Monthly Archives: August 2015

Ven. Henepola Gunaratana

“ Mindfulness works like an electron microscope. That is, it operates on so fine a level that one can actually see directly those realities which are at best theoretical constructs to the conscious thought process. Mindfulness actually sees the impermanent character of every perception. It sees the transitory and passing nature of everything that is perceived. It also sees the inherently unsatisfactory nature of all conditioned things. It sees that there is no sense grabbing onto any of these passing shows. Peace and happiness just cannot be found that way. And finally, Mindfulness sees the inherent selflessness of all phenomena. It sees the way we have arbitrarily selected a certain bundle of perceptions, chopped them off from the rest of the surging flow of experience and then conceptualized them as separate, enduring, entities. Mindfulness actually sees these things. It does not think about them, it sees them directly.”

Ven. Henepola Gunaratana

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Chogyam Trungpa

“The fault arises from your sense of personal expectations. Of course, you could easily say that you do not have any expectations. But the desire not to have expectations only becomes another form of expectation. So expectations are a stumbling block. We color and re-edit our experiences drastically. How do we do that? We do it with our passion, aggression, and ignorance. Passion colors our expectations with desire. We are constantly trying to mold our expectations in terms of what we want. The rest of what we hear is completely inaudible; the rest of what we see is completely invisible. We only take in what we want to see and hear. Whatever we see or hear is constantly subject to our rejection, or our ignorance: we push it away because it is personally inapplicable, or we ignore it, we create a mental block to shut it off because it does not suit our requirements. When you are in a passionate state, you begin to like the world, and you begin to be attracted to certain things – which is good. Obviously, such attraction also entails possessiveness and some sense of territoriality, which comes later. But straightforward, pure passion – without ice, without water, without soda – is good. It is drinkable; it is also food; you can live on it. It’s quite marvelous that we have passion, that we are not made purely out of aggression. It’s some kind of saving grace that we possess, which is fantastic.”

Dharma Art

James Hollis

“Dissociative states may manifest relatively harmlessly in the daily repression of unpleasant truths; we all do that and are none the worse for that. But the dissociation may be more profound; it can result in amnesia or a ‘ fugue ‘ state in which one literally forgets one’s identity and wanders about in someone else’s biography. The multiple personality disorder ( today called Dissociative Identity Disorder ) has gained a great deal of notoriety in recent years…. causing controversy in therapeutic circles….. In a dissociative identity disorder the ego has taken such a battering that it cannot hold its own against the unconscious; then the psyche shifts automatically to an alternative reality. This is also a normal phenomenon, which is why Jung defined a complex as a ‘ splinter personality ‘ but in extreme cases such as psychic fragment this may have a biography quite unknown by the ego, and a concomitant somatic and affective state. In the presence of great trauma, we all mange the unacceptable level of anxiety by depersonalization. We detach ourselves, may feel as if we are looking on our own lives as observers. Sometimes this distancing, this detachment is essential to getting through an experience. It is only pathological if the depersonalization persists unduly beyond the event.”

“ You must make your fear your agenda”

“ Only a person who has reached a substantial level of maturity can acknowledge this paradox, that he or she now is the enemy. One needs to reach at least the middle years before one can take on the immensity of this project One needs to have made projections onto the outer world – career, relationships, social roles – and suffered their insufficiencies; one needs to have made enough mistakes to begin to see a pattern; one needs to have attained a strong enough ego to dare look within for the source of one’s choices. Only then does one have the experience, and the courage, to sort through, to differentiate, the unconscious causal factors and then to make a break for a new life. While it takes until midlife until one has suffered or matured enough to begin the task of consciousness, the middle passage has otherwise little to do with one’s chronological age. The encounter with one’s own autonomous history begins when one is forced to begin. “

More Rumi

“Wherever you are, and whatever you do, be in love.”

“Do not grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”

“What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle.”

“Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.”

“Don’t turn away. Keep your gaze on the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you.”

“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.”

“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.”

“Let the beauty we love be what we do.”

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.”

“Be occupied, then, with what you really value and let the thief take something else.”

“Reason is powerless in the expression of Love.”

“Put your thoughts to sleep, do not let them cast a shadow over the moon of your heart. Let go of thinking.”

“Only from the heart can you touch the sky.”

“There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled. There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled. You feel it, don’t you?”

“Be empty of worrying. Think of who created thought! Why do you stay in prison When the door is so wide open?”

