Precious Life: Precious Teacher

Lately when people ask, “How are you?” instead of responding with “good,” I say, “fortunate.” I thought about this. Just “good”, when either I am doing well or not, doesn’t truly represent my present state. I am though, fortunate. Fortunate to live where I do, to be in loving relationships, to have the health I have, to have access to such vast inner and outer resources. I am fortunate to have encountered such a teacher as the Venerable Geshe Sopa at Deer Park. In my recent book, I offer 11 core principles of the zero point agreement, one which is … Continue reading

Promise Me This

  This is the third piece in the Venerable Geshe Lhundup Sopa’s introductory teachings, the “lessons before the lessons.” We are still on the verse taken from Nagarjuna, Letters to a Friend.     “Whosoever was negligent previously But later became attentive and careful, Shines forth like the moon freed from clouds, Just like Nanda, Angulimala, Ajustastru, and Udayana.”                                            –Nagarjuna, Letters to a Friend, Verse 14 (Leslie Kawanura)  After his teaching, I offer up a commentary, some spiritual journaling prompts, … Continue reading

A Skeptic Awakening at the Foot of One Sage

I consider myself a willing skeptic at the feet of many sages and yoginis. I am willing to explore and to reach for meaning while being given spiritual instruction. During various teachings, rituals and empowerments that I attended over the years at Deer Park in Oregon Wisconsin, I was deeply inspired by the Venerable Geshe Lhundub Sopa’s introductory teachings. I admit that these “lessons before the lessons” often held more meaning for me than the primary teachings. I was able then, and now, to use these teachings in a more practiced way, integrating them into my daily life. After hearing … Continue reading

Tornado Warnings, Shinyata and the Blue Heron

“It feels real to me Julie.” “I know. But it’s not. If it were real it would be true for everyone all the time,” I said. “I do get a peek at what’s on the other side,” he reminded himself. “What’s there?,” I asked. “Love, . . . Is that real?” “As real as you and I sitting here.”                                     ­­–A conversation with a client, he was referring to the obstructions of fear and depression that surround him. One of my intentions for attending the teachings this month at Deer Park was to expose myself to the wisdom of … Continue reading

The Blessing of The Guru

  “Just look along the road, and tell me if you can see either of them.” “I see nobody on the road,” said Alice. “I only wish I had such eyes,” said the King remarked in a fretful tone. “To be able to see Nobody! And at that distance too! Why, it’s as much as I can do to see real people, by this light!” ­Lewis Carol, Alice in Wonderland Something happened to me on my way to enlightenment . . . I had already written 3 ½ pages in response to my second week at Deer Park (too much probably for … Continue reading