Saturday, March 24, 2012
It's the story we tell about things, not the thing itself, that defines something.
That's the way the world comes about the way it is. A story is told, attention, then facts, are gathered to it, and it becomes an ongoing tale being told to continue its emerging reality.
If we want to change the world, tell a new and different story about it.
Once upon a time there was no time, and everything hung on a precipice of sorts waiting for the next phrase.
Do you have anything to say about this?
Friday, March 23, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
For me, it is occupying one's body. Even if you are not there to silently experience your absence.
To the BardoEverything you've ever thought has been a waste if time.
I dreamed I finally got through to C on the phone
he was whispering
I couldn't make out the words
he had been in the hospital
and then in a home
M was sick too
You know how in dreams you are everyone:
awake too you are everyone:
I am listening breathing your ashy breath
Old Chinese poet:
to see the way
(-- Poem by Jean Valentine, in Door in the Mountain: New & Collected Poems)
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
The emptiness of spring has emptied me of anything not itself spring. A large hole has opened and I have fallen through. One would have preferred a large whole. But I fail to notice the difference. So, I've asked friends to say what I cannot.
(Quotes from The Little Zen Companion.)
God made everything out of nothing. But the nothingness shows through.
- Paul Valery
With the evening breeze the water laps against the heron's legs.
It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
- Ursula K. Le Guin.
If you gaze for long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.
He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.
- Tao Te Ching.
If you could understand a single grain of wheat, you would die of wonder.
- Martin Luther
To be a man of knowledge one needs to be light and fluid.
- Yaqui Mystic
Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.
- Zen saying.
Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God:
But only he who sees takes off his shoes.
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Water which is too pure has no fish.
- Ts'ai Ken T'An.
To set up what you like against what you dislike -- this is the disease of the mind.
It is as hard to see one's self as to look backwards without turning around.
What is troubling us is the tendency to believe that the mind is like a little man within.
- Ludwig Wittgenstein.
This magnificent butterfly finds a little heap of dirt and sits still on it; but man will never on his heap of mud keep still...
- Joseph Conrad.
Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking.
Those who want the fewest things are nearest to the gods.
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the old; seek what they sought.
Every exit is an entry somewhere else.
- Tom Stoppard.
Man only plays when in the full meaning of the word he is a man, and he is only completely a man when he plays.
- Friedrich von Schiller.
Whoever knows himself knows God.
Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
- Kahlil Gibran.
The aim of life is to live and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
- Henry Miller.
Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water. The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken. Although its light is wide and great, the moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide. The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass.
The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self.
- Albert Einstein
If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.
- St. John of the Cross.
Lovely snowflakes, they fall nowhere else!
- Zen Saying.
It is good to have an end to journey toward;
but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
- Ursula K. Le Guin.
Everything the same; everything distinct.
- Zen Proverb
When you are deluded and full of doubt, even a thousand books of scripture are not enough.
When you have realized understanding, even one word is too much.
Our life is frittered away by detail . . . Simplify, simplify.
You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it.
- G.K. Chesterton.
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
- John Lennon.
Men argue, nature acts.
(-- from, The Little Zen Companion, compiled by David Schiller, 1994)
Blue light of dawn surrounds room making windows visible.
Finally, there is so much to see, and --what once was thought to be -- 'I' -- has nothing to say.
All that remains shows itself without explanation. Inexpressible, incomprehensible, with nothing left, there is only disappearance within this immense silencing gathering revelation.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
It breaks my heart that a young teenage man, Trayvon Martin, can be murdered in Sanford Florida and the police and legislators had let it pass as legitimate run-of-the-gun behavior. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/21/us/justice-department-opens-inquiry-in-killing-of-trayvon-martin.html?_r=1&hp)
It grieves me that a US soldier could massacre 18 people, many women and children, and America feels bad for the killer but loves the occupation.
I don't take your wordsWe're not yet talking about the things that must be talked about.
Merely as words
Far from it.
to whatever makes you talk -
Whatever that is -
And me listen.
(Poem by Shinkichi Takahashi)
The blather and the blarney depresses my spirit and threatens whatever sanity remains in our collective fragile psyches.
Yes, we speak of things that matter,/ With words that must be said,/ "Can analysis be worthwhile?"/ "Is the theater [or God] really dead?" (-from Simon & Garfunkel's The Dangling Conversation)
I go with silence, with the Border Collie, to the dump, to the sea.
To a deeper, darker, colloquy.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Sunday, March 18, 2012
See tree, and see ancestor, neighbor, long distant friend, all angels, source of being, and true self. That's a lot to see in and through the silent branches sketching sky and waving in morning breeze. As winter opens valise and begins to fold away wardrobe of ice and snow, chill freezing wind and short hours of light into neat squares before final closing of zipper, we look up at gray-brown mountainside, bare limbs and naked rocks, remembering those who courageously agreed to travel the winter passage into invisible presence.
Thank you! We will learn to feel you in new ways beyond confused senses.
Compassion without the understanding of emptiness easily becomes selfish attachment, while understanding emptiness without compassion can also become selfish, one-sided, and limited. In order to avoid those dangers, it’s very important to understand the unity of emptiness and compassion. Your naked, present ordinary mind is the door to this unity of compassionate emptiness.Final day of skiing season at Snow Bowl. Mountain shrugs off its thin white blanket and studies patches of bent stalks sleep-waking from these three months. Ice on Hosmer Pond rolls from shore and will dive under released water like strong lover letting up grip on what it held down. Sun takes walking stick, rubs forehead, and wanders north thawing frozen ground leaving soft mud at edge of driveways for tires to sign signature treads leaving yard. We turn our inner bodies back to lower thermostats and lighter sweaters as dooryard unveils all the dropped and covered things needing to be picked and tidied as new season of revelation lays open our lives.
Right now this door is closed by our preoccupation with an almost uninterrupted string of thoughts. But if we allow just one gap between one thought and the next, we may glimpse the naked ordinary mind, self-existing awareness. Then the door is opened right there, to reveal compassion and emptiness united. It is a timeless moment.
The great wisdom qualities of the Buddha-mind - that wisdom that sees the innate nature as it is and the wisdom that perceives all possible things - are blocked again and again, almost continuously, by the concepts that we form. These concepts are actually temporally based; they are, in essence, time. The moment we start to allow gaps in this flow of concepts, the innate qualities of the awakened state begin to shine through.
(--from, Tricycle Magazine, Spring 1999, DISSOLVING THE CONFUSION, by Tsoknyi Rinpoche)
End of WinterSilence does not have to say "All is love," nor does it have to say, "Everything is stupid." Silence permits everything to be as it is.
Over the still world, a bird calls
waking solitary among black boughs.
You wanted to be born; I let you be born.
When has my grief ever gotten
in the way of your pleasure?
into the dark and light at the same time
eager for sensation
as though you were some new thing, wanting
to express yourselves
all brilliance, all vivacity
this would cost you anything,
never imagining the sound of my voice
as anything but part of you—
you won't hear it in the other world,
not clearly again,
not in birdcall or human cry,
not the clear sound, only
in all sound that means good-bye, good-bye—
the one continuous line
that binds us to each other.
(Poem by Louise Glück, “The End of Winter" from The Wild Iris. 1992)
As it is, when we look at what is taking place we, with silence, completely accept without judgment that what is taking place is, indeed, taking place.
This kind of silence embraces the reality of the unfolding present moment with a breathing equanimity of active non-interference and contemplative whole-sighted restfulness.
Knowing that...is knowing this: nothing, and nothing left out -- completeness beyond comprehension.