“Gamble everything for love, if you’re a true human being. If not, leave this gathering.”

“Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy, absentminded. Someone sober will worry about events going badly. Let the lover be.”

“Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?”

“When someone beats a rug, the blows are not against the rug, but against the dust in it.”

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

“We are born of love; Love is our mother. “

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

“Through Love all that is bitter will be sweet, Through Love all that is copper will be gold, Through Love all dregs will become wine, through Love all pain will turn to medicine.”

“I have no companion but Love, no beginning, no end, no dawn. The Soul calls from within me: ‘You, ignorant of the way of Love, set Me free.’ “

“That which is false troubles the heart, but truth brings joyous tranquility.”

“All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.”

“When I die, I shall soar with angels, and when I die to the angels, what I shall become you cannot imagine.”

“All religions, all this singing, one song. The differences are just illusion and vanity. The sun’s light looks a little different on this wall than it does on that wall, and a lot different on this other one, but it’s still one light.”

“What shall I say, O Muslims, I know not myself, I am neither a Christian, nor a Jew, nor a Zoroastrian, nor a Muslim.”

“I am neither of the East nor of the West, no boundaries exist within my breast.”

“You know the value of every article of merchandise, but if you don’t know the value of your own soul, it’s all foolishness.”

“Take someone who doesn’t keep score, who’s not looking to be richer, or afraid of losing, who has not the slightest interest even in his own personality: he’s free.”

“Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.”

“Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”

“Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation.”

“Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.”

“In Silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.”

“You think you are alive because you breathe air? Shame on you, that you are alive in such a limited way. Don’t be without Love, so you won’t feel dead. Die in Love and stay alive forever.”

Rumi

“ Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”

“You were born with potential. You were born with goodness and trust. You were born with ideals and dreams. You were born with greatness. You were born with wings. You are not meant for crawling, so don’t. You have wings. Learn to use them and fly.”

“You sit here for days saying, This is strange business. You’re the strange business. You have the energy of the sun in you, but you keep knotting it up at the base of your spine. You’re some weird kind of gold that wants to stay melted in the furnace, so you won’t have to become coins.”

“Why should I stay at the bottom of a well when a strong rope is in my hand?”

“Become the sky. Take an axe to the prison wall. Escape.”

“Do you know what you are? You are a manuscript of a divine letter. You are a mirror reflecting a noble face. This universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you are already that.”

“Start a huge, foolish project, like Noah…it makes absolutely no difference what people think of you.”

“When you go through a hard period, When everything seems to oppose you, … When you feel you cannot even bear one more minute, NEVER GIVE UP! Because it is the time and place that the course will divert!”

“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”

“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.”

“Ignorance is God’s prison. Knowing is God’s palace.”

“You wander from room to room hunting for the diamond necklace that is already around your neck!”

“If you knew yourself for even one moment, if you could just glimpse your most beautiful face, maybe you wouldn’t slumber so deeply in that house of clay. Why not move into your house of joy and shine into every crevice! For you are the secret Treasure-bearer, and always have been. Didn’t you know?”

“Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.”

“Why are you so enchanted by this world, when a mine of gold lies within you?”

“You go from village to village on your horse asking everyone, “Has anyone seen my horse?”

“Don’t knock on any random door like a beggar. Reach your long hand out to another door, beyond where you go on the street, the street where everyone says, “How are you?” and no one says How aren’t you?”

“There is a fountain inside you. Don’t walk around with an empty bucket.”

“Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.”

“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”

“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.”

“Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself.”

“Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.”

“Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”

“As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.”

“Half-heartedness doesn’t reach into majesty. You set out to find God, but then you keep stopping for long periods at mean-spirited roadhouses.”

“When you do things from your soul you feel a river moving in you, a joy. When action come from another section, the feeling disappears.”

Lao Tzu

“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

“Without stirring abroad, One can know the whole world; Without looking out of the window one can see the way of heaven. The further one goes the less one knows.”

“Silence is a source of great strength.”

“Express yourself completely, then keep quiet. Be like the forces of nature: when it blows, there is only wind; when it rains, there is only rain; when the clouds pass, the sun shines through.”

“Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy.”

“When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.”

“What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher? What is a bad man but a good man’s job? If you don’t understand this, you will get lost, however intelligent you are. It is the great secret.”

“The wise man is one who, knows, what he does not know.”

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”

“Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus honesty is attained.”

