let the present be all

September 3, 2018

There are, then, two ways of understanding an experience. The first is to compare it with the memories of other experiences, and so to name and define it. This is to interpret it in accordance with the dead and the past.

The second is to be aware of it as it is, as when, in the intensity of joy, we forget past and future, let the present be all, and thus do not even stop to think, “I am happy.”

~ Alan Wilson Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity

the answer

July 31, 2018

Ultimately I must recognize that I am not looking for a verbal answer to all of my profound questions.

Just as when I ask for a kiss, I do not want a piece of paper with “A kiss” written on it.
It is rather that; with metaphysical wonder, I look for an experience, a vision, a revelation which will explain, without words, why there is the universe, and what it is.

– Alan Watts

big mind

June 20, 2018

When we practice zazen, it is not that big mind is actually controlling small mind, but simply that when small mind becomes calm, big mind starts it true activity. Most of the time in our everyday life, we are involved in the activity of small mind. That is why we should practice zazen and be completely involved in resuming big mind.

– Shunryu Suzuki, Not Always So

small mind

June 19, 2018

The greatest crime is
The overlooking of
Who you really are
In favor of
The story of
Who you think you are.

This preoccupation with
Your personal drama is
The cloud that masks The sun.

~ Wu Hsin

try your best

June 4, 2018

Let others be your mirror. If your words or actions discomfit, shock or cause concern to others, immediately reflect on your behavior, express remorse and improve.

– Sheng-yen

There are those who pride themselves on being ‘activists,’ some believing that their actions are more significant than what other people do. But who judges the value of an act?

The old Bulgarian cobbler – some say he is one of only seven Tzaddiks left on earth – stitches a new sole to a grizzled boot. He is so present, and so deep in merry silence, he doesn’t realize how he sews heaven to earth, allowing us to survive another day.

The pole star seems to rest in stillness all night. Yet it streaks at inconceivable speed through the heavens.

A tiny emerald moth alights on the lupine in a mountain meadow, folding its wings in repose. This faint pulse sends out a thread of causation that will finally bring a tempest to the other side of the planet.

The child falls and scrapes her knee. The mother who treats her wound, not only with ointment but with immeasurable tenderness, lightens the burden of all who suffer, though we never know quite why we sigh, and feel such nameless elevation.

If you take – no, receive – a breath with infinite gratitude – for we are not capable of doing infinite works, but we are capable of being infinitely grateful – this breath may feel like the faintest caress on your breastbone. But can you be sure it isn’t a mighty wind from the Creator, sweeping the world, renewing mountains, forests, and rivers, restoring the Spirit to every heart that beats?

In the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, “Drink your tea slowly, as if it is the axis on which the earth revolves.”

~ Fred LaMotte

moving day

March 26, 2018

Those who see worldly life as an obstacle to dharma see no dharma in everyday actions. They have not yet discovered that there are no everyday actions outside of dharma.

– Dogen Zenji