Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Instead of conditioning the next moment with troubled thoughts, you surrender your investment in them; now the next moment is open, untroubled, and free. There is no need to judge the world around you; you simply allow it to be what it is. If the situation calls for a response from you, fine; you respond, not from defensiveness or judgment, but from the natural ease of your presence. In the quiet mystery of surrendering your thoughts, you have released any fixity of belief or position-taking, and you are welcomed by openness, quiet, and a most subtle joy - a lightness of being. In surrendering something of no real value, you have gained the world. In the openness of unknowing, you are completely safe and innocent.
~ Pir Elias Amidon
from Free Medicine
art by Dali
Sunday, January 29, 2017
The everyday practice is simply to develop a complete acceptance and openness to all situations and emotions, and to all people, experiencing everything totally without mental reservations and blockages, so that one never withdraws or centralizes into oneself.
~ Trungpa Rinpoche
We must come to the point at which we have the freedom, the courage, to look at things as a baby does, without foreknowledge; to let whatever new reality apperception comes, let it come in and experience it fully and totally, without understanding it. For understanding is only classifying something by previously established patterns of thought.
~ Fazal Inayat-Khan
Thursday, January 26, 2017
The individual shoots were younger, but these new growths from the past few centuries were not considered to be stand-alone trees but part of a larger whole.. The root is certainly a more decisive factor than what is growing above ground. After all, it is the root that looks after the survival of an organism. It is the root that has withstood severe changes in climatic conditions. And it is the root that has regrown trunks time and time again. It is in the roots that centuries of experience are stored, and it is this experience that has allowed the tree's survival to the present day.
~ Peter Wohllenben
from The Hidden Life of Trees
... down deep, at the molecular heart of life,
we’re essentially identical to trees.
we’re essentially identical to trees.
~ Carl Sagan
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Meditation enables them to go
Deeper and deeper into consciousness,
From the world of words to the world of thoughts,
Then beyond thoughts to wisdom in the Self.
Sharp like a razor's edge, the sages say,
Is the path, difficult to traverse.
~ Katha Upanishad
This is the passage from which the title of Somerset Maugham's book The Razor's Edge was taken. His story traces the spiritual journey of an American fighter pilot traumatized by WWI. The book is apparently based on the life of Guy Hague who had spent time with Ramana Maharshi in Tamil Nadu, India, as did Maugham himself.
William Somerset Maugham was born on this day in 1874 in Paris. He was trained as a doctor and work on the front as a Red Cross volunteer during WWI. He became famous with his semi- autobiographical novel Of Human Bondage in 1915. Maugham's novels seem to make apparent the beauty of and intricacy of the fabric of life in-which we are all entwined.
Happy Birthday Mr. Maugham and thank you.
Sunday, January 22, 2017
Non-aggression doesn't mean that you're not supposed to get angry; it doesn't mean that you're not supposed to set boundaries; it doesn't mean that you're not supposed to be sharp; it doesn't mean that you don't have neurotic upheavals and meltdowns. What it does mean is that we have to keep letting go - until we are naked with ourselves, and we are making room for the person we actually are. And it's the exact same process with other people. We have to let go, let go, let go . . . Until we see and we are seen.
~ Reggie Ray
with thanks to whiskey river
art by banksy
art by banksy
Thursday, January 12, 2017
All my life perplexed by truth and falsity, right and wrong;
Now amusing myself in the moonlight,
Laughing at the wind,
Listening to the song of birds -
So many years spent idly contemplating
The immense white layer on the mountains;
This winter, all of a sudden,
I see it for the first time as a snow-mountain.
from The Zen Poetry of Dogen by Steven Heine
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
We should not force ourselves to change by hammering our lives into any predetermined shape. We do not need to operate according to the idea of a predetermined program or plan for our lives. Rather, we need to practice a new art of attention to our inner rhythm of our days and lives. This attention brings a new awareness of our own human and divine presence. A dramatic example of this kind of transfiguration is the one all parents know. You watch your children carefully, but one day they surprise you; you still recognize them, but your knowledge of them is insufficient. You have to start listening to them all over again.
It is far more creative to work with the idea of mindfulness rather than with the idea of will. Too often people try to change their lives by using the will as a kind of hammer to beat their life into proper shape. The intellect identifies the goal of the program, and the will accordingly forces the life into that shape. This way of approaching the sacredness of one’s own presence is externalistic and violent. It brings you falsely outside your own self and you can spend years lost in the wilderness of your own mechanical, spiritual programs. You can perish in a famine of your own making.
If you work with a different rhythm, you will come easily and naturally home to your self. Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has a map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of your self. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more importantly it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey. There are no general principles for this art of being. Yet the signature of this unique journey is inscribed deeply in each soul. If you attend to your self and seek to come into your own presence, you will find exactly the right rhythm for your life. The senses are generous pathways which can bring you home.
~ John O’Donohue
from Anam Cara
"Hope" is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—
And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—
I've heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.
~ Emily Dickinson
from The Poems of Emily Dickinson, Edited by R. W. Franklin
with thanks to Love is a Place
Monday, January 9, 2017
You come and go. The doors swing closed
ever more gently, almost without a shudder.
Of all those who move through the quiet houses,
you are the quietest.
We become so accustomed to you,
we no longer look up
when your shadow falls over the book we are reading
and makes it glow. For all things
sing you: at times
we just hear them more clearly.
Often when I imagine you
your wholeness cascades into many shapes.
You run like a herd of luminous deer
and I am dark, I am forest.
You are a wheel at which I stand,
whose dark spokes sometimes catch me up,
revolve me nearer to the center.
Then all the work I put my hand to
widens from turn to turn.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
from Love Poems to God,
The Book of Monastic Life
Sunday, January 8, 2017
are words of God,
His music, His
Sacred books we are, for the infinite camps
Every act reveals God and expands His Being.
I know that may be hard
All creatures are doing their best
to help God in His birth
Enough talk for the night
He is laboring in me;
I need to be silent
for a while,
worlds are forming
~ Meister Eckhart
from Love Poems from God
translation by Daniel Ladinsky