Oct 19, 2014: Milarepa Ösel Chö Dzong, Happy Valley, TN


Many thanks to Samantha Medina for sharing this
beautiful photo taken at Milarepa Ösel Chö Dzong
in Happy Valley, TN on Oct 19, 2014.

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“Without Surface or Shadows” by Brian Carniello

“Without Surface or Shadows”
by Brian Carniello

All of these things and the world of mind, too,
Shadows and objects: there’s so much I do.
When grasping is done, without delight or desire,
Objects are shadows, and all shadows retire.

No chance here – now all is easeful, simple, and clear –
For ill will or hatred: there’s no need for fear.
The refuge remains, there’s no need for me,
No surface, no shadows: boundless, open, and free.

* * *

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Theragāthā 5.3 Girimānanda

Theragāthā 5.3
Girimānanda

The sky rains, like a beautiful song.
My little hut is roofed and pleasant;
Sheltered from the wind,
I dwell there peacefully:
So rain, O sky, if you wish.

The sky rains, like a beautiful song.
My little hut is roofed and pleasant;
Sheltered from the wind,
I dwell there, with peaceful mind:
So rain, O sky, if you wish.

The sky rains, like a beautiful song.
My little hut is roofed and pleasant;
Sheltered from the wind,
I dwell there, free of desire:
So rain, O sky, if you wish.

The sky rains, like a beautiful song.
My little hut is roofed and pleasant;
Sheltered from the wind,
I dwell there, free of hate:
So rain, O sky, if you wish.

The sky rains, like a beautiful song.
My little hut is roofed and pleasant;
Sheltered from the wind,
I dwell there, free of delusion:
So rain, O sky, if you wish.

* * *

For more Theragāthā, see SuttaCentral

For a discourse that the Buddha offered for the
wellbeing of Girimānanda when he was sick,
see Girimānanda (Aṅguttara Nikāya 10.60)
at SuttaCentral.

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Oct 8, 2014: “Blood Moon” & the Sunsphere in Knoxville

“A total lunar eclipse spawns a “blood moon” as it dips beneath the Sunsphere in Knoxville on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014. During a total lunar eclipse, the moon is lit only by sunlight which has scattered through the Earth’s atmosphere, stripping out all colors except red. This eclipse was part of a “tetrad”, with the next sightings to take place in April and September 2015.” (Adam Lau/ Knoxville News Sentinel)

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Oct 4, 2014: Saturday Evening Potluck Dinner & Movie

This Saturday, Oct 4, we will have a potluck dinner at LSLK starting at 7:00 pm,
followed by our second movie night at LSLK starting at 8:00 pm!

We will watch Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring.

This is another wonderful movie!
Please note that it is rated R and
is in Korean with subtitles.

For more information on the movie
at Amazon, click HERE.

Everyone’s welcome!

Three of us are going to bring several entrees from Chùa Pháp Bảo Temple (9909 Dutchtown Rd, Cedar Bluff, TN 37923), the Vietnamese Buddhist organization in Knoxville that offers vegetarian dishes for order and pick up about once a month. This month, they’re offering these dishes on Oct 4. Angelia said that she will bring tasty gluten-free brownies. This food should be enough for about 10-12 people.

If you would like to bring more food, that’s fine. Mostly, we need everyone who attends to consider donating $5 or more to LSLK (only if you can). We will be happy to see you at LSLK at any time if you can make it. But, if you can afford it, we suggest a donation of $5.00 or more to LSLK for movie night. There’s a box in the shrine room and a link for PayPal near the top right corner of the website www.lslk.org. Please be generous toward LSLK!

Location: Losel Shedrup Ling of Knoxville
5415-F Kingston Pike in the Bearden area of Knoxville
(Click HERE for directions)

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Cypress Grove Nature Park – Jackson, TN

Cypress Grove Nature Park – Jackson, TN
September 24, 2014

Cypress Grove is a preserve for indigenous wildlife, waterfowl, plants and trees,
and is a sanctuary for injured hawks, eagles, owls and other birds of prey. Just
minutes from downtown Jackson and easily accessible from Interstate 40,
the Park annually attracts tens of thousands of visitors. It offers over a mile
of winding, elevated boardwalk through a cypress forest. The Park’s
features include: Rockwell Observation Tower, 25 acre Wood Duck
Lake, Killdeer Pond, and the Aerie Trail Raptor Center.



Aiko, an 18 year old golden eagle, lost a wing in an accident with electrical
wires in Texas and now lives at Cypress Grove Nature Park

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Sunrise from a Friend’s Porch, 22 Sept 2014


Many thanks to Leslie O’Tool for sharing the view of this
morning’s sunrise from her front porch.

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Engines of the Physical Universe

Contemplate these two engines of the physical universe.

Now gently remove your attention from these
engines of the physical universe to find the
spiritual engines behind them.

* * *

Click HERE for Ajahn Punnadhammo’s instructions on voidness meditation,
which starts with Contemplation of Village, Contemplation of Forest,
and Contemplation of Earth as aids for helping
to find the formless realms.

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“A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” by Steve Romer

“A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”
by Steve Romer

So when at last the trash is taken out
And only the essential things remain,
I then begin to lessen in my doubt
Of who it is that lives behind my name.

Stripped of all the nonsense and the dross
That fills the many corners of my life,
I understand that freedom is the loss
Of all that does not lift my eyes to light.

Where once the waste of many years had lay,
There now is just a clean and empty place;
It only asks that as it is, it stay;
That light of day may now its corners grace.

* * *

Many thanks to Steve Romer, our friend at our Friday Evening meetings, for sharing one of his poems with us and giving me permission to post it here. About this poem, he wrote this:

A few things about this piece. I’ve been going through some life changes lately, being forced to relinquish things/values/beliefs I once thought important. Eventually I realized my active participation in the process was important. That realization was the genesis of this piece. The title is deliberately taken from a short story of the same title by Hemingway [Wikipedia: A Clean, Well-Lighted Place]. I had read the story a long time ago, and the title always stuck with me. I have just reread the story, and I doubt a casual reader would draw connection between the two. I think, however, the poem describes why, on some level, the inhabitants of his story would find a clean, well-lighted place a desirable place to be.

* * *

(Click on the images above or HERE
to see the source of the images.)

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Perfect Effort Is No Effort

From a talk by Ajahn Punnadhammo of Arrow River Forest Hermitage, entitled “Simplicity And Purity,” (19:10-21:08):

It takes an investment of energy to be distracted. Perfect meditation is completely at ease. There is no strain. Perfect effort is no effort. The mind is just at ease, perfectly awake. That we divert our energy into the projects of desires, this is as simple as the Second Noble Truth: all suffering is caused by craving. We divert the energy of the mind into the various projects of craving, so when an object arises to consciousness that has some emotional resonance to it – it might be a happy or a painful memory, or it might be a worry or a fear, speculation about the future – we can then take ownership of that, invest it with energy, and let it run us around for a while. The discipline or the skill is to see each object with clarity and equanimity. And if there is an emotional reaction, the emotion is an object that can be seen with clarity, to allow that just to be seen as an object.

It seems like it should be easy to understand and just as easy to do, but it isn’t!


Photo by Carrie Mills,
taken in Maryville, TN

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