About 50 percent Dakini

three Jizos

I vow to do good for all beings,
to be useful,
to keep learning, and
to persevere.

To always strive to reduce suffering.
To be truthful and diligent.
To say yes and ask why.
And no matter what happens, I vow to keep going.

Motto: Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

When in doubt, do the next right thing.

And always: One impossible thing at a time.

Dakini is a Sanskrit word used to describe the female embodiment of enlightened energy. 50 percent is undoubtedly wishful thinking, but Tibetan Buddhism is all about both starting where you are and visualizing yourself as what you want to become!

Michelle_Garchen_RinpocheIn 1996, I first took refuge (formally became a Buddhist) from Bardor Tulku Rinpoche in the Karma Kagyu Tibetan tradition. I now practice with the Still Water Mindfulness Practice Center in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. I’m a lover of books, poetry, quilting, mixed media collage, Korean dramas, Bollywood movies, and visionary art. I majored in anthropology and minored in religion before getting my law degree. I live in Maryland with my husband, daughter, two cats, and large house rabbit. In January 2020, I became vegan.

Kirk and I write fiction as K.M. Johnson-Weider and publish on Amazon.com through our company Blue Moon Aurora. So far we’ve published two novels in the West Pacific Supers series (Rising Tide and Victory at Any Cost), a science fiction mystery thriller (Black Throne Conspiracy), and a fictionalized memoir of adoption (the truth about Hannah Rose). We also published my children’s book, In the Garden of Our Minds and other Buddhist stories, which I wrote based on my experiences of sharing Buddhism with my two children. Brian Chen illustrated the book. For more information, visit Blue Moon Aurora’s main website.

What does being Buddhist mean to me?

Walk carefully – life is everywhere.
Speak carefully – it is so much easier not to say something than to take it back once said.
Think carefully – try to see the other’s point of view because at some point, I have had a similar view.
Consume mindfully, because everything I bring into my body and mind influences who I am and what I do.
Realize that even the worst people are ignorant, not evil.
Realize that people can change.
Realize that what I have done before has gotten me this far, but what I do now determines where I will go.
Maybe in my last life, I was the cat and the cat was the human.
Maybe in my last life, the cat was my child.
Maybe the cat was my mother.
The cat has feelings too.  So does the cow, the chicken, and the fish.  They all understand kindness and they all feel pain.
Perhaps I can’t stop the suffering of all sentient beings, but I can minimize the suffering that I cause.
If I can’t help, at least I can strive to do no harm.
Be calm – things change.
Strong emotions are like clouds across the sky.  Sometimes there is a thick cloud cover and you can’t see the sky, but it’s still there, unchanged by the clouds.  In the same way, even strong emotions that seem overpowering will eventually move and change.  What counts in the end is the strength of our clear blue sky nature.
Smile more! The present moment is the only moment you really have.

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