become the situation

December 30, 2015

When we bear witness, when we become the situation — homelessness, poverty, illness, violence, death — the right action arises by itself.

Peacemaking is the functioning of bearing witness. Once we listen with our entire body and mind, loving action arises.

~ Roshi Bernie Glassman

life everlasting

December 15, 2015

Underneath the superficial self, which pays attention to this and that, there is another self, more really us than “I”.

And if you become aware of that unknown self, the more you become aware of it, the more you realize that it is inseparably connected with everything else that there is.

That, you are a function of this total galaxy, bounded by the Milky Way, and that futhermore this galaxy is a function of all other galaxies and that vast thing that you see far, far off with great telescopes.

You look and look, and one day you are going to wake up and say…

“Why, that’s me!”

And in knowing that, you know that you never die. You are the eternal thing that comes and goes that appears — now as John Jones, now as Mary Smith, now as Betty Brown — and so it goes, forever and ever and ever.

~ Alan Watts

now is the time

November 15, 2015

No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope or fear;
But, grateful, take the good I find,
The best of now and here.

~ John Greenleaf Whittier

beyond reason

November 3, 2015

Men craving holiness
use words
to create images of their gods,
and confuse
their pride
in their own inventions.
The Taoist sage
shuns words
trusts silence,
knowing full well
the Tao is beyond the reach of concepts.

~ Jos Slabbert
(The Tao is Tao, 139)

divinity beyond our grasp

October 31, 2015

God is the most obvious thing in the world. He is absolutely self-evident – the simplest, clearest and closest reality of life and consciousness. We are only unaware of him because we are too complicated, for our vision is darkened by the complexity of pride.

God and union with God are Reality; nothing is more real, more concrete, more actual, and more present. At the same time, Reality is infinitely alive. It, he, cannot be grasped in any finite form, whether physical, mental or emotional.

Therefore, as long as we try to grasp God, we shall never realize him. Life itself, as we experience it moment by moment, proceeding as it does directly from God, is the perfect analogy of this truth, for to grasp life is to kill it, or rather, to miss it, and more than ever is this true of God – the Life of life.

Pluck a flower, and it dies. Take up water from the stream, and it flows no longer. Pull down the blind, but the sunbeam is not trapped in the room. Snatch the wind in a bag, and you have only stagnant air. This is the root of every trouble: man loves life, but the moment he tries to hold on to it he misses it. The fact that things change and move and flow is their very liveliness, and the harder man hangs on to his life, the sooner he dies of worry.

Religion, as it is generally practiced, is simply an attempt to hang on to life and the still more lively mystery which informs it – God. Hence religion as generally practiced is idolatry. God cannot be held in theologies; theism, deism, pantheism – none of them can grasp his truth. Nor can states of mind and feeling contain him; ecstasy, rapture, quiet, Samadhi – these are only the secondary and unessential effects of his presence.

Our various intellectual and emotional idols, our doctrines, holy books, sacraments, religious feelings, creeds and churches, are of use so long as they are understood as approximating and pointing to God. But when we try to possess him within them, they must sooner or later become millstones about our necks.

~ Alan Watts, “Behold the Spirit”

nothing personal

October 2, 2015

The Buddha’s Wisdom teachings can be summarized with these words…

Everything changes. That can hurt. Don’t take it personally.

~ Nithya Shanti

let your light so shine

July 29, 2015

Awakening is not a state but a process: an ethical way of life and commitment that enables human flourishing. As such, it is no longer the exclusive preserve of enlightened teachers or accomplished yogis.

Likewise, nirvana—the stopping of craving—is not the goal of the path but its very source. For human flourishing first stirs in that clear, bright, empty space where neurotic self-centredness realizes that it has no ground at all to stand on. One is then freed to pour forth like sunlight.

~ Stephen Batchelor