Chattering Mind

Chattering Mind

The Soul of Molting

mandalacover.jpgThere’s a gorgeous essay by Lin Jensen in the June/July Mandala, connecting the way birds molt to the process of awakening through spiritual practice. Here’s an excerpt:
The molting of birds can be either sudden or gradual. The sudden or synchronous molters change their feathers all at once in a period as short as two weeks. Waterfowl typically do this, and are unable to fly until the molt is complete, leaving them exposed and vulnerable for the duration. Other birds molt in stages, dropping their feathers in a pattern that allows them to sustain flight throughout the adaptation. These variants of the molt seem to me particularly analogous and expressive of what Zen calls “awakening”–the self settling into itself, awakening to what it truly is. It’s an awakening that might come with the startling suddenness of brilliant new feathers or arrive in increments, one feather at a time, in a transformation so subtle as to be nearly indiscernible until complete.
Jensen is a prison chaplain, and the author of “Bad Dog!: A Memoir of Love, Beauty, and Redemption in Dark Places.”And here’s blogger BigRedBuddha’s interview with him.

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Pastor Jesse Lee

posted June 26, 2007 at 10:44 am

This is rather off-topic but I had to let people know about this. On the website there is an article titled Feeling mad, do this. Its about researchers at UCLA using functional MRIs to prove the effectiveness of Bhuddism’s mindfulness meditation. When a group of thirty people looked at pictures of people with either an angry or sad look on their face the amygdala lit up but when they labeled the emotion by saying either mad or sad the brain activity decreased substantially. The article explains it much better but I thought this would be an excellent topic for the blog. Ancient wisdom meets modern neurosciences:)

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