AS IT IS: Ruth Denison on what you can see here


Ruth Denison (wikipedia), the internationally known 91-year-old Buddhist teacher who lives up the dirt road from us, has been Jay’s teacher since the moment he met her in January, 2012. Ruth is pictured above, on the right, in a photo from two weeks ago. (That’s Jay on the left, and another of Ruth’s longtime students, teacher Jill Rayna in the center.)

What has Ruth been teaching out here in the northern outskirts of Joshua for all these years? Here’s a taste, from a chapter on Ruth in Meetings with Remarkable Women: Buddhist Teachers in America (Revised and Updated Edition) by Lenore Friedman:

When one deeply understands what the Buddha is saying, Ruth believes that qualities like compassion are “no problem; it is there!” She feels there is no limit to who we are: we are a field of energy endowed with consciousness that can flow out to everything there is. “I am not a separate entity; I am rather without boundaries, yah? Because in all phenomena, the same energies function. The physicists tell us we are not a solid mass of something; we are just energy in flux, like everything else, animated and unanimated. Wherever you look, you are in contact and see the context, and the situation presents itself clearly as it really is in true nature. Life.”

The desert, she feels, is especially conducive to this kind of perception. One lives in a field of “open space, vast, a mesa surrounded at the horizon by mountains, with snow peaks until June. So barren, so naked, so truthful. Nothing is hidden; everything is presenting itself as it is.”


About jay babcock

JT Homesteader, Arthur Magazine ... Joshua Tree, CA ...
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