- Snow melts
- Vernal Equinox Wednesday, March 21, 2007
- Rama Navami, The Birthday of Lord Rama, Tuesday, March 27, 2007
- Mawlid al-Nabi (12 Rabi 1), Prophet Muhammad's Birthday. This holiday (in 2007, 31March/1April) celebrates the birthday of Muhammad, the founder of Islam. It is fixed as the 12th day of the month of Rabi I in the Islamic calendar. Mawlid means birthday of a holy figure and al-Nabi means prophet.
- Pesach (Passover) Start - Sundown Monday, April 2, 2007 through Wednesday, April 4, 2007 End - Sundown Sunday, April 8, 2007 through Tuesday, April 10, 2007
- Holy Thursday, Thursday, April 5, 2007
- Good Friday Friday, April 6, 2007
- Easter Sunday Sunday, April 8, 2007
- Shakyamuni's Birthday (Gotan-e), or the Flower Festival (Hanamatsuri), Sunday, April 8, 2007
What is this mind?When we listen to the individual drops of rain splashing, do we hear rain itself? If hearing includes both -- and more, hears itself throughout the hearing -- everywhere 'nature' and 'sacred' are celebrated. As we are -- celebrating. What mind is this? What heart is this?
Who is hearing these sounds?
Do not mistake any state for
Self-realization, but continue
To ask yourself even more
What is it that hears?
- Bassui (1338-1500)
CittaLight of day slips quietly below last season's silent leaves finally revealed out from under passing snow on hillside. Above, the slightest sway of high limbs kissing dust away. Everywhere else televisions tune into Final Four broadcasting from Atlanta. This religion too, as well as beginning of baseball season, round out the devotee's devotion. There is enormous variety in how we respond to the holy.
In Pali, heart and mind are one word (citta), but in English we have to differentiate between the two to make the meaning clear. When we attend to the mind, we are concerned with the thinking process and the intellectual understanding that derives from knowledge, and with our ability to retain knowledge and make use of it. When we speak of the "heart" we think of feelings and emotions, our ability to respond with our fundamental being. Although we may believe that we are leading our lives according to our thinking process, that is not the case. If we examine this more closely, we will find that we are leading our lives according to our feelings and that our thinking is dependent upon our feelings. The emotional aspect of ourselves is of such great importance that its purification is the basis for a harmonious and peaceful life, and also for good meditation.
(--Ayya Khema, When the Iron Eagle Flies)
René Descartes said, "If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.There is joy in moments no want is felt. Times no need to say 'No" -- nor say 'Yes.' Just the gaze. Only looking. (What is it...looking?)
John Fowles said, "Passion destroys passion; we want what puts an end to wanting what we want."
(--The Writer's Almanac, 31mar07)
All the great scriptures were probably penned by poet-mystics. Mysticism is not an aim of art (nor is it an aim of mystics!): mysticism is a pejorative used by critics in a rational age to denote a departure from the established meanings of words. Every good poet is a "mystic"; that is, he departs from the dictionary, as the painter departs from the straight line and the perfect circle.Day is its own poetry. Dusk, a seeing naming itself. Tomorrow someone will be heard saying: "Hosanna! Make him king!" We'll watch with foreknowledge and again the whirlwind failing truth will gather reasons to make us forget another face made sorrowful for us. We live in a time of war. We who are far away are not asked to sacrifice much. It's easy to forget faces we never look into. Look carefully at what is loved. That gaze will carry beyond forgetting. The liturgy of remembrance is upon us.
(-- Karl Shapiro, in "What is Not Poetry", The Poet's Work, ed by Reginald Gibbons,c.1979)
(Old dog laps water. No other sound -- his drinking. Walks around table.)
TracksWhat is -- wonderful delight!
The small birds leave cuneiform
messages on the snow: I have
been here, I am hungry, I
must eat. Where I dropped
seeds they scrape down
to pine needles and frozen sand.
Sometimes when snow flickers
past the windows, muffles trees
and bushes, buries the path,
the jays come knocking with their beaks
on my bedroom window:
to them I am made of seeds.
To the cats I am mother and lover,
lap and toy, cook and cleaner.
To the coyotes I am chaser and shouter.
To the crows, watcher, protector.
To the possums, the foxes, the skunks,
a shadow passing, a moment's wind.
I was bad watchful mommy to one man.
To another I was forgiving sister
whose hand poured out honey and aloe;
to that woman I was a gale whose lashing
waves threatened her foundation; to this
one, an oak to her flowering vine.
I have worn the faces, the masks
of hieroglyphs, gods and demons
bat-faced ghosts, sibyls and thieves,
lover, loser, red rose and ragweed,
these are the tracks I have left
on the white crust of time.
(--Poem: "Tracks" by Marge Piercy, from The Crooked Inheritance. Alfred A. Knopf.)
So many faces!