third] eye opening for me. This week I stumbled upon an interview with a Jungian analyst who explains the gifts of the ego.

Here is one quote from the interview that I love:

[T]he ego is a necessary formation for the creation of identity, consciousness, intentionality and purpose—all of which are pluses. The ego itself is not a problem. However, when it's in a state of possession by our insecurities, when it's in the grip of our history, it becomes neurotic, so to speak—it gets in the way. So the problem is not the ego; the problem is what happens to the ego. The perfect balance—if we could ever achieve it—would be an open ego state in dialogue with the other parts of the outer and inner world, where we could absorb messages from the culture, but not necessarily be subsumed by them, and we could also dialogue with the unconscious.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Angel Sighting

This morning, my son and I were in the kitchen, and he pointed about half-way between the floor and the ceiling and said, "Mom, there are the angels." I said, "Where?" and he pointed again. Later he described them to me as having pretty eyes, noses, and necks. I feel comforted knowing this.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Tarot Card of the Day

Go to this site and click on a moon....