Showing posts from December, 2017

Fasting and Equanimity

I hadn’t fasted in over a year. That’s probably reason enough to conclude that life has been just a little bit too hectic of late. Combine that with the difficulty I had choosing a day on which to fast once I’d made up my mind to do so, and the evidence became conclusive. A life too busy to accommodate a day on which to fast is a life in need of simplification.
Once I’d made up my mind, though, things fell into place quite nicely. No, I couldn’t find my special fasting tea – it must have gotten discarded in the move – but I did find a ginger and licorice root variety in the cupboard that would suffice. No, I didn’t prepare ahead in order to have some nice green juice or carrot juice on hand, but I did find some grape and orange juice in the fridge that would suffice. And, anyway, isn’t that what fasting is all about: gaining greater understanding of that which is sufficient? It is for me at least.

My last “solid” food was a bowl of soup at around 7:00 p.m. This smaller than normal di…

A Bodhicitta Dream

Those of us who consider ourselves spiritual in nature may wonder from time to time how we came to be walking the path that we’re on. Is it simply a natural manifestation of what we naturally are, or was the process far more happenstance than destiny? Did a beautiful gift somehow fall into our lap, or was it a hard-fought struggle to become the spiritual being that we are today? Christians often speak in terms of the grace of God when considering such questions; which may explain how one person can hear the gospel and thereafter become a lifelong Christian, whereas another may hear the very same words and remain steadfastly aloof and unmoved. Buddhists, similarly, speak in terms of bodhicitta – awakened mind, or awakening mind (see Schuhmacher & Woerner, 1994, for instance). The workings of bodhicitta may explain how one individual can be moved to practice on behalf of all beings by whatever understanding of sunyata (emptiness) they may have been fortunate enough to glean, even a…