Skip to content

The Immediate Availability of Awakening

August 17, 2015


The most important understanding for a lay Buddhist is the immediate availability of awakening.
Awakening need not arrive after a long, protracted practice history unless we believe that this is necessary…
We practice until we are tired preparing for what has always existed here and now, then we become quiet and surrender.
–Rodney Smith Stepping Out of Self-Deception: The Buddha’s Liberating Teaching of No-Self


Today is the first day of the fall semester at Ventura County Community College District, and since I teach Mondays and Wednesdays, today’s the first day of school for my students and me.

I love thinking about new classes — and how to make learning  about writing “new” — “exciting” — “fresh.” What can I do as a teacher to facilitate and experience that will be rewarding and fun? How can I integrate field trips and experiential activities into college composition? What is the “theme”? How can we make a difference in the world?

The bottom line is that it is not up to ME to make a great class — it is up to US, all of us, as individuals who form a class. And that’s true not just about school. It’s true about our college, our community, our state, our country, our world.

While this quote relates to my point above about the availability of this awakening, this quote also reminds me of the writing process, specifically the stage that some call “writer’s block.” Do you see why?

This semester we are going to consider “drought.” In spring 2015, my friend Tracy Hudak started a performance project, “Drought: what are we thirsty for?” A performance was held during ArtWalk at the WAV. This semester we are going to ask “what we are thirsty for” and conduct research and take action to slake our thirst.

What are we thirsty for when it comes to learning? What are we thirsty for in our community? Within ourselves?

lens19112751_1338373593aaaaFor Wednesday, we’ll start with reading “Holy Water” by Joan Didion (here). And we’ll begin reading “Stop Stealing Dreams” by Seth Godin (here).  Read as far as you can (at least the first 40-50 sections–don’t worry it reads quickly and most sections are only a few paragraphs long!) Take notes about what you’d like to discuss on Wednesday. Write about one or both in a reading response for extra credit –incorporate some of your favorite quotes (be sure to cite the paragraph or section it came from).  Here’s one of mine that is first in a list here; which one do you like and why? 

“Large scale education was not developed to motivate kids or to create scholars. It was invented to churn out adults who worked well within the system.”

While you are reading “Stop Stealing Dreams,” keep in mind the advice that Seth Godin gave to me: get your students blogging! We will learn how to blog using the FREE WordPress platform (like this one) during class time in the lab, but for now, think about what you want your blog to be about (although keep in ind it will have some school content).

Artwork and quote curated by Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo, one of the only westerners trained in the rare Buddhist art of silk applique thangkas. His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave his blessings to Leslie’s work and encouraged her to make images that speak to the spiritual aspirations of people across religions and cultures.

PS While today is the first day of school for me, tomorrow is the first day of school for my son–he’s going into 7th grade! Which means he’s hanging around this morning and distracting me making it hard to write! But he also made me a cappuccino. And I am grateful he still is excited to share ideas and stuff from his life. Read how we spent our last day of summer vacation together here.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

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

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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

Bottled Bliss

Day-colored wine, night-colored wine, wine with purple feet...

Do Bianchi

Negotiating the Epistemologic Implications of Oenophilia


Global wine culture

Elizabeth Gabay MW

Wine, Food and History: from the Rhone to Piedmont

Budget Trek Kashmir

Family run Company Specialist Trekking in Jammu & Kashmir

Oldfield's Wanderings

Objects in blog are closer than they appear


A wine blog by Susannah Gold

Memorable Moments

Adventures & "Bucket" Lists That Keep Life Interesting

Vinos y Pasiones

Todo acerca de bodegas, vinos, gastronomía y enoturismo.

Best Tanzania Travel Guides

from Kilimanjaro to the Serengeti and beyond


The Best Guide in Tanzania

Pull That Cork

Wine makes our life more fun.

Always Ravenous

Adventures in Food and Wine

Joy of Wine

"Wine cheereth God and man." -- Judges 9:13

Side Hustle Wino

If you're not having fun, you're not doing right.

Vineyard Son Alegre

Organic Wine And Olive Oil From Santanyí, Mallorca (Spain)

L.M. Archer

wordsmith | consumer, b2b + b2c

What's in that Bottle?

Better Living Through Better Wine!


My humble wine blog


When food and wine click!

The Flavor of Grace

Helene Kremer's The Flavor of Grace

The Swirling Dervish

Wine Stories, Food Pairings, and Life Adventures


Living La Vida Vino!

Dracaena Wines

Our Wines + Your Moments = Great Memories


a reason for wine

Drifting Through

Welcome to the inner workings of my mind

Sonya Huber

books, essays, etc.


More People, More Wine

The Weekly Sift

making sense of the news one week at a time

poor mexican gone

Yesterday's stories shed light on the way forward

Cindy Ross

Author | Speaker


Get your copy of Mile 445 today at!

Laura Grace Weldon

Free Range Learning, Creative Living, Gentle Encouragement, Big Questions, Poetry, Occasional Drollery

From Insults To Respect

A Guide To Anger And Conflict Resolution

Wes Chyrchel


Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man

Snarky. Cheeky. Grumpy. Dopey. Never Bashful.

%d bloggers like this: