Articles by " Jan"
9 Dec
2019
Posted in: Generosity, Practice
By    No Comments

Freely Offered

While I was in California, I was talking with Phillip about my practice of posting on this Dharmatown website, and he asked me if I use a royalty-free site for the images. I told him no, that I just google around until I find something that fits. He didn’t say anything and so I went on talking about other things.

But the question has stayed with me. Truth is, I haven’t been particularly careful about checking whether or not the images I use are — in the strictest sense — freely offered. (As in: I undertake the precept of not taking that which is not freely offered.) I’ve always figured that if it’s already on the web, and it doesn’t have an obvious copyright mark, then it’s OK for me to use — since I’m not claiming ownership or making a profit from it or anything like that.

But now that doesn’t feel quite right.

So I’ve decided to take more responsibility for the images/texts I use. You may have noticed that since I’ve come back from that trip, I’ve either used images/texts that belong to me personally or I’ve credited the source of those images/texts and provided a link.

And as a way to make amends for my previous lack of attention, I’ve decided to try to use more images that I, personally, create — the drawing of this teapot, for example — and, explicitly, to offer them freely.

***

Idam me silam maggaphalananassa paccayo hotu.
(May my ethical conduct lead to the highest fruits of liberation for myself and for all beings.)

6 Dec
2019
Posted in: Teachers
By    No Comments

Love, Mirabai.

While I was away, Mirabai sent me this link to a video recording of the “Just Like Me” meditation she led for 2,000 people (online) in celebration of World Kindness Day, which apparently was Nov 13th. (Who knew!)

And check out this photo from the retreat in Maui she’s leading right now with Ram Dass, Jack Kornfield, Trudy Goodman, and Krishna Das.

Oh, and what about the t-shirt she’s wearing! Is that great or what!!!

***

(Mirabai’s meditation begins at the 33:32 point of the recording; her photo can be found on Facebook; the t-shirt is from Black Lotus Rising.)

5 Dec
2019
Posted in: Poems
By    No Comments

Solids are not Solid

The Gaps
by Frances Leviston,
courtesy of Pome

And then they revealed that solids were not solid
That a wall was not solid
That it consisted of molecules fixed and vibrating
Some distance apart, as did the flesh

That solidity was really the likelihood
Of stuff not falling
Between two chairs, down the gaps

And that walking through the wall was not impossible
That it could be like
Slipping between pine trunks into a forest
Which had looked from the road impermeable
But was where something lived

And that one could peer back from the gloom towards the light
A different creature
With tender eyes, with an ear for water.

***

image credit: My Heart is Dancing into the Universe, by Yayoi Kusama, published in The Strand Magazine, 2018/10/15

4 Dec
2019
Posted in: Groups
By    No Comments

Introducing: Tuesday Night Insight Group!

Beginning January 7, Jan Rosamond will lead a new, weekly meditation group — Tuesday Night Insight — which will offer teachings from the Early Buddhist (Theravada) tradition, practice instructions, silent meditation, and group discussion. Both new and experienced students are welcome.

The group meets on a “dana” (generosity) basis. There is no fee and no need to register in advance. Chairs are provided, but if you prefer a cushion, please bring your own.

Where: First Unitarian Church of St. Louis, 5007 Waterman (at Kingshighway), 63108. Free parking in the church lot.
When: Tuesdays, 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Note: The front door will be locked. If you are running late, please text 314-210-8820 BEFORE 7 pm so we can make sure someone will be in the lobby to let you in.

***

Jan Rosamond has competed four years of formal training through Spirit Rock Meditation Center, where she is certified as a Community Dharma Leader.

Jan has practiced in the Early Buddhist (Theravada) tradition for more than 20 years with a variety of teachers including Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, and Sharon Salzberg. She’s sat more than 500 nights of silent retreat including several 1- and 2-month intensive meditation retreats in the U.S., South Africa, and Burma (Myanmar). Her mentoring teacher is Phillip Moffitt.

***

For more information, contact Jan by email here or text 314-210-8820.

2 Dec
2019
Posted in: Practice
By    No Comments

Just Protect It from the Breeze

If you grasp a leaf on a tree and try your hardest to hold it still, no matter how hard you try, you’ll never succeed. There will always be some vibration caused by slight tremors in your muscles. However, if you don’t touch the leaf and just protect it from the breeze, the leaf comes to a natural state of stillness. Ajahn Brahm

***

I didn’t want to fly on the day before Thanksgiving, so I stayed over at this lovely AirBnB — which has a private deck — and held my own little after-retreat retreat!

1 Dec
2019
Posted in: Nine Bodies
By    No Comments

For Myself and for the World

Just a quick post to say that I’m back (and totally psyched!!!) from a very deep (and very sweet) retreat kicking off the start of a year-long Teacher Training in the Nine Bodies — explorations in the nature of consciousness — taught by Phillip Moffitt.

