Monthly Archives: July 2015

Lao Tzu

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – chapter 47

” Without going outside, you may know the whole world. Without looking through the window, you may see the ways of heaven. The farther you go, the less you know. Thus the sage knows without travelling; He sees without looking; He works without doing.”

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Pema Chodron

“ If you want to be a complete human being, if you want to be genuine and hold the fullness of life in your heart, then failure is an opportunity to get curious about what is going on and listen to the storylines. Don’t buy the ones that blame it on everybody else, and don’t buy the storylines that blame it on yourself, either.”

– Pema Chödrön, “How to Fail”

Martin Luther King Jnr

Agape means understanding, redeeming good will for all men. It is an overflowing love which is purely spontaneous, unmotivated, groundless, and creative. It is not set in motion by any quality or function of its object… Agape is disinterested love. It is a love in which the individual seeks not his own good, but the good of his neighbor. Agape does not begin by discriminating between worthy and unworthy people, or any qualities people possess. It begins by loving others for their sakes. It is an entirely “neighbor-regarding concern for others,” which discovers the neighbor in every man it meets. Therefore, agape makes no distinction between friends and enemy; it is directed toward both. If one loves an individual merely on account of his friendliness, he loves him for the sake of the benefits to be gained from the friendship, rather than for the friend’s own sake. Consequently, the best way to assure oneself that love is disinterested is to have love for the enemy-neighbor from whom you can expect no good in return, but only hostility and persecution.

Martin Luther King Jnr

Nonviolent resistance … is based on the conviction that the universe is on the side of justice. Consequently, the believer in nonviolence has deep faith in the future. This faith is another reason why the nonviolent resister can accept suffering without retaliation. For he knows that in his struggle for justice he has cosmic companionship. It is true that there are devout believers in nonviolence who find it difficult to believe in a personal God. But even these persons believe in the existence of some creative force that works for universal wholeness. Whether we call it an unconscious process, an impersonal Brahman, or a Personal Being of matchless power of infinite love, there is a creative force in this universe that works to bring the disconnected aspects of reality into a harmonious whole.

The Simple Life

 ALL ABOUT THE SIMPLE LIFE

” Though I’ve taken no vowel of silence, since I live alone, I escape creating any bad karma with my tongue. 1 make no special effort to keep the precepts, but given my surroundings, what occasion would I have to break them ?. I often play: ‘ The Melody of the Autumn Wind ‘ blending it with the sighing of the pines, or perform the piece entitled:’ The Flowing Fountain ‘ to accompany the rippling of the water. I am a very unskilled player, but then my music is not intended to delight the ears of others. I play by myself, sing by myself, and in this way refresh my spirits. At the foot of the mountain is a rough shack where the caretaker of the mountain lives. He has a little son who now and then comes to visit me. If I have nothing in particular to do, my friend and I go off rambling. He’s ten and I’m sixty, so we are far apart in age but we seem to enjoy the same sorts of things. When I see how friendly the deer from the hilltop have become, I realize how far removed I am from the outside world. Sometimes I stir up the buried embers of the fire, making them my companion in an old man’s wakeful night, or I delight in the voice of the owl, since there is nothing fearful about this mountain. Each season in the mountain brings an endless succession of sights. If I find it so, how much more would a person of truly deep feeling and understanding! Only this temporary dwelling of mine has remained tranquil and safe from harm. Small as it is, it provides room enough to sleep at night and to sit in the daytime, all that is needed to accommodate one person. The hermit crab prefers a little shell because he knows the dimensions of his own body. The fish hawk dwells on the crag -because he fears to be where people are. And I am the same. Knowing my own size and knowing the ways of the world, I crave nothing. I desire only a peaceful spot, and delight in being free from care…..

