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Waiting for Answers

Gautama suggested that knowing how you are as a Human, Being, can only be achieved by seeing deeply and clearly into how you process as a Human, Being. I truly believe that. I also have a running friendly argument with an "Insight Meditation" teacher about people's need to be told what to do. My position... Continue Reading →

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Next, or the Future

"The future is completely open and we are writing it moment to moment." - Pema Chodren She's onto something here. She and I have different views of exactly how much "control" we have of anything. For me, it doesn't feel the least bit truthful that I "write" my universe as it unfolds. I used to... Continue Reading →

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Fixing Ghosts

"Spending time, attempting to slowly unbecome the person you never were, is a waste of time." - "Summer Spiders" I am everything I ever was or can possibly be, right in these moments. There is no need to be anything else in these moments of attention. How simple, how beautiful! Bryan Wagner

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This BitterSweet

"Suffering is one of life's great teachers." - Bryant H McGill Recently I'm starting to see the bigger ramifications of this point; I say that because it took a long time to comprehend the value of suffering. Especially after all the confusion of attempting to "end suffering," whatever that's supposed to mean. I might have... Continue Reading →

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A Slice of Tao

"Great things are done, by a series of small things brought together." - Vincent Van Gogh I do read this quote once in a while, and attempt to stay aware of this. Why? This is exactly how most of my life works. If I downgrade "Great things," whatever they are, to "all things," this becomes... Continue Reading →

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Tao of Monday

There is only one time, but we divide it up into sections. Some sections are beginning sections, and some are end sections. Some sections, called "days," we celebrate. Not because they are indeed special, but because we assigned the meaning "special" upon them. But they too are part of an extended period, divided up into... Continue Reading →

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Inuit Wisdom

"If you're going to walk on thin ice, you might as well dance." Inuit proverb." I become more experienced, this becomes more embedded as a way of life. Hugs to all, Bryan Wagner

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Sometimes I Cry

Tears are a reminder that we are more than the moment" - Douglas C Meyers Life is bittersweet, and sometimes I am driven to sing out the bitter, announcing myself to the universe. I shed tears; we all do. And why not? It's not always depression, anger, or fear I'm expressing, it's being this singular... Continue Reading →

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Buddhist Compassion: The Bigger Picture

"When we match compassion with purpose, we begin to conquer the world." - Zachariah Thompson For me there are two kinds of compassion. One is intellectual compassion, I think about all those needy folks out there, send those awesome good thoughts to them, and go back to watching television. This kind of compassion does nothing.... Continue Reading →

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Zen, There I was Again

"I'm always catching up to who I just was." - Summer Spiders It's frustrating, all this conceptual meditating, and attempting to "know" myself. It seems that all observations I can have about myself are looking back. I can't see the future me, or the present me, because the entire system processes information faster than I... Continue Reading →

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Shutting down Tao

Do you know anyone who immediately "shuts down" when they are confronted with something they don't accept during conversations or events? My experience has been people close off, an intellectual form of "circling the wagons," when they want the discussion and outcome to be different than it is. (Yes, I do that.) So, I started... Continue Reading →

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Storms

When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what the storm is all about. - Haruki Murakami How will you experience this? It's a question that cannot be answered, patience will tell. Bryan Wagner

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No One’s special!

Everyone's life is fascinating when you ask the right questions, our own life is not as ordinary as it seems at first glance. There are no special individuals, we are all one-of-a-kind unique events in this universe. You are the only you that will ever exist. Bryan Wagner

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Between a Wall and an Open Heart

Koinonia: The balance between intimacy and intrusion. Having an open heart is something that sounds so attractive, opening to experiencing engaging in relationship that has intimacy and closeness. Yet even then, there is always that tipping point onto subjects and in arenas that are private, personal, and often come with intense emotions. It's a fine... Continue Reading →

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Persevering

"Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did." - Newt Gingrich How Truthful! Breathe and do the very next thing, Bryan Wagner

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Those Clever Memes of Being

This is not kind of me but I'm sick and tired of those little one liners and statements concerning experiencing life. For a brief second when I see these statements and words, I engage in a fantasy of "Being here" or "love conquers hate" or "whatever." But the fantasy lasts for mere seconds, then fades... Continue Reading →

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Zen Growth in a Taoist process

Sitting outside at 5am, I was noticing how the dawn "breaks." When I'm present, and attending, I simply can't experience the light as it's increasing, the "dawning" is one movement, like a piece of music flowing or a stream. It's a process, not a measured movement, no varigated sections of dawn. Until I get lost... Continue Reading →

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Insight and Sound

During last Sunday's sitting, someone sneezed and it's interesting from a Zen perspective. When facilitating a Zen sitting the attendees meditate facing a wall, and I sit facing everyone's back. When the sneeze exploded, everyone except a few had a knee jerk response. Why? For me, this is important if you are examining the art... Continue Reading →

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Compassion: Emotion or Choice?

"Compassion is not a feeling, it's a cognitive choice contingent on circumstances, current status, conditioning, wants and needs. I feel good by acting compassionately, the idea that the word "compassion" is a discrete emotion that feels good my having it, only leads to expectations and suffering. The idea that I can "practice" to increase some... Continue Reading →

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Weeds and I

The word "weeds" points to an imaginary category of plants. There are no actual weeds. It represents a desire, judgement, attitude, status, and worth. Lots of suffering happens over the word "weeds." Except there aren't any. What are the "weeds" in your life? Bryan Wagner

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Right Intent

What are my motives in these passing moments? In Buddhism we hear about "Right Intent," part of the eightfold path, and the importance of knowing our intentions. I have no idea why, but I always like the word "motive" instead. It has a more "personal" feel to it, a little bit sinister. But it also... Continue Reading →

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Zen of Memory and Meditation

"Memories are great because you can add more details!" Lately I've noticed the stream of thought is amazingly pliable and appears vulnerable to whatever the conditioned personality decides is supportive or needed. Memories are changed to match emotional needs in the moment, and this necessitates adjusting the memory. I remember events from a singular first-person... Continue Reading →

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The Permeable Journy

Lately I've been noticing how important it is to focus on remaining open and be willing to absorb experience instead of the constant need to fix, manipulate, or resolve experiences. I find staying permeable changes my perspective drastically. I consciously open the door to possibilities and probabilities. Sometimes I find myself in circumstances that are... Continue Reading →

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Tao of Inner Seasons

Kronos is that linear sense of time we are familiar with, but there is another sense of time called Kairos which runs on an internal schedule and offers a different kind of information. Yesterday I went for a walk at 4am and suddenly a knowing manifested that this was the beginning of fall. The temperature,... Continue Reading →

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Zen Emotions

There is nothing that can’t be experienced as useful when seen from the appropriate view. I can choose to see the useful, meaningful, and supportive parts of any experience. The emotional structure, the feelings, rise, peak, fade, and are then absent.  If I don’t cling to them, the anger, sadness, fear, curiosity, melancholy, joy, happiness,... Continue Reading →

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That next thing, simple Tao.

Much of life revolves around doing the next thing that rises. Life comes in waves of experiences. Some of them upset our balance and some seem to smooth out the ride. But regardless there is always the next thing to do, even if it's just sitting. Despite how I feel, think, believe, desire, conclude, avoid,... Continue Reading →

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The Future me

"I cannot meditate my way to a better me, because if that’s my intention, I’m rejecting all I am in these moments to focus on the imagined, projected, and better future me" - The Collective Can I be complete in these moments? Is some future unknown "I" worth giving up the moments of life I'm... Continue Reading →

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Doing “Mindfulness”

"Anything that teaches you to grasp, cling, and manipulate, isn’t wisdom, it’s greed." - "The Collective" In experiencing the ever-changing universe from an ever-changing life means that when someone offers a static concept or theory and I accept it, the flow of life slows down. People, places, things, and concepts are all changing every second,... Continue Reading →

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Embracing Center

Returning to center in meditation means arriving closer to the center of balance, and this is accomplished by placing attention upon an automatic process that's present every second. The breath, body, feelings, and senses all dwell precisely in each moment, only the attention drifts. I try to embrace that notion, that despite how life movement... Continue Reading →

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Captured Tao

"Sawu Bona" - I see you. Recently I read that when members of the Zulu nation greet each other they say "Sawu Bona" as a way of acknowledging each person's existence and offering to be present. I have read the same thing about the Hopi tribal greetings; they focused attention on what's present. A beautiful... Continue Reading →

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The “Real” Perspective, a Human, Being

"We must first become human before seeking anything superior." Rene Daumal Well, that's it, isn't it? Years ago, I was deeply drawn into the images and concepts of achieving something special, or more accurately, becoming something special. A lot of time was spent attempting to achieve some "state" the professional "gurus" kept selling naive seekers.... Continue Reading →

