letting go

May 22, 2022

When the suffering comes down the pike, you don’t turn away from it, because you know the only reason you’re suffering is to show you the clinging of your own mind.

It’s being offered to you as a gift.

~ Ram Dass

life eternal

November 28, 2021

I asked the leaf whether it was afraid to fall, since it was autumn and the other leaves were falling. The leaf told me, “No. During the whole spring and summer I was very alive. I worked hard and helped nourish the tree, and much of me is in the tree. Please do not think that I am just this form, because this leaf form is only a tiny part of me. I am the whole tree. I know that I am already inside the tree, and when I go back to the soil, I will continue to nourish the tree. That is why I do not worry. As I drop from the branch and float down to the ground, I will wave to the tree and tell her, ‘I will see you again very soon.’”

Suddenly I had a kind of insight very much like the insight contained in the Heart Sutra. You have to see life. You shouldn’t say, life of the leaf, but life in the leaf, and life in the tree. My life is just Life, and you can see it in me and in the tree. I saw the leaf leave the branch and float down to the soil, dancing joyfully, because as it floated it saw itself already there in the tree. It was so happy. I bowed my head, and I knew that we have a lot to learn from the leaf because it was not afraid; it knew that nothing can be born and nothing can die.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

fearless presence

October 14, 2021

Fearlessness is what love seeks.

Such fearlessness exists only in the complete calm that can no longer be shaken by events expected of the future.

Hence the only valid tense is the present, the Now.

~ Hannah Arendt

eternal life

September 19, 2021

The secret is that “other” eventually turns out to be you. I mean, that’s the element of surprise in life: when suddenly you find the thing most alien. We say now: what is most alien to us?

Go out at night and look at the stars, and realize that they are millions and millions and billions of miles away. Vast conflagrations out in space. And you can lie back and look at that. Whew! Say, “Well! Surely I hardly matter. I’m just a tiny, tiny little peekaboo on this weird spot of dust called Earth. And all that going on out there. Billions of years before I was born. Billions of years after I will die.”

And nothing seems stranger to you than that, more different from you. But there comes a point (if you watch long enough) when you’ll say, “Why, that’s me!” It’s the “other” that is the condition of your being yourself, as the back is the condition of being the front. And when you know that, you know you never die.

~ Alan Watts


April 9, 2021

Christ is the ego. The cross is the body. When the ego is crucified, and it perishes, what survives is the Absolute Being, and this glorious survival is called Resurrection.

~ Ramana Maharshi

time to go

April 3, 2021

Life is defined by transience and impermanence. We experience inevitable change and loss, we and those we love and admire get sick, grow old, and pass away. That is reality.

And, the gap between that reality and our expectation is where our suffering resides.

To the extent we learn how to “close the gap” — sit and be with reality rather than resisting it with fear and anger — we are able to reduce our suffering and not be defined by it.

Our suffering isn’t “wrong.” But, neither is it inevitable.

~ Scott Kinnaird

free falling

January 9, 2021

When a cat falls out of a tree, it lets go of itself. The cat becomes completely relaxed, and lands lightly on the ground. But if a cat were about to fall out of a tree and suddenly make up its mind that it didn’t want to fall, it would become tense and rigid, and would be just a bag of broken bones upon landing.

In the same way, it is the philosophy of the Dao that we are all falling off a tree, at every moment of our lives. As a matter of fact, the moment we were born we were kicked off a precipice and we are falling, and there is nothing that can stop it.

So instead of living in a state of chronic tension, and clinging to all sorts of things that are actually falling with us because the whole world is impermanent, be like a cat.

~ Alan Watts

here you are

September 19, 2020

Of course, strictly speaking, there is no method to arrive at the place where you already are.

No amount of searching will uncover the self, because all searching implies the absence of the self – the big self, the Self with a capital S.

So, to seek is to thrust it away. And to practice a discipline to attain it is to postpone realization.

~ Alan Watts

ego, our ancient guard dog

September 8, 2020

I think the ego is likened to an ancient guard dog that can either be trained by us, with compassion, to sit down beside us until it’s genuinely needed…or…we can let that same guard dog stand between us and the world, gnarling at every perceived grievance, identifying SO tightly with it, that we make everyone and even ourselves believe we ARE that guard dog.

When someone says, “that guy is an egomaniac!” Or, “you need to keep your ego in check,” they’re likely describing someone who has identified too closely with their guard dog.

But, when we have our ego appropriately in-check, while we present our authentic self to the world, if our guard dog growls a warning…it might be an appropriate warning! But, if not, with loving compassion, we can pat our ego on the head and remind it that all is well, while thanking it for protecting us down through the eons.

~ Scott Kinnaird

You only see the world aright if you see it as being neither materialistic nor idealistic, but are capable of following up the ideal aspect of what is presented in a material way and following up the material aspect of what is presented as idea.

The spiritual quality of a world conception is not being able to say “Over there is base materialism, which is for the ‘dregs’ of humanity, and over here is idealism, which is for the elect” — and the speaker usually includes himself among these — but the essential quality of a really spiritual world conception lies in its capacity to take what it has grasped in the spirit and bring it down into material existence so that material existence can be understood and not despised.

That is the fallacy of many religious denominations, that they despise material existence instead of understanding it and looking for the spirit within it.

~ Rudolf Steiner, Social Understanding Through Spiritual Scientific Knowledge, 1919