Ichi-go Ichi-e: One Chance in a Lifetime

Each moment is unique and precious because it will never come again. Buddha recommended contemplating impermanence so we can better appreciate and wake up in this moment, our only moment. Out of this awareness of the fleeting nature of life arises deep gratitude. The Japanese call it Ichi-go Ichi-e, one chance in a lifetime, never to come again.

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Presence, Vulnerability and the Wise Heart

I gave this dharma talk shortly after finding out that a long time friend had died accidentally. I explore how cultivating presence and vulnerability, even in such difficult times, will open the door to the wise heart that knows the way to compassion and kindness for self and others.

Lightning

straightstrike

A haiku:

How admirable,
He who thinks not, “Life is fleeting,”
When he sees the lightning!

-Basho

From the Buddha:

So you should veiw this fleeting world a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a phantom and a dream.

Last of The Light

IMG_3494

The door of the heart opens slowly

then opens wide

into a warm summer night.

Last of the light as fireflies blink

and cicadas pulse the air

with all their might,

sink into my bones

shake me up,

show me who I am.

Living and dying each moment

in silence and sound

twilight passes,

night settles in.

 

 

A Phantom and a Dream

Bubble freezing in the midst of popping! Photography by Lisa Ernst

Bubble freezing in the midst of popping!
Photography by Lisa Ernst

Diamond Sutra

So you should view this fleeting world

A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream

A flash of lightning in a summer cloud

A flickering lamp, a phantom and a dream

The Firefly

At twilight I caught

a flash of yellow light

The firefly blinked and vanished

Alert, I watched for more

But only one

brought the dusk

alive with its light

Memories from childhood

when evening hills glimmered

 with countless fireflies

Pure magic

Now few, they share a fate

with bees and frogs and birds

So sad that single

lonely light

brought a tear

as I settled into dusk.

Dusk at Reelfoot Lake photography by Lisa Ernst

Dusk at Reelfoot Lake
photography by Lisa Ernst