Saturday, April 29, 2006

And Now for Something Completely Different

"Try to understand how we perceive good and bad things in life according to our own delusions, our confused thoughts and conflicting emotions. We must try to understand that samsara is by nature impermanent, that things change constantly, that there are no solid entities to cling to. If we begin to look at the world in this way, then we can begin to generate inconceivable compassion toward all beings, with the thought of freeing them from suffering and confusion and fostering their happiness and peace of mind." --Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

Torture torture torture, war war, lies, incompetence, ill will, all causing suffering, I'm just not up to writing about it or even linking to it at the moment. I've been feeling revulsion. Since "revulsion is the foot of meditation" (as is said), I thought to exclude what is downright repulsive and concentrate on other things.

To wit, Matthieu Ricard's "Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill," from Wisdom Books at Amazon. Matthieu holds a doctorate in cellular genetics, and has been a monk in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for thirty-some years. He is a major participant in the research collaboration between cognitive scientists and Buddhist practitioners, spearheaded by the Dalai Lama and the Mind and Life Institute. He received the French National Order of Merit for his humanitarian work in the East.

Another work deserving, well, attention, is Alan Wallace's "The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind." Wallace has many practice in attention-enhancing meditation and has been an active participant in the much-publicized dialogues between contemporary Buddhist practitioners and neuroscientists.

As I write this, I can hear in the background our cocker spaniel puppy howling at the top of her lungs. An aria from Lohengrin is playing, a soprano aria -- and Chloe apparently thinks this sound means that something/someone is being horribly tortured.

Which makes our sweet little black and white doggie rank way higher up on the humane chain than the empathetically-challenged Rummy and Cheney and Preznit Toad Exploder. So it goes.

No comments: