With a little help from our friends: Kunzang Palyul Choling

Seven DC Occupiers visited a Buddhist community in Maryland as part of Occupy Faith DC.  Kunzang Palyul Choling (KPC) delivers food to the Occupy DC camps several times a week, motivated by their philosophy of service and socially engaged Buddhism.

April Parsons of McPherson Square said, “Going to KPC was such an enlightening experience.” She enjoyed the tour of the main building and prayer rooms: “As you walk inside you can feel such an intense beautiful energy. It’s like a feeling of purity. I felt connected to everything around me through an energy of love and peace.” She’d like to visit again when she gets the chance.

(Image by coolrevolution.net)

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Cool Quote of the Day

When I was about six years old I received the essential bodhicitta teaching from an old woman sitting in the sun. I was walking by her house one day feeling lonely, unloved, and mad, kicking anything I could find. Laughing, she said to me, “Little girl, don’t you go letting life harden your heart.”

Right there I received this pithy instruction: we can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften and make us kinder and more open to what scares us. We always have this choice.

-Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You

(image by watchsmart)

Cool Quote of the Day

Compassion has nothing to do with achievement at all. It is spacious and very generous. When a person develops real compassion, he is uncertain whether he is being generous to others or to himself because compassion is environmental generosity, without direction, without “for me,” and without “for them.” It is filled with joy in the sense of trust, in the sense that joy contains tremendous wealth, richness. We could say that compassion is the ultimate attitude of wealth: an anti-poverty attitude, a war on want. It contains all sort of heroic, juicy, positive, visionary, expansive qualities. And it implies a larger scale thinking, a freer and more expansive way of relating to yourself and the world.

–Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

Unafraid of insecurity

Photo by Tidewater Muse

Rudolph Bahro writes, “When an old culture is dying, the new culture is created by those people who are not afraid to be insecure.”

I suppose some would question whether an old culture is dying now, but somehow it rings true for me that we’re in a time of major change, a major transition in the world, and many of us are rather nervous about where we’re headed.

You can think of insecurity as a moment in time that we experience over and over in our lives. when you feel insecurity, whether you’re feeling it in the middle of the night out of nowhere or whether it’s constant, there is a groundless and unformed quality to it.

You can think of the groundlessness and openness of insecurity as a chance that we’re given over and over to choose a fresh alternative. Things happen to us all the time that open up the space….It’s like the sky….And this is accessible to us all the time.

-Pema Chödrön, Practicing Peace in Times of War

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The Path of the Cool Hero

The Path of the Cool Hero

“On the journey of the warrior-bodhisattva, the path goes down, not up, as if the mountain pointed toward the earth instead of the sky. Instead of transcending the suffering of all creatures, we move toward turbulence and doubt however we can. We explore the reality and unpredictability of insecurity and pain, and we try not to push it away. If it takes years, if it takes lifetimes, we let it be as it is. At our own pace, without speed or aggression, we move down and down and down. With us move millions of others, companions in awakening from fear.”

– Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty

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Unafraid of insecurity

Cool Heroes of the Day: Buddhist Peace Fellowship

Washington Buddhist Peace Fellowship at Freedom Plaza

On Saturday, December 3, Buddhist Peace Fellowship invited its worldwide membership to partake in Nine Minutes of Silence at precisely 3pm at Occupy sites.

Washington Buddhist Peace Fellowship gathered at OccupyDC at Freedom Plaza for the meditation.

A Dedication set the intention:

Through [practicing, praying, meditating, resting in silence] together we offer our personal transformation as a means for social transformation, and through social engagement we offer our open hearts, and our energy, to others.

[Full Dedication here.]

Buddhist Peace Fellowship also released a statement explaining why it supports the Occupy Movement. “Occupying the Present Moment” cites interconnectedness, the suffering which inequality causes, nonviolent tactics, and solidarity with “the 100%.”

Cool Heroes of the Day: Kunzang Palyul Choling

photo by @mmorri

Six members of the Vajrayana Buddhist community Kunzang Palyul Choling in Poolesville, MD arrived at McPherson Park during the confrontation between police and DC Occupiers. They chanted prayers to generate the Buddha of compassion.