Saturday, November 15, 2014
Love learning. (A phrase to be read a variety of ways.)
(See how "a variety of ways" becomes "read in many ways".)
Seneca wrote, “Toti se inserens mundo,” a phrase translated by Hadot as “plunging oneself into the totality of the world.” Taking this plunge could be understood as the heart of active presence, of “being here now.” The Tibetan lama Tarthang Tulku writes in Love of Knowledge (1987) that the self lives in the world like an illegal alien, always afraid that its identity will be questioned. “Taking the plunge” is the exact opposite. It means fearless presence, total involvement, holding nothing back. If it is difficult for the self to do this, if it clings to and defends its own positions and wants, that only underscores the need to challenge the self and the conditions it imposes on experience.
Those who question the contemporary mindfulness movement ask whether it does justice to the Buddha’s revolutionary call to transform both self and world. But we do not have to conclude from this that the only alternative is to stay within the tradition, though for some that will clearly be the right response. Active presence does justice to the Buddha’s revolutionary impulse on a wholly different basis. Not holding back, fearlessly questioning, always going beyond what we know, active presence offers a way into the deeper existential and universal concerns that the Buddha raised through his teachings.
(--from The Present Moment, by Jack Petranker, Tricycle Magazine, Winter 2014) http://www.tricycle.com/feature/present-momentLike the phrase "being read in" wherein we do become signs that are read within the great reality (called "being") which is an open book unbeginning and unfinishable.
Friday, November 14, 2014
Thursday, November 13, 2014
To all Plum Village Practice Centers,
To all Practice Centers and Sanghas World Wide, To our Dear Beloved Friends,
Plum Village, November 12, 2014
Re: Thay’s present health condition and how to support Thay’s recovery
With a deep mindful breath we announce to the world the news that yesterday, the 11th of November 2014, Thay, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh experienced a severe brain hemorrhage. Thay is receiving 24 hour intensive care from specialist doctors, nurses and from his monastic disciples.
At present, Thay is still very responsive and shows every indication of being aware of the presence of those around him. He is able to move his feet, hands and eyes. There are signs that a full recovery may be possible.
For the last two months, Thay’s health had already been fragile due to his advance age. He was hospitalized in Bordeaux on the 1st of November. He was gaining strength day by day until this sudden and unexpected change in his condition.
All the monasteries in the tradition of Plum Village are organizing practice sessions to generate the energy of mindfulness and to send Thay this healing and loving energy. We would like to ask the whole worldwide community of meditation practitioners to participate and support us in this critical moment. We know and trust that Thay will receive all your energy and that this will be a big support in his healing and recovery.
Our practice of stability and peace in this very moment is the best support we can offer to Thay. Let us all around the world take refuge in our practice, going together as a river to offer Thay our powerful collective energy. We are all cells of the great Sangha Body that Thay has manifested in his lifetime.
Future reports on Thay health and recovery will be posted officially at www.plumvillage.org, langmai.org, villagedespruniers.net, and www.facebook.com/thichnhathanh.
On behalf of the Monastic Dharma Teacher Council of Plum Village,
Bhikkhu Thich Chan Phap Dang Bhikkhuni Thich Nu Chan Khong Nghiem
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Monday, November 10, 2014
Sunday, November 09, 2014
James Carroll in his opinion piece in the NYT writes:
And, speaking of God, in what way, actually, can Jesus be said to be divine? A scientifically minded believer wants to discard that notion, but before he does, he should remember that if Jesus were not regarded as somehow divine almost from the start of his movement, we would never have heard of him. And if faith in the divinity of Jesus is left behind because it fails the test of contemporary thought, Jesus will ultimately be forgotten. Is it possible that contemporary thought can learn from this old article of faith? What if the so-called divinity of Jesus lays bare not so much the mystery of God as the majesty of what it is to be human?
(--from Opinion, NYT, Jesus and the Modern Man, By JAMES CARROL, NOV. 7, 2014)Barack Obama isn’t Jesus. He is himself.
"In the teachings of Christ, religion is completely present tense: Jesus is the prototype and our task is to imitate him, become a disciple. But then through Paul came a basic alteration. Paul draws attention away from imitating Christ and fixes attention on the death of Christ The Atoner. What Martin Luther, in his reformation, failed to realize is that even before Catholicism, Christianity had become degenerate at the hands of Paul. Paul made Christianity the religion of Paul, not of Christ. Paul threw the Christianity of Christ away, completely turning it upside down, making it just the opposite of the original proclamation of Christ"
(-- Soren Kierkegaard, in The Journals)The Republican Party has become Obama’s Paul, casting a pall over everything about him. They darken him and sidestep any intimation of racial motivation.
People hold on to Obama as they hold on to Jesus -- often out of misplaced perception and distorted belief.
That’s the trouble with humankind.
We’re often not.