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Tao of Seuss

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot. Nothing is going to get better. It's not. - Dr. Seuss I have a lot of Dr. Seuss books. They helped give me some valuable perspectives on life when I was in grade school. I was fortunate enough to have several teachers read from the books... Continue Reading →

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The Tao of Sadness

"A sadness of thought is not a sadness of being." - The Collective. I cannot hold or be a singular emotion. Emotions are interconnected and come in waves. I can only experience them as a mystery and actively engage the perspective that all emotions will rise and fall no matter how much time it takes.... Continue Reading →

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Those “Masters”

The conditioned separate self believes it has some conscious control over the streaming thought process, but it doesn’t. I have much less control than I like to believe, and although we tell stories of miraculously “enlightened” people who have become “masters,” there is no “separate self or mind” to master nor is there any location... Continue Reading →

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Kindness isn’t always Kind

Lately I've been thinking about a lot of today's "spiritual" materials and how I often hear the concept of "becoming kind." "Be kind," and sharing kindness with others is encouraged. I only have a few simple principles I attempt to follow. Treating others the way I want to be treated and expecting nothing from anyone... Continue Reading →

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The Tao of Righteous Anger

Lately I've noticed how much fun it is to be righteously angry. That weird state in which I'm not only angry but absolutely (in my little stream of thought) right! Being angry and "in the right" is up there with cocaine and amphetamine addiction as far as feeling invulnerable and safe. (That's from sad personal... Continue Reading →

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The Zen of seeking the self

"I am out with lanterns looking for myself." - Emily Dickinson Exactly so. What is that? What drives that search? I have always felt as though there is something else going on beneath the apparent surface, something deeper, and beyond my perceptions, as though the weave of life has a secret message that sings to... Continue Reading →

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The Tao of an Honest Being

"Self-honesty is not putting yourself down or feeling sorry for yourself. Self-honesty is looking at things as they are and then being compelled to make changes." - Frederick Lenz Self-honesty requires going into one's life process and seeing the social conditioning that has already painted your perceptions with conclusions about yourself. Once seen conditioning no... Continue Reading →

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Zen of Absence

"Can you imagine how liberating it is to never be disillusioned again, to never be disappointed again? You'll never feel let down again. Never feel rejected. Want to wake up? You want happiness? You want freedom? Here it is: Drop your false ideas" - Anthony de Mello Although I don't think we manufacture any states... Continue Reading →

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A robin, a grub, and Tao as View

As a part of my work practice, I enjoy working with the earth and I have been "landscaping" a section of the yard. Some yards of dirt were uncovered, and for several weeks a pair of robins taught their offspring about finding food in the overturned earth. It was an engaging thing to watch. Now... Continue Reading →

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Control the Tao?

No, I don't believe that's possible. It's like conceptualizing a square hole. Lately I've been noticing that the art of meditation, when presented as "formula's and path's," becomes another way to try to control and manipulate a life experience. But that's it isn't it? Humans resist the perspective of direct engagement because it manifests when... Continue Reading →

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Those Annoying Thoughts

"I'm my experience, we don't make thoughts appear, they just appear. One day I noticed their appearance wasn't personal. Noticing that really makes it simpler to inquire." - Byron Katie Another way of saying we are not our thoughts, despite how much conditioning tells us we consciously manufacturing thoughts, we're not. Our entire system, biological,... Continue Reading →

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Enough

"I exist as I am, that is enough." - Walt Whitman I have this saying on some notecards that are posted here and there, because I use this statement as a personal Koan or puzzle. I know I'm "supposed" to believe the statement, but alas, (I always wanted to use that word) I can't quite... Continue Reading →

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Tao of Waiting

"Trying to understand is like straining through muddy water. Have the patience to wait! Be still and allow the mud to settle." Lao Tzu A Human, Being, is processing information at 4-6 billion synaptic interactions PER SECOND. Hmm. Sometimes, not always, but more often than we believe, taking those minutes to allow all this massive... Continue Reading →

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The Tao of Changing Others

"We cannot change others, but when we change ourselves, we may end up changing the world." - Melody Beatie Gautama the most recent Buddha reflected on this when he wrestled with taking on the role of a "teacher." There was a conflict in the message, "you only have one life to work on and change,"... Continue Reading →

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Tao of Tears

lately I've been noticing how easily I cry when the conditions are right. I noticed this yesterday when I was listening to "Heroes" by David Bowie, the live version, the last recording. It's on YouTube and the reason I don't leave the link is the song probably won't work for you the way it does... Continue Reading →

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