Sang-gye

Healer | Teacher | Friend

We want to escape. We want to run away from pain rather than regard it as a source of inspiration. We feel the suffering to be bad enough, so why investigate it further? Some people who suffer a great deal realize that they cannot escape their suffering really begin to understand it. But most people are too busy attempting to rid themselves of irritation, too busy seeking distractions from themselves to look into the material they already have. It is too embarrassing to look into it. This is the attitude of paranoia: if you look too closely, you will find something fearful. But in order to be a completely inspired person like Gautama Buddha, you have to be very open-minded ad intelligent, an inquisitive person. You have to want to explore everything, even though it may be ugly, painful, or repulsive.

—Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism - Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Urban Cycling as a Spiritual Practice

   

This is the reason I love cycling. It’s much more than the simple action of taking me from one place to another. It does transport me from place to place with beautiful views and plenty of people to smile at, but I also spread love with every pedal forward. I love being exposed to the elements so I can look others in the eye and send them support for their suffering. I use my bicycle to explore the world in which I live in, to help others, and not to mention save the earth. Every person I meet on the road I wish them happiness and freedom. This includes all the people who honk at me or yell for me to move out of the way, may they be free as well. I love cycling because it is in the purest form, an expression of love for all who may encounter me. I’ll take the wrecks, falls, and broken bones if it means just a little more peace for those searching for happiness in the world. I love practicing mindfulness on my bike because in NYC you pretty much have to. If you lose that awareness for just a moment, the universe will remind you. It’s a process of becoming one with the bike and following the eb and flow of the road and your breathing. Letting go, and being simply on the seat, moving through the dream.

I also love not giving MTA any money and getting my exercise in on the commute. Next time you see a cyclist on the road. Smile at them.

Showing Up

The pain of the past;

the anticipation of the future;

The sweetness of the present;

You choose.

We mustn’t be our brain’s bitch.

We liberate ourselves by simply resting our minds on the challenging feelings we experience without the usual overlay of our thoughts about how good or bad it feels, or why we feel this way, or who is to blame for how we feel. We can drop the storyline, drop the constant inner commentary, drop the ideas and concepts about what we are experiencing and instead directly experience the reality of our life as it is at any given moment. We don’t have to obsess over negative emotions and we don’t have to chase them away either—we can simply notice them the way we notice our thoughts when we meditate: with bare, brave attention.

There is a fine tuned ecology between each of us, and each of our actions has a wide effect, just like ripples from dropping pebbles in a pond. Each time we open and help someone, it has a ripple effect. Instead of adding more fear, aggression, and paranoia in the world, we’re adding more nonaggression, openness, and loving-kindness. As individuals are transformed at an inner level, the benefit spreads to their families, to their communities, and to the world.

—Pema Chodron

Intention

For the rest of my life, it is my responsibility to grow in mindfulness and happiness. Each day I will expand the loving kindness I already have, and each morning I will open my wisdom-eye to see more and more deeply into the inner universal reality. I take responsibility for my life and dedicate it to others by growing strong in loving kindness and wisdom. I will serve others as much as possible.

There is no need to struggle to be free; the absence of struggle is in itself freedom. This egoless state is the attainment of buddhahood. The process of transforming the material of mind from expressions of ego’s ambition into expressions of basic sanity and enlightenment through the practice of meditation—this might be said to be the true spiritual path.

—Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism - Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Longing, felt fully, carries us to belonging. The more times we traverse this path—feeling the loneliness or craving, and inhabiting its immensity—the more the longing for love becomes a getaway into love itself. Our longings don’t disappear, nor does the need for others. But by opening into the well of desire—again and again—we come to trust the boundless love that is it’s source.

—Tara Brach in Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha.

The warrior’s decorum is this natural togetherness and calm, which comes from feeling of being in harmony with yourself and with the environment. You don’t have to try to fit yourself into situations, but situations fit naturally. When you achieve this level of decorum, then you can abandon the final vestiges of the giant backpack of habitual patterns that you have been carrying for so long to protect yourself from nature. You can appreciate nature’s own qualities, and you see that you do not need your bag of ego-centered tricks. You realize that you can live with nature, as it is, and as you are. You feel a sense of ease or looseness. You feel at home in your world.

—Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche - Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior