Search

Return to the island of Self


As he was dying, the Buddha imparted this advice: Take refuge in the island of self. There is no other refuge.

For those of us growing up in the western tradition, John

Donne’s famous poem, saying that no one is an island, may spring to mind by way of contradiction. But symbols have more than one meaning, and whereas for Donne, an island meant isolation, the Buddha was talking about another aspect of island as symbol—island as safety.

Imagine yourself drowning in a vast ocean, the victim of a shipwreck. Suddenly on the horizon you see an island, and you carefully make your way to it. As you come up on the beach, you can relax and rest. You are safe from the sea.

The teaching of taking refuge in the island of self means to come back from the outside world. Come back from your worries. Come back from concerns about what others think of you. Come back to your mindfulness, your mindful breathing. Come back and rest.

On the island of self there are beautiful trees, waterfalls, colorful birds and animals, and many wonderful things to enjoy.

Come back and rest.

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Are You Bored? Look Again!

While a lot of the time we complain about having too much to do, sometimes we may find ourselves at the other end of the spectrum—feeling bored. Even though we have more ways of distracting ourselves

What is not Wrong

One of the hindrances to meditation the Buddha enumerated is restlessness. Restlessness is a problem all meditators are familiar with. When you are trying to sit, suddenly thoughts arise of things w

The Endless Round

Sometimes life can feel like an endless round of things we have to do. We wake up in the morning reviewing the things we have to do that day, including everything from an important doctor’s appointme

Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 7.46.41 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 7.47.18 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 7.47.07 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 7.46.49 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 7.46.58 PM.png

Books