Thích Nhất Hạnh sees the suffering in us

Thích Nhất Hạnh looked at me from the most sorrowful eyes I have ever seen and I understood what it was like for a person to feel all the suffering the world is experiencing.

I had attended a five-day silent retreat at Blue Cliff Monastery in upstate New York with some thousand others who meditated morning, noon and night. Someone would ring a bell as you walked through the monastery grounds and just like clock-work, everyone would stop what they were doing and rest in the present moment. Continue reading

Sleeping Again as if I’m still a Youngster!

I slept through the night last night.

To me, it’s a big deal for it is something I haven’t done in quite a while. You see, I got prostrate problems. I got diagnosed with it while at the VA hospital and I take medication every night, but no matter what I do, I still have to get up in the idle of the ight and take a pee.

Yeah, I leave my warm bed and shuffle off to the bathroom next door, turn on the light and let it all come out. I’m still have asleep while I’m doing it and I never fail but to wonder how long it will take for e to get back to sleep.

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Sleep and not awake in middle of a night

It’s usually 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning when this takes place. I remember staying up this late as a younger man, partying hardy til at least Quarter to Three. Remember that song? I danced to a quarter of three along with Gary US Bonds?

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Well, I feel lucky if I can get back to the sandman within 15 minutes. If I get up at 4 or 5 am I am usually up for the next day’s incarnation.

And so when I tell you I slept through the night I am telling the world I feel young again and so refreshed I could take on whatever the day has to offer me. Let me at ’em!

Giggling at somber times can enlighten you

Alexander giggled like a schoolboy as 40 of us met in a service Sunday and quietly tried to meditate for some 30 minutes.

Wait a minute. He is a school boy. Alexander was all of 14 years old yesterday while attending the Tibetan Buddhist Center of Philadelphia along with his mother. I was sitting next to the youth and about halfway through the gathering, a sound erupted from the other side of the room. It sound like someone adjusting a metal chair on the wooden floor, but to a young mind like that of Alexander, it also sounded like someone farting. Continue reading

Sign language opens my heart to neighbors

My greatest concern when I placed the political signs on my lawn was whether they would offend someone in my neighborhood. I live in a working class section of Pennsylvania, some 15 miles outside of Philadelphia. It was dependent on steel and manufacturing for many years but eventually saw a decline as jobs left the little borough of Conshohocken for elsewhere. Continue reading