PLATINUM INSURANCE

36e4cbc86a09d338c9b54bed3a0b98fdHow are you? I asked a friend in Manhattan. Oh, I’m just FINE, he said with a laugh—then proceeded to inform me that FINE was an anagram for Fuddled, Insecure, Neurotic and Egocentric. (Actually he used two hyphenated words for the ‘f,’ but I think I’ll leave what they are to your rich imagination.)

The fact is that almost every one of us is (or has been) fraught by a million insecurities—and who could blame us? Consider the world wars our species has endured, the concentration camps and gulags, the ugliness of misogyny and patriarchy that plague so many, in a nutshell, man’s inhumanity to man—all of which leave scars on the collective human psyche. Above all, consider our ephemeral nature, as fragile as a snowflake melting under a hot sun. No matter how big we are in the world, nothing can protect us from old age, sickness and death; yes, when Yama , Lord of Death throws his deadly noose around our necks to remove us from this plane of existence, no power on earth can stop him. Continue reading

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The Impermanence of All Things – Samsara’s Seven Flavors – #5/12

impermanence-cartoonFlavor #1: Impermanence. Great sutras teach us that all people and things inevitably vanish, like dewdrops evaporating in the radiant morning sun; however, while intellectually we may accept that all that is born must eventually die, in our daily lives we ignore the stark fact that not just our intimate relationships and material possessions, but also our bodies and minds, are hurtling inexorably towards destruction.

Let’s say my lover presents me with an exquisite magenta orchid in a delicate porcelain bowl. I are aware that all flowers die, and yet I simultaneously perceive this orchid as having permanence. When I wake up next morning, my precious orchid is wilting, and by evening, it’s dead — bursting the bubble in which I first saw it as solid and permanent. Continue reading

Diamond Sword – Samsara’s Seven Flavors #4/12

Check out these excerpts from the introduction I wrote on Mahamudra:

woman-swordImagine you own a sword fashioned of pure diamond which can slice through to the blazing heart of reality. This sword, however, is sheathed in layers of ignorance and is your own mind, your own consciousness. The poisons that dull its brilliance are delusions about the ultimate nature of reality, poisons that begin to form from our first moments of consciousness, when we begin to see all things as fixed in their nature — beautiful and ugly, cruel and kind, good and bad.

Feelings spring forth from this world-view. We learn to like and dislike, to desire and to push away, to crave and to seek escape. This gives rise to an uncontrollable stream of thoughts, often resulting in heedless words and actions. Continue reading