Humanity wasn’t thought up to serve religion. Religion was thought up to serve humanity. If your religion won’t evolve, abandon it. Invent a new one.

Create fresh ceremonies, offering your wonder to the present moment. Let your own Word renew the earth and sing the stars awake. Perform a miracle: touch the wet grass with your bare feet. Baptize the ocean waves with your naked body.

And please, stop arguing over which dead prophet told the truth! The truth shines through every atom of your flesh this very morning.

If You yourself are not the light, then they were all wrong.

~ Fred LaMotte

second arrow

December 22, 2014

Our minds are habituated to relate to suffering by resisting it through blame, bitterness, anger, resentment.

That resistance is what the Buddha called ‘the second arrow,’ which follows the first arrow, the direct experience of pain.

So much additional suffering comes from believing that ‘things shouldn’t be this way’ — when in fact they are that way.

~ Rona Kabatznick

wispy mind clouds

December 19, 2014

If you vanquish ego-clinging today, tonight you will be enlightened. If you vanquish it tomorrow, you will be enlightened tomorrow night. But if you never vanquish it, you will never be enlightened. Yet ”I” is just a thought. Thoughts and feelings have no intrinsic solidity, form, shape, or color.

When a thought of anger arises in the mind with such force that you feel aggressive and destructive, is anger brandishing a weapon? Is it at the head of an army? Can it burn things like fire, crush them like a rock, or carry them away like a violent river? No.

Anger, like any other thought or feeling, has no true existence – not even a definitive location in your body, speech, or mind. It is just like wind roaring in empty space.

Instead of allowing wild thoughts to enslave you, realize their essential emptiness. If you subdue the hatred within, you will discover that there is not a single enemy left outside. Otherwise, even if you could overpower everyone in the whole world, your hatred will only grow stronger. Indulging it will never make it subside. The only truly intolerable enemy is hatred itself.

Examine the nature of hatred; you will find that it is no more than a thought.
When you see it as it is, it will dissolve like a cloud in the sky.

~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

zen is the air never broken

December 18, 2014

Zen is very simple. Dishwashing time, just wash dishes; sitting time, just sit; driving time, just drive; talking time, just talk; walking time, just walk." That’s all. Not special. But that is very difficult. That is absolutes thinking. When you’re doing something, just do it. No opposites. No subject, no object. No inside, no outside. Outside and inside become one. That’s called absolutes.

It’s easy to talk about "When you’re doing something, just do it," but action is very difficult. Sitting: thinking, thinking, thinking. Chanting: also thinking, thinking. Bowing time: not so much, but some thinking, thinking, checking, checking mind appear. Then you have a problem.

But don’t hold. Thinking is OK. Checking is OK. Only holding is a problem. Don’t hold. Feeling coming, going, OK. Don’t hold. If your mind is not holding anything, it is clear like space. Clear like space means that sometimes clouds come, sometimes rain or lightning or airplane comes, or even a missile blows up, BOOM! World explodes, but the air is never broken. This space is never broken.
Yeah, other things are broken but this space is never changing.

Even if a nuclear bomb explodes, it doesn’t matter. Space is space. That mind is very important. If something in your mind explodes, then don’t hold it. Then it will disappear. Sometimes anger mind appears but soon disappears. But if you hold it, you have a problem. Appear, disappear, that’s OK. Don’t hold. Then it becomes wisdom. My anger mind becomes wisdom. My desire mind becomes wisdom. Everything becomes wisdom. That’s interesting, yeah? So don’t hold. That’s very important point.

~ Seung Sahn

this and that

December 17, 2014

If there is beauty, there must be ugliness;
If there is right, there must be wrong.
Wisdom and ignorance are complementary,
And illusion and enlightenment cannot be separated.
This is an old truth, don’t think it was discovered recently. “I want this, I want that”
Is nothing but foolishness.
I’ll tell you a secret –
All things are impermanent!

~ Ryokan

no birth and no death

November 15, 2014

Our greatest fear is that when we die we will become nothing. Many of us believe that our entire existence is only a life span beginning the moment we are born or conceived and ending the moment we die. We believe that we are born from nothing and when we die we become nothing.

And so we are filled with fear of annihilation. The Buddha has a very different understanding of our existence. It is the understanding that birth and death are notions. They are not real. The fact that we think they are true makes a powerful illusion that causes our suffering.

The Buddha taught that there is no birth; there is no death; there is no coming; there is no going; there is no same; there is no different; there is no permanent self; there is no annihilation. We only think there is.

When we understand that we cannot be destroyed, we are liberated from fear. It is a great relief. We can enjoy life and appreciate it in a new way.

~ Thay


November 4, 2014

We forfeit our birthright when our mind moves outward to refer to any thing at all as the Truth; a belief, a book, another person, a god, a guru, the christ, or the buddha. Any referent whatsoever, any image or thought, any word, mantra or sacred verse, is a veil that shrouds the immediate perfection of Awareness.

There is a serenely glowing emptiness in the core of your heart. It is not any thing at all. It brings all-sufficient peace, and naturally infuses peace into the atmosphere. For lifetimes you sought to fill this glowing emptiness with something or someone else. Now is the end of that journey, and the beginning of Life.

The deepest meditation is just to allow that radiant space to Be, to Be its own silent explosion into boundlessness, causeless joy, and freedom. Then you will taste the Truth that needs to refer to nothing, because pure Existence already is a supreme bliss; and it is never diminished by lack, only by our attempt to impose something ‘more’ upon it.

Again and again return to this prayer, ‘There is nothing more.’

~ Fred LaMotte


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