Clean meditation cabin.
Place rugs in bookshed.
Delusion, enlightenmentThank you winter.
just fox-words fooling
Zen practitioners everywhere.
- Daito (1282-1334)
Pushed along by wind,I think that truth-telling is best.
Clouds layered along the peaks
Diffuse at daybreak:
Honking geese who've crossed
The mountains open the fall.
- Saigyo (1118-1190)
The Rose Tree
“O words are lightly spoken”
Said Pearse to Connolly,
“Maybe a breath of politic words
Has withered our Rose Tree;
Or maybe but a wind that blows
Across the bitter sea.”
“It needs to be but watered,”
James Connolly replied,
“To make the green come out again
And spread on every side,
And shake the blossom from the bud
To be the garden's pride.”
“But where can we draw water”
Said Pearse to Connolly,
“When all the wells are parched away?
O plain as plain can be
There's nothing but our own red blood
Can make a right Rose Tree.”
(Poem by William Butler Yeats)A melancholic theme.
It is, they say, a complicated world. Take the financial meltdown.We must resist the popular tendency to think of transcendence as an upward and outward escape from the realities of self and world. Instead, transcendence is a breaking-in, a breathing of the Spirit of love into the heart of our existence, a literal in-spiration that allows us to regard ourselves and our world with more trust and hope than ever before. To experience transcendence means to be removed -- not from self and world, but from that hall of mirrors in which the two endlessly reflect and determine one another. Prayer takes us out -- not out of self and world, but out of their closed circular logic.(p. 13, in To Know As We are Known, Education As A Spiritual Journey by Parker Palmer, c.1983)
I have just three things to teach:The back roads to Bangor were clear and sunny.
Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and in thoughts,
You return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
You accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
You reconcile all beings in the world.
- Lao Tzu
Root CellarThere is only bare breath remaining.
Nothing would sleep in that cellar, dank as a ditch,
Bulbs broke out of boxes hunting for chinks in the dark,
Shoots dangled and drooped,
Lolling obscenely from mildewed crates,
Hung down long yellow evil necks, like tropical snakes.
And what a congress of stinks!
Roots ripe as old bait,
Pulpy stems, rank, silo-rich,
Leaf-mold, manure, lime, piled against slippery planks.
Nothing would give up life:
Even the dirt kept breathing a small breath.
(Poem by by Theodore Roethke)
The moon shining in the middleWind sways trees. Rain pauses.
Of the sky swallows the lights
Of all creation.
The light in every age so clear
And mysterious that no words
Can describe it.
- Baekoon Kyunghan (1299-1375)
Students, when you want to say something, think about it three times before you say it. Speak only if your words will benefit yourselves and others. Do not speak if it brings no benefit.Silent today.
I ask how I am within myself today? Am I particularly tired, stressed, or off-form?Only today. There is no tomorrow.
If any of these characteristics apply, can I try to let go of the concerns that disturb me?
(--in Sacred Space, http://www.sacredspace.ie/dailyprayer/index.php?lang=en&d=15&m=03&y=2010#consciousness)
Of course, nothing that exists exists for its own sake; it exists for the sake of the whole. In origin, the whole is pregiven for man; it takes on for man its conscious character in the time-free present, for consciousness is not restricted to time and space. It cannot be concretized in conceptuality since conceptuality deals with abstractions and absolutes. It can be fathomed only dimly in vital, magic life, and is realizable through imagination and experience, as in myth and mysticism, only in a twilight of consciousness. It is approached in thought, but thought immediately closes itself off since in its process of deduction discursive thought always eludes any openness in its compulsion to system.
The new mutation of consciousness, on the other hand, as a consequence of arationality, receives its decisive stamp from the manifest perceptual emergence of the spiritual.
(--p.541, Ch 12, TheConcretion of the Spiritual, in The Ever-Present Origin, by Jean Gebser,c.1949)
The Second Patriarch Hui-k'o stood in the snow, cut off his arm, and awakened. The Sixth Patriarch heard someone recite the Diamond Sutra phrase "arouse the mind without placing it anywhere," and he awakened. Ling-yun saw a peach blossom and awakened. Hsiang-yen heard a tile fragment strike bamboo, and he awakened. Lin-chi was given sixty blows by Huang-po, and he awakened. Tung-shan noticed his own reflection when he was crossing a river, and he awakened. In each case, these men met the Master. - Daito (1282-1334)Finally get to stack strewn wood. Wind tosses the tarps. I set them again. And again.
It need not be pain. Just a walking through something that feels formless. A psychical uninhabitation.Solitudeby Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1855-1919)Laugh, and the world laughs with you;Weep, and you weep alone.For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,But has trouble enough of its own.Sing, and the hills will answer;Sigh, it is lost on the air.The echoes bound to a joyful sound,But shrink from voicing care.Rejoice, and men will seek you;Grieve, and they turn and go.They want full measure of all your pleasure,But they do not need your woe.Be glad, and your friends are many;Be sad, and you lose them all.There are none to decline your nectared wine,But alone you must drink life's gall.Feast, and your halls are crowded;Fast, and the world goes by.Succeed and give, and it helps you live,But no man can help you die.There is room in the halls of pleasureFor a long and lordly train,But one by one we must all file onThrough the narrow aisles of pain.(From: Poems of Passion by Ella Wheeler Wilcox)
"The sense is obscured whenever we focus only on small, finished segments of being." --Chuang-tzuFeast and fast.