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medhanandi2Sati Saraniya
Hermitage

A 9-Day Vipassana Meditation Retreat
With Ayya Medhanandi Bhikkhuni
At the Marguerite Center, Pembroke, Ontario
March 13 to March 22, 2009

For more information please visit this location at the Ottawa Buddhist Society website.

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elizabeth-alexander-001As with pretty much everyone else on the planet, I’m over the moon about Obama becoming president.  I have all the same reasons to hope as everyone else: hope for human rights, hope for a reinstatement of science and environmental awareness, hope for a decent supreme court justice or two… and one more besides – the poetic company he keeps.

I was inspired to spiritual hope by Elizabeth Alexander’s inauguration poem “Praise song for the day”.  Not withstanding some literary criticism of the poem, some passages were transcendent:

Some live by “Love thy neighbor as thy self.”

Others by “First do no harm”, or “Take no more than you need”.

What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.

In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.

So this is a president who might reflect on the question “What if the mightiest word is love?” – I don’t know about you, but that stirs my hope.

timeFor Hanukkha / New Year’s, Brenda and I recieved Andy Goldsworthy’s book – TIME.  Andy’s art – in addition to being beautiful and haunting in its own right – is a meditation on change and transformation in Nature.

Earlier today, I was thinking about the inexorable process of aging and this thought that has been floating around in meditation circles that meditation is the process of preparing to die (so that you can live!)  

Being present here and now, is really about the process of accepting the inevitable forces of change. Renouncing the desire to keep things as they are and accepting the  flow of change – embracing whatever there is.  That’s the secret to happiness.

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