Together, they represent the main focus of Buddhist meditation: on calm abiding and the development of wisdom.
While separated here, they obviously support each other, because “to contend seriously with a problem, you first have to let it in,” as a brilliant podcast episode on climate change recently worded it. And that “letting in” requires mindfulness.
But despite the urgency of change (in ourselves and in our world), we need not shoulder everything alone. Despite its quiescent reputation, Buddhist meditation is a social-emotional education system.
John Paul Martinez’s poem “To Offer Sweet Fruit to the Ghost” was featured in a beautiful episode of The Slowdown recently. In his poem, Martinez shows how Buddhist “superstitions” can be a powerful form of connection and meaning in difficult times—even when they are hard for the Western-educated to accept:
Ma says not to swat at the housefly
chirring in our headspace
for the past two hours
because it just might be you.
You can read or listen to the rest of the poem here or find hundreds of other poems, podcasts, papers, and a potpourri of other precious pieces at our website: BuddhistUniversity.net
As always, if you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to email me,