February 26, 2017
“Nothing we see or hear is perfect. But right there in the imperfection is perfect reality.”
~ Shunryu Suzuki
It’s so difficult for people to understand that it is our unmet expectations that cause us to think no-thing can be perfect, whereas reality is always perfect simply because it is what actually is.
Proximity is the key that unlocked this for me. Are the sun and stars perfect? Sure. Is that ocean wave or that cloud perfect? Yep. Are the deer running through my back yard doing it right? Of course they are. Those things are away from me and don’t ‘apparently’ affect me.
But, the closer things get to me, my expectations take over and my judging mind chooses this over that and very few things are ever right, let alone perfect.
I finally realized the things that happen to me are no more or less critical than what happens to that star, ocean wave, or deer (outside the expectations of my thinking mind). I woke up to the fact that perfection does indeed describe reality. I can choose to sit with that perfection in contentment or chafe with contention, but it doesn’t change the perfection of what is.
To me this is what Suzuki was describing.
January 27, 2017
January 21, 2017
The Beloved takes your hand and walks with you up the path that leads from the base of your spine to the crown of your head. The path is made of crushed diamonds, so fine it is a mist, a cloud, a morning breeze, a sigh…
Every step is love. And the Beloved is nearer to you than your name. The Beloved’s touch is the stillness between your heartbeats. Why have you not taken this path, this wedding walk from your Self to your Self, from your belly to your brow?
Because you thought you would find the Beloved in an ashram, a temple, a cathedral, or a mosque. You thought you would find the Beloved in a book, in a white robe, a pair of sandals.
The Beloved wears only the soft cloth of your inhalation. The Beloved is a vine of roses on the trellis of your spine. The Beloved is more inward to you than your lost rib.
When you were swimming like a minnow in the womb of night, the Beloved sang to you from every star. That song is still inside you. You are still inside that song.
Do not look for the Beloved anywhere special. Wherever you are, just listen, and dance.
December 18, 2016
Atheists and Believers both make a similar strategic mistake. The point is not which belief to believe, but knowing how to believe entirely without the artificial constraint of the belief itself.
Any assertion of this or that belief as something that is factual and not merely some form of epoxied opinion, marks an end to believing and an entry into the realm of artificial knowing.
Believing without beliefs, on the other hand, is submitting what one has already experienced to possible changes in trajectory, without the need to validate either the archer or the target.
A face-to-face encounter between suffering and compassion is required to generate the sort of authentic epiphanies that give rise to such words as GOD
In other words, the only way one may validate or invalidate the existence or non-existence of God is in the actual practice of godliness and a straightforward articulation of the effects of having done just that.
November 16, 2016
“Focus with deep and genuine concern for those few persons God has committed to your care–your family, your students, your employees, your parishioners.
Unlike the great benevolent and public movements, full of noisy and shared concern, it is not foggy, diffuse, devouring and absurd. Only a personal concern of this kind leads to love.”
~ Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, a journal he kept from 1956 to 1965 in which he offered his observations about the disturbing world events of his day.
October 24, 2016
Pay more attention
to the Ordinary.
It is the alter
where miracles descend
like Spirit into bread –
or a deer trail
leading back to itself
in the little woods,
three unharvested tomatoes
or a spider flinging its
silken path homeward
from your old garden buddha
to a withered rose,
the last evening light
fondling small things
like the hand of the dying,
not with regret
October 21, 2016
Time is a measure of energy, a measure of motion. And we have agreed internationally on the speed of the clock. And I want you to think about clocks and watches for a moment. We are of course slaves to them. And you will notice that your watch is a circle, and that it is calibrated, and that each minute, or second, is marked by a hairline which is made as narrow as possible, as yet to be consistent with being visible.
And when we think of a moment of time, when we think what we mean by the word “now”; we think of the shortest possible instant that is here and gone, because that corresponds with the hairline on the watch. And as a result of this fabulous idea, we are a people who feel that we don’t have any present, because the present is instantly vanishing – it goes so quickly. It is always becoming past.
And we have the sensation, therefore, of our lives as something that is constantly flowing away from us. We are constantly losing time. And so we have a sense of urgency. Time is not to be wasted. Time is money. And so, because of the tyranny of this thing, we feel that we have a past, and we know who we are in terms of our past. Nobody can ever tell you who they are, they can only tell you who they were.
And we think we also have a future. And that is terribly important, because we have a naive hope that the future is somehow going to supply what we are looking for. You see, if you live in a present that is so short that it is not really here at all, you will always feel vaguely frustrated.