The number of wonderful days since I retired

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Since I counted down to my retirement, during my morning, leisurely walk with Rylie this morning, I decided that it might be fun to count just how many days I am retired. Time – it’s wonderful when you can enjoy every second with thinking about a future deadline or time-crunch.

since I retired.

Party time!

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It was a serious party at the bird feeder this morning. At the height, there were 12 wrens (I think) playing on and around the feeder.


Putting the self in perspective

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Below is from the Daily Dharma 8/22/16. It is a powerful statement that can be confusing to many – “give up myself?” Not really, just get rid of the baggage that you carry around in your self.

August 22, 2016

Giving Up Fear
A quick summation of Buddhist logic: the source of my anxiety is not the succession of objects to which it attaches itself but that volatile heap of memory and habit I have come to call “myself.” Give it up and you give up your fear; cling to it, and fear will haunt you always.

—Lawrence Shainberg, “Ambivalent Zen

Being Able To Be Present

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By watching Rylie for 2 1/2 years, I’m convinced that the early existentialist philosophers observed dogs and developed existentialism from the way dogs live. I’ve never seen a being able to adapt so quickly to the present moment, regardless of what the past moments were.


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Imagine you’re a radio transmitter and receiver. Go out and look to the sky and transmit your thoughts, feelings, vibes to the sky and imagine beyond. Place no distance restraint on how far you will send; just hurl them into space. Then wait. You might get a response! Or try the opposite – go out, look up, and be  a receiver. You might be amazed if you can just let yourself go.

Personal Peace

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One way of moving towards a personal sense of peace is to stop judging others. By judging others, you are putting yourself in a position that inflames your thinking and feeling, such that it causes ill health, physical or emotional. The next time you feel yourself judging someone, try seeing their life through their lens, not yours. It’s OK to disagree, but we must allow others to be who they have to be.

Moon and Jupiter conjunction

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It was behind a tree, so I caught a little of a branch across the moon. I used my Pentax K100 with a Sigma 70-300 zoom and IMGP1406macro.


Confidence in yourself

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In today’s Daily Dharma from the Tricycle: Buddhist Review:

People who are attached to sutras and a scriptural teaching of words can lack faith in the living, mysterious experience of meditation that leads to a sudden insight. They are . . . attached to the stubborn habit of distinguishing between “true” and “not true.” Believing only what is written in holy texts, they are conceptually mesmerized by the treasures of others, instead of digging inside to discover the priceless gems of their own, lying deep within. —So Sahn

This applies to many experiences and beliefs, across many areas of human endeavor. Confidence is the key word here,  as many people lack personal confidence to basically think for themselves. We’ve been beaten down over the centuries to blindly accept religious beliefs, medical “facts,” health issues, politics, economics, etc, so as to take away our ability to think for ourselves. It’s not easy, but it is achievable. Mindfulness training, guided meditation, and basically taking the time to realize your beliefs and from whence they stem.


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The State of Pure Awakening

Dismiss all the thoughts which bother your mind. Train yourself during many days, many months, many years, to retain this pure mind. One day, when your empty mind has become crystallized, suddenly it will be illumined by its own intrinsic wisdom. At that instant you will realize the state of pure awakening. 

– Sokei-an, “Return to Your Original State!

An important realization

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“Nobody is going to save you from your own mind. Nobody can get into the heart of your experience and fix anything for you. If you want to make your own internal experience more hospitable, only you can do that work. Others can always support and guide you and spark insights, but ultimately you are your own boss and the agent of understanding your mind and opening your heart.”

– Ethan Nichtern, “Awake with Others”