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➜ Let Go: A Buddhist Guide to Breaking Free of Habits by Martine Batchelor

This is an understated book of great depth and practicality.  Martine Batchelor reminds me of Ayya Khema - honest, firm, loving.

Some insights from it:

1. Meditation is about coming home to our body as much as to our mind.  Being an idealist, I cannot remind myself of this enough!  Peace, compassion, wisdom, etc., are not (merely) states of mind; they’re qualities we can embody in the present moment.

2. It’s important that we begin with the seed: the intention to meditate, to awaken to the preciousness of this life which, because precious, deserves to be lived in joy and with only what is truly necessary.

3. Hence: Intention + Attention = Liberation

4. Meditation aids both intention and attention by creating concentration, and therefore space to form and reform intention, which leads to attention, and so on in a virtuous cycle.

5. Concentration creates space.  Inquiry creates creativity, fun, beauty.


White Plum Blossoms in Moonlight. Ito Jakuchu.


White Plum Blossoms in Moonlight. Ito Jakuchu.

➜ Kids' Films And Stories Share A Dark Theme: Dead Mothers

From the comments section:

Through reading stories of independent or orphaned child protagonists, child readers find a space to imagine themselves in such dangerous, challenging positions, and begin asking themselves “Who am I?” while still in the safe realm of home.

I do wish this piece would have included the perspective of scholars working in children’s literature and culture so as to better contextualize and historicize the author’s query, as well as promote further, informed discussion.

➜ Kids' Films And Stories Share A Dark Theme: Dead Mothers

I do think that there’s an underlying message,” Boxer says, “that we don’t really need mothers; in fact, life might be more fun without them … that it could be a life of pure adventure.”

Holy crap.  How timely.


Winter landscape, Wilhelm Schröter (German, 1849-1904)

Remembering winter in summer feels calming and prudent


Winter landscape, Wilhelm Schröter (German, 1849-1904)

Remembering winter in summer feels calming and prudent

Kate Bush - Kashka from Baghdad

Back to basics :)



This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and attend them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. ~Rumi


Mount Rinjani by Herry
All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle. Just be. Just being in the moment in this place is the deepest practice of meditation.
— Thich Nhat Hanh (via thecalminside)

(via abiding-in-peace)

➜ Morning Star Dhamma: Recognizing what is Dhamma and what is not

With many thanks to the author of this blog (unknown, to me)…

The Buddha gave a wonderful teaching on how to recognize the Dhamma, found here at Access to Insight. Worth noting: the Dhamma is to be recognized by its qualities.

The Buddha tells Mahapajapati Gotami (who, incidentally, was his foster mother and also the first Buddhist nun) what is not the Dhamma:

'These qualities lead to passion, not to dispassion;
to being fettered, not to being unfettered;
to accumulating, not to shedding;
to self-aggrandizement, not to modesty;
to discontent, not to contentment;
to entanglement, not to seclusion;
to laziness, not to aroused persistence;
to being burdensome, not to being unburdensome’

And what the Dhamma is:

'These qualities lead to dispassion, not to passion;
to being unfettered, not to being fettered;
to shedding, not to accumulating;
to modesty, not to self-aggrandizement;
to contentment, not to discontent;
to seclusion, not to entanglement;
to aroused persistence, not to laziness;
to being unburdensome, not to being burdensome’:

One wonderful thing about this teaching is that it tells us these are qualities that we may know. Also: These are qualities one discovers for oneself, with regard to one’s own experience. That means the Dhamma is not a yardstick by which to measure others. Nor is it a weapon to be used in debates.

This creates a context for what it means to go for refuge in the Dhamma. It is a personal experience, dependent on causes and conditions, reflecting qualities that one discerns through direct knowledge.

Warwick Goble

Warwick Goble

Art comes not from ability but from necessity.
— Arnold Schoenberg (via dinglesparkle)

(via zen4wabisabi)