Inktober, Cherished Blogfest 2017

I’ve been remiss about the Cherished Blogfest this year but it must have been in the air because I have company!  It has been extended, and so, here is my entry…
For info, go here, pick an object, write, link-up!  Make friends!  Lift yourself up!

The first time I heard a lojong teaching, I took a few notes, scribbled in my journal alongside some architectural building schematic.  I was under twenty-five.

In my late twenties I bought “Training the Mind” by Chogyam Trungpa
at the Bodhi Tree (RIP best bookstore ever).
His book literally fell on my head, and I buy all books that fall on my head.
I skimmed it but did not resonate with it, and found some wording to be so
CATHOLIC (I was a recovering Catholic at the time),
so I tucked it into a stack that would become several shelves.

Then I read Ani Pema Chodron’s Book “Start Where You Are” in 1994, twenty years later, and as are all her books, it was excellent.  She referred to this little blue book,
the “real thing” by her teacher, Trungpa.  It took you through the slogans in depth.
I tried to find it in bookstores, but by now I was living in a provincial
little town with a small New Age bookstore.  No luck.

Of course, you know it was the book I’d barely cracked!

As I have always done when learning anything, I kept a journal.
I can’t really learn any other way.  Copying the slogans and teaching comments, adding my thoughts, and committing them into my journal puts them into body, heart and mind.
I used one of my red Okina journals and began, in 1994, writing notes from the two books, Trungpa’s and Pema Chodron’s, a very good book for beginning steps.
I sat in silence at the Blue Mountain coffee shop every morning and read and contemplated and wrote about each slogan, sometimes spending days on
commentary by Trungpa, and turning the coffee shop into a sacred place!

I’ve worked through the blue book a half-dozen times like this,
adding post-its and adding a sketching Okina,
and adding a couple of other commentaries.
I can read my early thoughts about the slogans as well as maturing thoughts.
Now it is a thoroughly messy and cherished journal!
If I had to grab just one book now it would be the two books together as one.
If not two, then my red journal, my notes on the lojong.

Of course, the slogans are only part of this.
It is a breathing practice.

I see dharma (literally, “truth”) — in my case these teachings — as a lifeline to sanity,
a path to mental health.   Studying the teachings is a path to lightheartedness, to basic happiness or joy, and a salve in these awful times in which we live.

Pema Chodron spoke once about the moment when you realize the teachings are about yourself in the world; that connection, once made, I think, is hard to turn from.  Teachings, whatever kind are a lifeline for you, illuminates a path to
know yourself intimately, to stop running away in addictive behavior
which ultimately causes you and yours more pain (drink, drugs, shopping,
surfing Instagram endlessly to avoid — my newest),
and to put your foot on a path which brings more joy even in trying circumstances.

For my most recent study, which was stopped for reasons I can’t discuss, here.

For information on the breathing practice, look here — and get a teacher, ultimately!

Cherished Blogfest 2017 October NOW!
Want to join?  Tell us about a cherished object
and no, you don’t have to paint…
Then sign the Linky List so we can come visit you!
#CBF17 is our hashtag.

©D. Katie Powell.  My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back  to dkatiepowellart.

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
This entry was posted in art journal, Buddha, challenge, journal, tonglen, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Inktober, Cherished Blogfest 2017

  1. Dan Antion says:

    I applaud your practice of keeping a journal as you begin learning new things. I think that’s a very good idea. Thanks Kate. I’m glad you got this into the CBF.


  2. loisajay says:

    Kate–this post is one to be savored and reread, and reread. I love it.


  3. bikerchick57 says:

    As Dan said, I admire that you keep a journal and write in it faithfully. I tend to write things down as I learn, but have never kept a journal…just a lot of sticky notes and legal pad paper. It’s interesting how the “Training the Mind” book came back to you after so many years. I’m glad you found it and cherish the teachings inside.

    “to know yourself intimately, to stop running away in addictive behavior…”
    That hit me like a brick. There are one or two behaviors I’d like to change about myself. I know them and yet, life seems to go on as usual. Words to keep close, to swirl around in my head, to take action in a positive way. Thanks Katie!


  4. Donna says:

    Thank you for introducing us to ‘Training the Mind’. What could be more important than cultivating loving-kindness?


  5. Ally Bean says:

    I admire your ability to draw and to find encouragement in the words and ideas of other people. Lightheartedness and joy can so easily pass by if you don’t keep an eye out for them. Good things to cherish, indeed.


  6. A journal is a person’s best friend. I keep one too. For ideas. And new things I learn too 🙂


  7. Sharukh Bamboat says:

    I know I am late for the comment but I thought better be late than never. First things first, I am a die-hard fan of your handwriting. When I see your sketches I am more interested in the strokes of your handwriting than anything else. My handwriting was good once, now it has gone from bad to worse.I pick up a pen once a month and that is for writing checks for monthly household payments. The rest of the time I am typing the content on my laptop or smartphone. I also love the fact that you keep a journal, a rare thing to do. I love to do that but whenever I write something I usually never follow it up. So, I prefer keeping it in my mind. These days I add it to my smartphone so that I get notifications. I am a lazy person by nature. I am glad that you participated in the blogfest. Lots of love and hugs from Sarah and me.


    • A fountain pen with a stub nib (1.1-ish) helps the handwriting… I do a gratitude every day and that is sometimes the only journaling I do, but it focuses on the important things in life. xoxo


  8. I have several of Pema C’s cd’s too


I love hearing from visitors!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.