Zen Blog

This blog collects various internet feeds aimed towards information, experience and technique exchange in support of our shared spiritual journey.....

”Namaste - may the light in me, honor the light in you…”

The worst word in the world.

Elephant is big enough that many of our fans, or readers, or friends—many of you, perhaps you yourself—are conservative. I like that. I respect conservatives. I'm a moderate liberal—"moderate" being just as important as "liberal." Moderate, to me, means that I value an open mind, working together, and listening as much as I value my…values of equal rights, environmentalism, a fair and prosperous economy, denuclearization, education and healthcare and opportunity for all, and diplomacy before war—may there be peace on earth. All those are important to me. But how many times have we seen aggression in the service of what we value? Our values fast become self-righteousness. And so it is that I love dialoguing, listening, arguing, and sharing with our readers who hail from outside our choir. That Elephant is big enough to reach well outside our choir means everything to me—what use is it to preach about local food to a farmer, or bicycle commuting to a cyclist? We effect real change when we talk with those who have different paths. And we effect real change when we allow ourselves to be changed, and further awakened. ~ @waylonlewis May it be of benefit! ? #mayitbeofbenefit ? ? Now, more than ever, read journalism and subscribe to independent mission-driven media beholden only to kindness and truth. Without transparency, facts, and honesty, we are lost. Get our free online magazine only at elephantjournal.com/best ?❤️

A post shared by Elephant Journal (@elephantjournal) on Jun 22, 2018 at 7:39pm PDT

Partisan. It’s the worst word in the world.

Take partisan out of it, and everyone relaxes. Everyone would admit they care. Everyone would admit that it’s complicated—immigration, legal and illegal, asylum, children, parents.

Put partisan back in, and it’s two sides yelling at each other—having taken their eye of the ball, which is solutions. Fixing things. Helping.

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10 Powerful (and Empowering) Poses for Pride

10 Powerful (and Empowering) Poses for Pride

This Pride month sequence cultivates self-compassion and self-acceptance. Not only will it help you heal, it will inspire you to help others in their journey toward self-love.

Jordan Smiley is a 500-hour RYT transgender yoga teacher and yoga teacher trainer based in Denver, Colorado. With June being Pride month, we asked Smiley to create an empowering sequence that cultivates compassion for the Self and others, and explain why each pose makes him feel proud.

Yoga helped save my life. 

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It’s because of the practice that I have a peaceful relationship with my body, tools to coach my mind, and a continuously deepening sense of compassion—both for myself and for others. 

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Buddha Buzz Weekly: June 22, 2018

Buddha Buzz Weekly: June 22, 2018

Nothing is permanent, so everything is precious. Here’s a selection of some happenings—fleeting or otherwise—in the Buddhist world this week.

Meditation Can Increase Your Ego

A new study suggests that meditation actually increases the ego. Researchers found that meditation boosted participants’ feeling of self-enhancement, which tends to accompany the acquisition of any new skill. A sense of well-being also increased among those surveyed in the study. “Ego-quieting is often called upon to explain mind-body practices’ well-being benefits,” the study’s authors wrote in their findings. “In contrast, we observed that mind-body practices boost self-enhancement and this boost—in turn—elevates well-being.” The research, however, was limited to European meditators, and it was unclear if their practice was within the context of a Buddhist ethical or philosophical tradition as the participants were recruited through Facebook.

English Dharma in Mongolia

At a Buddhist center in Mongolia, one lama is mixing Buddhist teachings with English language studies. Lama Zopa Rinpoche of the The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) has been teaching children at Ganden Do Ngag Shedrup Ling the 16 Guidelines for Life in English, an FPMT statement says. The 16 Guidelines is a Buddhist-inspired collection of ethical and mindfulness teachings offered online and developed by the British-based Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom. “With the English language being a most convenient and popular language in the world [sic], we see that this learning will open many more doors for the participants and their futures as so many dharma materials and teachings are available in English,” the statement says.

South Korea Pagoda Reborn

South Korea’s restoration of its oldest pagoda, Mireuksaji Seoktap, is almost complete, the Korea Times reports. The pagoda, which is made of 2,800 stones and dates back to the year 639, fell into disrepair under Japanese colonialism. A restoration effort to dismantle and restructure the pagoda began in October 2001.

Tibetans “Sing” Praises of China—Against Their Will

Tibetans living in Chinese territories are being forced to learn songs of praise for the Chinese Communist Party that they will have to perform at the July 1 anniversary of the party’s founding, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reports. Those who refuse to sing face stiff fines. “One member of every Tibetan family has been forced to perform the group songs in front of large crowds,” a source told RFA. “Tibetans are not willing to sing the songs, but the Chinese authorities’ grip on the people has tightened year by year.”

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Hot and Holy: 13 Songs to Replenish Your Yoga Practice

Hot and Holy: 13 Songs to Replenish Your Yoga Practice

Relax and unwind with these divine, sultry tracks, ideal for mixing up your yoga practice.

This playlist is full of yin and yang, naughty and nice, and a bit of spice to help you relax into whatever your practice may be.

See also 16 Songs for a Sensual Yoga Session

Hot and Holy

1. "Breathing In," Craig Kohland & Shaman's Dream2. "Affair," Minoru Sakay3. "Caribbean Blue," Enya4. "Divine," Minoru Sakay5. "Sadness," Enigma6. "The Chase," Minoru Sakay7. "Roma," Minoru Sakay8 . "Opium," Dead Can Dance9. "Anabasis," Dead Can Dance10. "Gaté Gaté," Deva Premal11. "Gayatri Mantra," Deva Premal12. "Watermark," Enya13. "Breathing Out," Craig Kohland & Shaman's Dream

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Birthday of Dame Cicely Saunders

Birthday of Dame Cicely Saunders

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Dame Cicely Mary Saunders — a British Anglican nurse, medical social worker, physician — founded the modern hospice movement in 1967 at St. Christopher's Hospital in London. Concerned about the inadequacy of the care of the dying in hospitals, she revolutionized the way in we care for the ill, the dying, and the bereaved. She helped St. Christopher's become the first hospice to link expert pain and symptom control, compassionate care, teaching, and clinical research.

Her book Beyond the Horizon: A Search for Meaning in Suffering (1990) affords us an opportunity to appreciate her compassion and dedication to the hospice cause. "You matter because you are you," she observed, "and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die."

Saunders held more than 25 honorary degrees and received many honours and awards for her work, including the British Medical Association Gold Medal for services to medicine, the Onassis Prize for Services to Humanity, The Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Award, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms for Worship Medal. In 1981 Dame Cicely was awarded the prestigious Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion; she gave the award money for construction of a new wing at St. Christopher's.

Quotes

To honor Saunders's birthday, reflect on her words about what makes suffering bearable:

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