This threefold world of ours is a creation of the mind. If the mind is not at ease, then the finest horses and elephants, the seven precious substances, all seem worthless, and palaces and pleasure towers hold no allure. But now I find myself loving this lonely dwelling, my one -room hut. I feel ashamed whenever circumstances oblige me to go to the capital and beg for alms. But once back in my mountain, I can only pity those who chase after worldly gain. If people doubt what I say, let them look at the fish and birds. The fish never tire of the water, yet if one is not a fish, one can hardly understand what is in the fish’s mind.

Birds long only for the forest, but if one is not a bird, one cannot understand why. The same applies to these delights of the quiet life. Without living such a life, how can one comprehend them?…..Now my term draws to a close, like a moon nearing the rim of the mountain as it sinks in the sky. Soon I will face the darkness of Sanzu River. What use now in grumbling? The teachings of the Buddha warn us against feelings of attachments. So now it must be wrong for me to love this thatched hut of mine, and my fondness for quiet and solitude must be a block to my salvation. Why have I wasted precious time in the recital of these useless pleasures ? In the stillness of dawn I go pondering these truths, and I put this question to myself: ‘ You say you’ve abandoned the world and come to live in the mountain forest so you can discipline your mind and practice the Way. But however much you imitate a Saint’s appearance, your mind is still steeped in impurity ‘. At that time my mind could give no answers.”

Record of the Ten Foot Square Hut

by Ramo no Chomei

Buddhist monk

Japan – 1212

Longfellow

 

 

 

 

THE POTTER’S SONG FROM THE POEM KERAMOS

BY HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW

Turn, turn, my wheel! Turn round and round
Without a pause, without a sound:
So spins the flying world away!
This clay, well mixed with marl and sand,
Follows the motion of my hand;
Far some must follow, and some command,
Though all are made of clay!


Turn, turn, my wheel! All things must change
To something new, to something strange;
Nothing that is can pause or stay;
The moon will wax, the moon will wane,
The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
The rain to mist and cloud again,
To-morrow be to-day.


Turn, turn, my wheel! All life is brief;
What now is bud will soon be leaf,
What now is leaf will soon decay;
The wind blows east, the wind blows west;
The blue eggs in the robin’s nest
Will soon have wings and beak and breast,
And flutter and fly away.


Turn, turn, my wheel! This earthen jar
A touch can make, a touch can mar;
And shall it to the Potter say,
What makest thou? Thou hast no hand?
As men who think to understand
A world by their Creator planned,
Who wiser is than they.


Turn, turn, my wheel! ‘T is nature’s plan
The child should grow into the man,
The man grow wrinkled, old, and gray;
In youth the heart exults and sings,
The pulses leap, the feet have wings;
In age the cricket chirps, and brings
The harvest home of day.


Turn, turn, my wheel! The human race,
Of every tongue, of every place,
Caucasian, Coptic, or Malay,
All that inhabit this great earth,
Whatever be their rank or worth,
Are kindred and allied by birth,
And made of the same clay.


Turn, turn, my wheel! What is begun
At daybreak must at dark be done,
To-morrow will be another day;
To-morrow the hot furnace flame
Will search the heart and try the frame,
And stamp with honor or with shame
These vessels made of clay.


Stop, stop, my wheel! Too soon, too soon
The noon will be the afternoon,
Too soon to-day be yesterday;
Behind us in our path we cast
The broken potsherds of the past,
And all are ground to dust a last,
And trodden into clay!

T S Eliot

The endless cycle of idea and action,

Endless invention, endless experiment,

Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;

Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;

Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the word.

All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,

All our ignorance brings us nearer to death,

But nearness to death no nearer to God.

Where is the life we have lost in the living?

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?

Where is the knowledge we have lost in the information?

The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries

Bring us further from God and nearer to the Dust.

  

The desert is not remote in southern tropics,

The desert is not only around the corner,

The desert is squeezed in the tube – train next to you,

The desert is in the heart of your brother.

                                

  1. S. ELIOT.

                         Choruses from ‘ The Rock ‘