Sunday, September 30, 2007

Arjava & Bodhana

Arjava & Bodhana are the correct spelling of ex-Buddy and ex-Dave's new names. Congratulations again! Well done gentlemen.


From p. 78 of What Makes You Not A Buddhist by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse:

"When some of us become parents ourselves, even a little understanding of interdependence effectively softens our expectations of our children, which they may interpret as love. Without that understanding, we might have good intentions to love and care for our children, but our expectations and demands can become unbearable."


I have asked for ordination in the FWBO. Once a year in North America, there is a week long retreat, aimed at helping people move towards ordination. This year the retreat was at Aryaloka, a beautiful retreat center in New Hampshire. Aside from meditation and spiritual friendship, the retreat's study theme was the ten pillars, the precepts you take upon ordination, the basic ethical principles.

The retreat was lead by Dhammarati, Nagabodhi, and was attended by many order members, including Vajramati. There were many illustrious fellow retreatants as well, including a photographer, who has a good audio file about why he's a buddhist.

Also on the retreat was a a culmination that lead to a public ordination on Saturday. I'm going to wait for the correct spelling to write the names of ex-Buddy and ex-Dave. But to my count there were 28 order members, 30 after they were publicly ordained.

It was a historic event for the American order, because for the first time an American born preceptor ordained Americans. Now the order transcends nationality, but in terms of development of an order and taking on a kind of national identity as a kind of mark of maturity, it was a historic event.

Maia, the baby was there at the private ordination, I got to finally hold, and smile at the baby I've been reading about.

Unfortunately during my retreat, there's been some monk led rebellion in Myanmar that has been brutally repressed.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Four Seals

There's an excellent book by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse called What Makes You Not A Buddhist. In it he elaborates on the four seals.

The Four Seals according to him are as follows:

1. All compound things are impermanent.
2. All emotions are pain.
3. All things have no inherent existence.
4. Nirvana is beyond all concepts.

These are all very deep and intense truths which he elaborates in his book, challenging many assumptions about American culture and the American dream. Reading it on retreat has been a deep and profound experience for me.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I love and have done the standard puja (which you can get at the FWBO-News resources site). But today I found my 4th puja, which is a mindfulness of breathing (Anapanasati) puja by Viveka. Yippie.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Interesting movie

When I told a work friend I correspond with a dharma brother in prison, he said, "of course you do." Like it's in character to be compassionate that way. I think he was a bit sarcastic. I'm proud he said that, though.

Now there's a movie about dharma in prison. The NY Times reviews the movie and you can watch the trailer.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

FWBO NYC is official

We're an official non-profit! Our sangha received the following message recently: "I wanted to let your know that your nonprofit corporation was formed in the state of New York on 08/29/07. Congratulations! We mailed the filed documents out to you today."

This is wonderful news! Now to get down to work of building the sangha!