March 6, 2014
But once I had left Eiheiji and been away for some time, coming back was different. I heard the various sounds of practice—the bells and the monks reciting the sutra—and I had a deep feeling.
There were tears flowing out of my eyes, nose, and mouth! It is the people who are outside of the monastery who feel its atmosphere. Those who are practicing actually do not feel anything.
I think this is true for everything. When we hear the sound of the pine trees on a windy day, perhaps the wind is just blowing, and the pine tree is just standing in the wind. That is all that they are doing.
But the people who listen to the wind in the tree will write a poem, or will feel something unusual. That is, I think, the way everything is.
~ Shunryu Suziki
March 1, 2014
February 8, 2014
In meditation we seem to be sitting by ourselves, but we do not sit just for ourselves. By focusing our attention on the breath, the body, thoughts, feelings, and sensations, or any other facet of our experience in meditation, we become more mindful—not mindless—through the transformative power of moment-to-moment alertness and presence of mind.
Instead of absentmindedly stumbling through life like sleepwalkers, we can use contemplative practice to achieve extraordinary insight into ourselves and the world in which we live; to inhabit and appreciate more fully the here and now; to free our minds and open our hearts, and to relax into our natural state.
The cultivation of mindfulness helps us wake up to things as they are, rather than as we would like them to be. And as we wake up to truth, to reality, we become a force for universal awakening, working with what actually is, not delusive fictions.
~ Lama Surya Das
January 26, 2014
All great religions represent a process through their symbols and rituals. All religious stories are, in the final analysis, the story of our own enlightenment.
As long as we choose to load our experience of Presence with the baggage of an old religious story, whether it is the story of Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed, Moses or Jesus, we can spend lifetimes anchoring the present to the past…
But, at some point we gently relinquish the religion of history, choosing quite simply to bathe in the splendor of Now.
Then our religion is freed from the bondage of dogma, and it becomes a lovely poem.
We can cherish the rituals, chants and stories as reflections of a Light that we constantly behold, shadows of a Life we perpetually breathe.
For all religions symbolize the surrender of the ego to the mystery of unfathomable Presence.
~ Fred LaMotte
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