Religion is like a rope with interlaced strands of culture, history, tradition, community, theology, mythology and ethics.

Unfortunately, people believe these strands are all one-and-the-same. If they reject one or two strands, they think they’ll be forced to throw away the whole rope.

Or, they’re made to believe if they embrace only a few of the strands, they’ll be identified with the entire rope.

But, this simply isn’t true. All-or-nothing religions and separation theologies aren’t spiritual paths. They’re tyrannies of the mind.

I would prefer someone embrace the community, culture and ethics of a faith tradition without clinging to its theology or mythology, than have them idolize the theology and mythology and skip compassion and ethics.

~ Scott Kinnaird

theo rope knife


February 27, 2015

Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire.

The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down.

You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion.

~ Robert Pirsig

where forgiveness abides

January 27, 2015

Actually ‘repent’ in the New Testament is the translation of the Greek word, ‘metanoia.’

Meta means beside or beyond, Nous is intellect.

To repent is to transcend the intellect, to go into the silence beyond thought, beyond ideology, beyond religion.

That’s where forgiveness is.

~ Fred LaMotte

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