December 28, 2013
Buddha has never been anything but an instantaneous lightning bolt over Bartlesville, Oklahoma. A lightning bolt is the Buddha.
Buddha has never been anything but a mountain brook cascading into the Nooksak Valley. A mountain brook is the Buddha.
Buddha has never been anything but wind sighing through ancient oaks by the lepers’ cemetery at Madalene Hospital in Chichester. Wind in the cemetery is the personal song of the Buddha.
Buddha has never been anything but a pebble on the path to the Orphanage of the Sisters of Mercy in Brooklyn. A pebble on your path is the Buddha.
Buddha has never been anything but the infinitesimal pause between exhalation and inhalation, a gift offered to a gift. Your breath is the Buddha.
If you don’t understand this, watch the snow choose whether to fall on a pine bough or camellia. Then be choiceless.
~ Fred LaMotte
November 27, 2013
November 27, 2013
The only thing you have to offer another human being, ever, is your own state of being. You can cop out only just so long, saying, “I’ve got all this nice stuff, I know all this and I can do all this.”
But everything you do, whether you’re cooking food or doing therapy or being a student or being a lover, you are only doing your own being, you’re only manifesting how evolved a consciousness you are.
~ Ram Dass
November 25, 2013
Gratitude is a natural response when you’ve won a big prize. And, our dimmest awareness of the simple act of breathing testifies to us winning the galactic lottery.
Usually after expressing thanks, it’s normal to ask what might be done in return. Unfortunately, ego convolutes this natural protocol, while the world’s seeking traditions too often make matters worse.
No matter the plan or the path, remembering what to do starts with acknowledging that it’s nothing less than a miracle any of us are even here.
Then we should follow the natural progression of gratitude for the miracle by saying, “Thank you! Now, what can I do for you?”
~ Scott Kinnaird
November 16, 2013
It has been said that the highest wisdom lies in detachment, or, in the words of Chung-Tzu, ‘The perfect man employs his mind as a mirror; it grasps nothing; it refuses nothing; it receives, but does not keep.’
Detachment means to have neither regrets for the past nor fears for the future; to let life take its course without attempting to interfere with its movement and change, neither trying to prolong the stay of something pleasant nor to hasten the departure of things unpleasant. To do this is to move in time with life, to be in perfect accord with its changing music, and this is called Enlightenment.
In short, it is to be detached from both the past and future and to live in the eternal Now. For in truth neither past nor future have any existence apart from this Now; by themselves they are illusions. Life exists only at this very moment.
You may believe yourself out of harmony with life and its eternal Now; but you cannot be, for you are life and exist Now—otherwise you would not be here. Hence the infinite Tao is something which you can neither escape by flight nor catch by pursuit; there is no coming toward it or going away from it; it is, and you are it.
So become what you are.
~ Alan Watts
November 11, 2013
A couple of years ago I took a morning solo ATV ride on a remote mountain trail after a light rain and stopped to sit with a grove of young pines.
I was able to sit in silence and smell the cool breeze coming through the pine. The morning sun was bright and the rain drops on the pines sparkled like diamonds.
The way the young pines opened up and leaned into the sun was impressive. They were collectively and individually responsive to the sun and rain with openness as young pines always are.
Wondering if the breeze was singing as it passed through the pines or if they were singing because the breeze was blowing, I remembered that with all things, the answer was neither and both. It’s always neither AND both at the same time.
Soon, before I headed back down the mountain to be with my sons at the camp fire, I remember thinking that the young pines aren’t always open and expansive. Like all natural things, they respond and react, but they always do so appropriately. If it becomes too cold or dry, they will shrink and withdraw. If a disease or fire arises they will draw up, falter and perhaps die. Some with explosiveness owing to the fuel in their veins.
The difference between their reactions and our reactions to these elements and external stimuli isn’t all that much.
While the difference is simple, it is indeed profound:
they just. don’t. talk. about. it.
THAT’s when it hit me. Sitting with that grove of young pine I finally understood that ALL of nature sits zazen all the time. WE are the only ones who incessantly think and talk about talking about talk about non-existent notions and concepts like past and future and heaven and hell.
When humans learn to sit zazen, we are learning how to “re-member” our “dis-membered” Self. We remember our true nature, the collective Universal Self which includes those young pines.
When I sat with them in silence, even for a few moments, I was able to peer into who I AM. Silent awareness in the present moment.
Religionists would call it a God Moment. And, they would be right to the extent that God is “all of this.”
But, if we strip away ALL concepts, the fact of the matter is I was merely sitting with young pines the way I was meant to sit. As a silent witness to what is.
November 3, 2013
The true men of old were not afraid when they stood alone in their views.
No great exploits. No plans.
If they failed, no sorrow. No congratulations in success .
The true men of old, knew no lust for life…no dread of death.
Their entrance without gladness….their exit, without resistance.
They did not forget where from…nor ask , where to,
Nor drive grimly forward, fighting their way through life.
They took life as it came, gladly.
Took death as it came, without care, and went away…yonder.
They had no mind to fight TAO.
They did not try by their own contriving to help TAO along.
These are the one’s we call, true men.