This is a photo of our group (except for one of us who had to catch an early flight). Our training will continue throughout the year, including individual meetings with Phillip during the month-long retreat at Spirit Rock in March.

If I look a little dazed in this photo (that’s me with the pink hair), it’s because I’m still reeling from the incredible good fortune of having been invited to be a part of this group.

I won’t let you down, Phillip.

May my efforts be for the welfare of myself, for others, for both, and for the whole world.

11 Nov
2019
Posted in: Books, Retreats, Travel
By    Comments Off on Confess What You Are Smuggling

Confess What You Are Smuggling

I leave tomorrow morning for the next Advanced Practitioners Program retreat at Spirit Rock followed by the first Nine Bodies Teacher Training retreat. I return on Thanksgiving Day, so most likely I won’t post again until December.

In my absence, I leave you with this excerpt from Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, which is my all-time favorite guidebook for those about to travel:

“…So then, yours is truly a journey through memory!” The Great Khan, his ears always sharp, sat up in his hammock every time he caught a sigh in Marco’s speech. “It was to slough off a burden of nostalgia that you went so far away!” he exclaimed, or else: “You return from your voyages with a cargo of regrets!” And he added, sarcastically: “Meager purchases, to tell the truth, for a merchant of the Serenissima!”

This was the target of all Kublai’s questions about the past and the future. For an hour he had been toying with it, like a cat with a mouse, and finally he had Marco with his back to the wall, attacking him, putting a knee on his chest, seizing him by the beard: “This is what I wanted to hear from you: you confess what you are smuggling: moods, stages of grace, elegies!”

These words and actions were perhaps only imagined, as the two, silent and motionless, watched the smoke rise slowly from their pipes. The cloud dissolved at times in a wisp of wind, or else remained suspended in mid-air; and the answer was in that cloud. As the puff carried the smoke away, Marco thought of the mists that clouded the expanse of the sea and the mountain ranges and, when dispelled, leave the air dry and diaphanous, revealing distant cities. It was beyond that screen of fickle humors that his gaze wished to arrive: the form of things can be discerned better at a distance.

Or else the cloud hovered, having barely left the lips, dense and slow, and suggested another vision: the exhalations that hang over the roofs of the metropolises, the opaque smoke that is scattered, the hood of miasmata that weights over the bituminous streets. Not the labile mists of memory nor the the dry transparence, but the charring of burned lives that forms a scab on the city, the sponge swollen with vital matter that no longer floats, the jam of past, present, future that blocks existences calcified in the illusion of movement: this is what you would find at the end of your journey.

7 Nov
2019
Posted in: Poems
By    Comments Off on Why Not Become the One

Why Not Become the One

With That Moon Language
by Hafiz (translation by Daniel Ladinsky)

Admit something:

Everyone you see, you say to them,
“Love me.”

Of course you do not do this out loud;
Otherwise, someone would call the cops.

Still though, think about this,
This great pull in us
To connect.
Why not become the one
Who lives with a full moon in each eye
That is always saying,
With that sweet moon language,
What every other eye in this world
Is dying to hear?

6 Nov
2019
Posted in: Poems
By    Comments Off on No, They Whisper

No, They Whisper

The Moment
by Margaret Atwood

The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,

is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can’t breathe.

No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way around.

5 Nov
2019
Posted in: Chanting, Practice, Retreats
By    Comments Off on Aware, I Stand and Vow….

Aware, I Stand and Vow….

At the close of most retreats in the Western Insight tradition, the group recites the Five Lay Precepts, which in English are usually translated as:

  • I undertake the training precept to refrain from killing.
  • I undertake the training precept to refrain from taking that which is not freely given.
  • I undertake the training precept to refrain from sexual misconduct.
  • I undertake the training precept to refrain from false speech.
  • I undertake the training precept to refrain from intoxicants that cause heedlessness.

At the retreat I just attended at Spirit Rock, we closed with a more contemporary and expansive version of these precepts (first developed for use at Manzanita Village):

  • Aware of the violence in the world and of the power of non-violent resistance, I stand in the presence of the ancestors, the earth, and future generations and vow to cultivate the compassion that seeks to protect each living being.
  • Aware of the poverty and greed in the world and of the intrinsic abundance of the earth, I stand in the presence of the ancestors, the earth, and future generations and vow to cultivate the simplicity, gratitude, and generosity that have no limits.
  • Aware of the abuse and lovelessness in the world and of the healing that is made possible when we open to love, I stand in the presence of the ancestors, the earth, and future generations and vow to cultivate respect for the beauty and erotic power of our bodies.
  • Aware of the falsehood and deception in the world and of the power of living and speaking the truth, I stand in the presence of the ancestors, the earth, and future generations and vow to cultivate the ability to listen and to speak with clarity and integrity in all I communicate — by my words and by my actions.
  • Aware of the contamination and desecration of the world and of my responsibility for life as it manifests through me, I stand in the presence of the ancestors, the earth, and future generations and vow to cultivate discernment and care in what I take into my body and mind.