May 22, 2011

The Light in Me see's The Light in You

So if I can meditate I feel fortunate. If I can meditate with Ahjuan I feel inspired, blessed and much more. Today was all the above. When i got to the temple Ahjuan was performing some kind of ceremony that might bring good fortune to someone who lost a job and out of work for some time. So Nice!!! Than he started his ritual chanting before meditation. Half way through meditation two people came in he began to talk with them I continued to meditate. When I was done I found out the two were college students researching Buddhism and meditation. One of the girls was Laos and the other American, The Laos girl ask me what had brought me here and why I began to meditate. It took me a second but I simply told her I was meditating with friends back home but what really brought me down this path was a time over a year ago that had stuck with me. It is or was hard to explain until today. Ok it might not be easy to explain but I'll try my best. I had a moment that was profound to me and while reading "Stages of Meditation" by the Dalai Lama it dawned on me what to call it "Emptiness" ultimate reality, free from elaborations, it is uncontaminated. It felt so good I needed more so here I am. Lucky enough to find a teacher like Ahjuan I told them he is a great teacher.
Than Ahjuan began to talk for a long time time to this girl in Laos I had know idea what they were talking about I think he may have told some stories of his life as a young man and it my have been very brutal. As time went on I realized I had to go and I politely excused myself but I wanted to know what he had said and wanted the girl to email me. She said he said many thing and she couldn't understand everything. I kind of laughed but on the way out she told me He said that He saw something in me strong and good. I told those girls that just blew my mind and made me very emotional as it does just writing it. I can't wait to see him again.

I pay homage to that being sublime
Amongst the Buddhas, the propounder of the teaching,
Who taught that things arise through dependence
And that there is no cessation, no birth,
No annihilation, no permanence,
No coming and no going,
No separate meaning and no sameness,
Thoroughly free from elaborations, and completely at peace

May 20, 2011

Hard Day / Great Day

I had a rough day Wednesday I was very frustrated, agitated, belittled, and sad. What to do tried to get my mind right but couldn't. My day improved but it was still lingering. Vent to my gracious wife but still there. Fortunately I had a chance to go meditate at the Buddhist temple with Ahjuan. When you meditate sometimes your mind wonders all over the place and you can't focus but if you keep taking steady breaths and breathe in the bad and out with good. Ya I know it may sound strange to go that way but that is the way another teacher of mine had taught me " why would you want to put bad back into the world when you have the power to change yourself and your environment" I like that It seems to give me strength. Any way I was able to get on track and remembered what a friend (KP) had told me all people know good from bad. In this situation I was mad at someone that I felt was harming my integrity and couldn't speak my mind and be heard, that's what really got my goat. All people know good from bad why did this come into my mind. Yeah that's it I don't have to get all worked up, I don't have to prove myself, I know who I am and I'm happy with that. I don't have to tell the other person he's wrong, he knows good from bad.

What a relief the burden was gone and I didn't have to be a jerk about it I felt great. Meditation is such a powerful tool I think I will keep doing it. Ajhuan says you should meditate every day, I'm trying.

The root of Buddhism is the Four Nobel Truths, which states that there is suffering and we can rise above it by applying techniques which reduce our attachment and clinging to things, people and life itself.

"Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others."

May 15, 2011

No words

I'm in Lakeville, MN I have had about 4 days off due to weather. My normal past time might be fishing and drinking, uh going out with friends and drinking, or staying in room and drinking. I will admit I did have a glass of wine Thurs. But that night I decided to continue my journey to self improvement and that lead me to the Wat Lao Buddhist Temple just a hop skip from here.

I have noticed this place for quit some time but in the past i was curious but to scared. Was I scared this time, not really. I guess I was ready. Friday morning I pulled into this beautiful courtyard were i was greeted by a monk who was doing some gardening (he had rubber boots on under his robe) I asked if there were any time to meditate and he invited me at 4pm. I was pretty excited to practice with the pros. So on my return there he was on the mower cutting grass and he gave me a kind wave. I was reading my meditation book and he was finishing up I guess but he started a vehicle and I was wondering what was going on. He tried to explain but his English was not clear but than I saw he had gotten the mower stuck. So yep I helped getting it out, it was a trip to say the least.

This kind sole told me to go into the temple i thought it was this one building but it was locked and he directed me to the other, temple confusion. I had no idea of etiquette so that's me winging it. The monks name is Vunsang which I found out the next day you don't call him by his name. You say Ahjuan which means teacher yes I called him Vunsang duh. So we go to the altar and I just about sat up on the same area as him he said no no you sit there. Than he said now we chant, chant long than meditate and gave out a giggle. Ya it was long about 1 1/2 hours with legs crossed but I loved it. Than we meditated for 30 min and he invited me to eat. I felt very honored.

The next day Saturday I was able to get more info via the Internet and a nice lady at the temple. Don't call him by name, take shoes off at door figured that one out on my own, bow three times when you enter and three times at altar, don't set higher than Ahjuan, don't point feet towards the Buddha. I don't Know how tho spell her name but it's V and she had two granddaughters with her 5 - 8 they were just as crazy as my kids. Made me miss them, the girls were fighting and loud but when we began to chant they settled down and it was a long time for them to set. It was amazing. After meditation I met a man KP and he took a lot of time to explain certain things and just get to know me and i didn't realize they were going to perform a ceremony yep more chanting but i was completely into it. This was the preparations for tomorrows ceremony. Yes KP invited me to eat with them. The food is Laos food lots of sticky rice and you use your fingers
mostly to eat good good food.

Sunday morning there were many people there to celebrate the birth of Buddha, his first ceremony, and the day of enlightenment. I know right i get to experience this blows my mind.
Lots of chanting its a time to donate. You take this bowl full of food and some money and empty it out on a table while making wishes for good things for family friends anything. Well I didn't have a basket so some of the women made one up and gave it to me to empty. Another wow.
We tied these stings on some of the Buddhas statues for good luck I had one left over and KP said put on Ahjuan. Ahjuan say you have good luck John. He had a banana in his hand while I was tying the string on, he said this is not for you, it made me laugh.

We finished the ceremony with offering food to Ahjuan and than KP made an announcement at the end he ask me to tell every one what brought me here. Ah Ah Ah. The funny thing was I didn't have any words of wisdom but I was able to speak clear and calm to a group of about 100 plus that i didn't know. Than we ate.

That was just what I experienced physically there is no way I could even begin to describe my emotions my deepest most inner thoughts.


"I am the owner of my karma .
I inherit my karma.
I am born of my karma.
I am related to my karma.
I live supported by my karma.
Whatever karma I create, whether good or evil, that I shall inherit."
The Buddha, Anguttara Nikaya V.57 - Upajjhatthana Sutta

May 3, 2011


This song is AMAZING.  I love it, love the band.  It makes me think of John, and it reminds me of the conversations we have.

 Lyrics here:
_Home_  by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

We've been married for nearly 17 years.  And the years keep getting better.  And the love keeps growing stronger.  Good, good stuff.