What feeds your spirit?

The great Korean Buddhist teacher Hanam Sunim (1876-1951) once said that the things we do in our lives either brighten our minds, or darken them. (He said that there’s really no neutral ground, just effects that are too subtle for us to notice.) 

I thought of this the other day, when I came across this great line :

Another washing machine, a bigger car, a nicer house to live in? Not much to feed the spirit in all that.  (Bangkok Tattoo, 179)

So here’s an open question for everyone: What feeds your spirit?

8 thoughts on “What feeds your spirit?”

  1. it’s hard to choose one, but I guess that’s not required ^^
    here it goes…

    little ways I can communicate with Fina;
    blue skies in Seoul;
    a nice cup of tea;
    yebul with EunBong

  2. Hi,

    Great post! It’s so nice just to get a reminder to feed the spirit! I’m often both too austere and too busy to remember. Thank you! So, what’s been feeding my spirit these days?

    – My morning green tea while the air is fresh and cool!
    – My fast bus ride across Bangkok with the wind rushing in!
    – Remembering to smile and breathe at work. Sometimes!
    – Watching this blog grow, and taking time away from it too!
    – Unexpected text messages from Ikumi in Japan xxx!
    – My evening sit, a little chanting, a little devotion:

    A prayer for family and friends, a prayer for all beings, a prayer of thanks and entrusting, Kwan Seum Bosal, Kwan Seum Bosal, Kwan Seum Bosal!


  3. I feel nourished in those (unfortunately rare) moments when I can turn to the world and without hesitation ask, “How can I help?”

    To bring that kind of consciousness to a moment – wow, that really gets me. It brings me down several notches, out of my head and into my heart.

  4. Thanks for this Chong Go:)
    When I am facing needing a new drier as mine is eating our clothes, this is a good question for me! It is good to remember what feeds my soul at every moment, thank you.

    It is for me to listen to the trees grow,
    the flowers open,
    watching the bugs begin a new life in Spring,
    the smile of my son and husband,
    just feeling/watching the life all around me takes me back in to my deeper connectedness with all, and I am grateful!

  5. the sweet knowledge of the truth, the feeling of inner foundation, the support and love from it, feeling like you are in the arms of Buddha no matter what, that is the ultimate insurance for me. Your foundation sustains you and if you put it first, everything else is possible.

  6. Time

    Poking his head through a hole in the ground,
    A Monitor lizard flicks its black, shinny tongue, in and out.
    Days, nights flash by. A rickety wheel,
    The galaxy creaks round and round
    As a man on a bicycle spins past.

    The tongue becomes an endless road,
    And the man crawls back into the shape of an ape,
    Now slithering like lizard, then, like fish, sliding into the sea.

    Black volcanoes rise from the water spewing smoke and steam.
    An Egret, white as snow, saunters among them in search of prey.
    In a flash, it seizes a dragonfly in its razor sharp beak
    As jet liners, miles high, criss-cross the sky in a flurry.

    Again and again, the man casts a net into a boundless ocean.
    Life, mere foam on restless waves, the earth itself,
    a bubble adrift in the darkness tide.

    After the rain, a red dog laps up the sky laughing,
    Comets and planets collide with its lolling tongue,
    Past, present and future, all one in its shallow brain pan.

    In the lizard’s gleaming eye, moon shines on the open sea.
    The man is now indistinguishable from water and stars,
    the egret and distant planes – time itself.

  7. Hi Pedro!

    Great to see you here mate!

    And what a comment! Amazing!

    All the best and looking forward to seeing you again soon,



    PS – I used to write a bit of poetry myself, not as good as yours mind you. Have you ever come across this site (it’s really amazing): http://www.everypoet.org/pffa/

  8. – In the morning when my son first wakes up, there is this smile present as he greets the day that radiates from his whole person, and it is the only time of day that I can witness this particular joy
    – home brewing. (I know, I know 5th precept……) home brewing for me is an exercise in patience and mindfulness, and is a really fun hobby.
    – those few moments when I’ve written something completely from the heart, and I look back through the paragraph and realize that I didn’t force any of it
    – quiet time after my son has gone to bed, and it’s just the wife and me.
    – walking in the woods, embracing the quiet

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