Bodichitta: The Heart of Everyday Life

Monday, August 24th, 2015
I-10 East, New Orleans to Mobile. August 2015. Photo: MBuffett
I-10 East, New Orleans to Mobile. August 2015. Photo: MBuffett

Even ordinary people like us with hang-ups and confusion have this mind of enlightenment called bodhichitta. An analogy for bodhichitta  is the rawness of a broken heart. This is our link with all those who have ever loved. This genuine heart of sadness can teach us great compassion. It can humble us when we are arrogant and soften us when we are unkind. It awakens us when we prefer to sleep and pierces through our indifference. This continual ache of the heart broken open is a blessing that when accepted fully can be shared with all.

The openness and warmth of bodhichitta is in fact our true nature and condition. Even when our neurosis feels far more basic than our wisdom, even when we’re feeling most confused and hopeless, bodhichitta – like the open sky – is always here, undiminished by the clouds that temporarily cover it.
-from Comfortable With Uncertainty by Pema Chodron

BIRDWINGS

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015
Inhale Exhale. New Orleans. August 2015. Photo: MBuffett
Inhale Exhale. New Orleans. August 2015. Photo: MBuffett

BIRDWINGS

Your grief for what you’ve lost lifts a mirror up to where you’re bravely working.
Expecting the worst, you look, and instead, here’s the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see.
Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open you would be paralyzed.
Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as bird wings.
-Rumi

be happy. becOMe this mOMent

Monday, August 17th, 2015
River Road Train Tracks, New Orleans, August 2015. Photo: MBuffett
River Road Train Tracks, New Orleans, August 2015. Photo: MBuffett

Being able to stop and be aware of the present moment is part of the definition of happiness. It is not possible to be happy in the future. This is not a matter of belief; this is a matter of experience.

- from Silence by Thich Nhat Hanh

Lotus : Sweetness In The Depths

Thursday, August 13th, 2015
Urdhva Padmasana, New Orleans, July 2015. Photo: MBuffett
Supported Urdhva Padmasana (Upward Facing Lotus), New Orleans, July 2015. Photo: MBuffett

LOTUS

On the day when the lotus bloomed, alas, my mind was straying, and I knew it not. My basket was empty and the flower remained unheeded.

Only now and again a sadness fell upon me, and I started up from my dream and felt a sweet trace of a strange fragrance in the south wind.

That vague sweetness made my heart ache with longing and it seemed to me that is was the eager breath of the summer seeking for its completion.

I knew not then that it was so near, that it was mine, and that this perfect sweetness had blossomed in the depth of my own heart.

-Rabindranath Tagore

Dolphin Love

Monday, August 10th, 2015
Dolphin Pose. Fish River, Alabama, August 2015. Photo: LBuffett & MBuffett
Dolphin Pose. Fish River, Alabama, August 2015. Photo: LBuffett & MBuffett

This weekend while paddle boarding with my mother and her sweetheart on Fish River in Lower Alabama, dolphins appeared and swam beside us.  It was an extraordinary blessing and reminder that all sentient beings are essentially bonded to and by

Nature, Spirit, and Love.

In their honor I did a variation of dolphin pose on my board.

“Dolphins have a wise, innocent, purity of being which reaches out to our inner nature. Follow their lead and open yourself to the energy of love, harmony, and balance. Express your inner truth, be true to yourself. Follow your inner joy. Dolphin is asking you to go back to your roots, to the depths of your being and rediscover the love that you truly are.
Dolphins spend most of their day playing. Their life is lived in joyful harmony with each other and their world. Apparently they have learned the lesson that love is the most important factor in life.
Dolphin wisdom includes – knowledge of the sea, change, patron of sailors, harmony, balance, communication skills, freedom, trust, understanding the power of rhythm in your life, water element magic, unselfishness.
Dolphin reminds us to get out, play, breathe and most importantly to love.”
-from shamanicjourney.com, Dolphin Power Animal, by Ina Woolcoat

the cOMplimentary union of yoga + pilates

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015
Reformer Asana Play at Romney Pilates. New Orleans, August 2015. Photo: MBuffett
Reformer Asana Play at Romney Pilates. New Orleans, August 2015. Photo: MBuffett

“Good posture can be successfully acquired only when the entire mechanism of the body is under perfect control. Graceful carriage follows as a matter of course.”  -Joseph Pilates

“It is through the alignment of the body that I discovered the alignment of my mind, self, and intelligence.” -B.K.S. Iyengar

Yoga Roots

Monday, August 3rd, 2015
Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Downward Facing Tree Pose/Handstand). New Orleans, July 2015. Photo: BKane & MBuffett
Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Downward Facing Tree Pose/Handstand). New Orleans, July 2015. Photo: BKane & MBuffett

A lamp does not flicker in a place where no winds blow; so it is with a yogi, who controls his mind, intellect and self, being absorbed in the spirit within him. When the restlessness of mind, intellect and self is stilled through the practice of Yoga, the yogi by the grace of the spirit within himself finds fulfillment. Then he knows the joy eternal, which is beyond the pale of the senses which his reason cannot grasp. He abides in this reality and moves not therefrom. He has found the treasure above all others. There is nothing higher than this. He who has achieved it, shall not be moved by the greatest sorrow. This is the real meaning of Yoga – a deliverance from contact with pain and sorrow.

-from Chapter 6 of The Bhagavad Gita

Thought Wings

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015
Ustrasana Variation. New  Orleans, August 2015. Photo: MBuffett
Ustrasana Variation. New Orleans, August 2015. Photo: MBuffett

Every object and being in the universe is a jar overfilled with wisdom and beauty, a drop of the Tigris that cannot be contained by any skin. Every jarful spills and makes the earth more shining, as though covered in satin…

You knock at the door of reality, shake your thought-wings, loosen your shoulders, and open.

-from The Gift of Water by Rumi

Dance When You’re Broken Open

Thursday, July 30th, 2015
Natarajasana (Lord of the Dance Pose). New Orleans, July 2015. Photo: BKane & MBuffett
Natarajasana (Lord of the Dance Pose). New Orleans, July 2015. Photo: BKane & MBuffett

A secret turning in us makes the universe turn. Head unaware of feet, and feet head. Neither cares. They keep turning…

Something opens our wings. Something makes boredom and hurt disappear. Someone fills the cup in front of us. We taste only sacredness…

Dance, when you’re broken open.
Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off.
Dance in the middle of the fighting.
Dance in your blood.

Dance, when you’re perfectly free.

-from The Turn: Dance In Your Blood by Rumi

Love Lifts Me

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Amer Palace, Jaipur Rajasthan, India. March 2011. Photo: MBuffett
Amer Palace, Jaipur Rajasthan, India. March 2011. Photo: MBuffett

 

SHE RESPONDED

The birds’ favorite songs

You do not hear,

For their most flamboyant music takes place

When their wings are stretched

Above the trees

And they are smoking the opium

Of pure freedom.

It is healthy for the prisoner

To have faith

That one day he will again move about

Wherever he wants,

Feel the wondrous gift of life —

Less structured,

Find all wounds, debts stamped canceled,

Paid.

I once asked a bird,

“How is it that you fly in this gravity

Of darkness?”

She responded,

“Love lifts

Me.”

-Hafiz