The bitter irony of today? It is -8C/17F in New York right now. It is about 8C/46F here.
Here are some links to distract the mind from any notions about what constitutes "real" winter.
Check this out - another blogger likes my handspun! And one more treasury on etsy. Always a great compliment, and a good reminder to keep spinning.
Here is a wonderful link to a website where you can download software that temporarily blocks social media websites on your computer. Having trouble not slipping away to take a peek on Facebook? Block it! I'm doing it right now.
Here is an interesting post about childhood with particular references to Buddhist practice. It is lengthy but a worthwhile read. It might even be helpful to scroll to the end and check out the links to other posts on related topics first, then plow ahead with Marnie's post.
There has some discussion in the Buddhablogosphere (or whatever it is called these days) about whether or not to encourage children to participate in Buddhist practice, such as Christians do with Sunday school and CCD and things like that. Personally, I have no great insights into this. My children quickly tell me when I am overstepping my boundary when it comes to involving them in my practice. That said, they know I sit every morning and go to sesshin, that I have a teacher, etc.. Sometimes I accidently on purpose let them overhear me listening to dharma discourses on the computer. This seems mainly to elicit from them silly imitations of the teachers..."Everything is empty...emptiness...don't forget, everything is empty.." they say and laugh and laugh. Who are these stupid adults that they have to hear the same thing over and over and over? Um, that would be me, my darlings.
No, the best way I have succeeded in making what I do seem worthwhile in their eyes was to ask one of the very awesome people in the sangha, a young, talented artist named Rami Efal, come and teach a graphic novel class at our house. When they saw the rock star, Rami, was part of this whole thing, then it definitely became a whole lot cooler.
Mainly I trust that, when the time comes and they start asking themselves questions about life and death, they will remember that their mom has this practice and that it seems to mean a lot to her so maybe it would be worthwhile to check it out. Am I being too passive? I don't think so. I have a lot of faith that by living together as we do they see, probably more than anyone else, what this practice really means. They really hear it, see it, feel it, for better or worse. Ok, I admit that I have asked them to please, just one time, come and participate in the Zen teen program at ZMM. I have confidence that the very rock star-like Shoan, who runs the program, will totally make them want to go back for more. You know, a few rock stars never hurt anyone.
And since we are talking about talking about Zen, check out WZEN.org, where you can hear podcasts of dharma discourses for yourself from the three teachers at ZMM. But if you have mocking comments such as the one above, please keep them to yourself. I get enough of that around here.