Alan Watts

” In many so-called primitive cultures it is a requirement of tribal initiation to spend a lengthy period alone in the forests or mountains, a period of coming to terms with the solitude and nonhumanity of nature so as to discover who, or what, one really is—a discovery hardly possible while the community is telling you what you are, or ought to be. He may discover, for instance, that loneliness is the masked fear of an unknown which is himself, and that the alien-looking aspect of nature is a projection upon the forests of his fear of stepping outside habitual and conditioned patterns of feeling. There is much evidence to show that for anyone who passes through the barrier of loneliness, the sense of individual isolation bursts, almost by dint of its own intensity, into the “all-feeling” of identity with the universe. One may pooh-pooh this as “nature mysticism” or “pantheism,” but it should be obvious that a feeling of this kind corresponds better with a universe of mutually independent processes and relations than with a universe of distinct, blocklike entities.”
Alan Watts

Thomas Merton

” The rain surrounded the cabin … with a whole world of meaning, of secrecy, of rumor. Think of it: all that speech pouring down, selling nothing, judging nobody, drenching the thick mulch of dead leaves, soaking the trees, filling the gullies and crannies of the wood with water, washing out the places where men have stripped the hillside. Nobody started it, nobody is going to stop it. It will talk as long as it wants, the rain. As long as it talks I am going to listen. ”
Thomas Merton

Khrisna Das

“ I once met Roshi Philip Kapleau, the author of The Three Pillars of Zen. He was one of the first Westerners to go to Japan and do intense practice there. He was suffering from very advanced Parkinson’s disease and had terrible physical discomfort, along with the involuntary spasms that come from the disease. One thing he said to me really stuck. As he was sitting there, writhing, he looked into my eyes and said with great intensity, “It doesn’t matter how much practice you do. If you don’t bring it into your daily life, it is all a waste.” The power of this statement came from the depths of his realization and his daily battle with Parkinson’s, and it shot straight into my heart.”

Khrisna Das

Living A Better Life

 

LIVING A BETTER LIFE

 

Anyone who isn’t confused by life really doesn’t know what’s going on.

 

Bad things happen in our lives and no one is exempt from this exposure, neither you nor me. Accepting this reality, working with it patiently and mindfully will always, in the long term, get results. So stay the course and see how things will unfold positively for you.

 

If we adopt a victim’s mentality thinking the world is against us, out to punish us in some way then think again because, in truth, in the overall scheme of things none of us are that important, the universe has far more essential things to attend to and we must never forget this.

 

Be generous with your time and resources, especially to those in real need because, in giving assistance to others you might be turning lives around for the better.

 

Challenge yourself to do more, new ventures that will stretch you beyond your existing state.

 

Whatever you undertake in life, whatever you need to achieve, work hard at it and strive for the outcomes of excellence – anything less is a denial of your talents.

 

Have confidence in your judgement, the ability to intuitively discern what course of action to take in any given situation.  

 

When making decisions always be guided by ethical principles and considerations. Bear in mind Kant’s concept of The Categorical Imperative which states that we must always make the right, moral choice irrespective of the outcomes. A difficult call at times because other factors impinge on us and try to influence us ( eg, financial / economic considerations ) but the moral case must take precedence.

 

Cultivating time management skills is an essential prerequisite in our over-scheduled, over-active, go go world. When feeling under pressure to undertake so many different things it is essential to plan carefully, allocating time efficiently and effectively if we want to make the maximum impact. It is also appropriate to ‘ cull ‘ busy schedules, letting items go in order to gain more balance in our lives.

 

Tell those close to you, on a regular basis, how much you care for them and what impact they make on your life. Tell them in person – avoiding texts and e-mails. Be heart-led showing the sincerely of your feelings which will cement and bond the relationship further.

 

Eat simply and mindfully with full presence of heart and your meal will become a sacred act – a Eucharist.

 

A cliché thought but nevertheless true – live each day as if it was your last. That way you maximize your time treating it in a precious and cherished way.  

 

Don’t wrap yourself up in a lie and continue living a life that isn’t yours. You are under no obligation to continue being the same person – you can change

 

We all live in mystery, uncertain how the future will unfold but that is no reason to sell ourselves short and aim at less than we could be. Often we have to engage in a process of building a new future blindly, without any knowledge of what to do and where we will finally end up knowing that to a large extent we make it up as we go along, ie, we learn to do it as we go along.Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down.” Kobi Yamada

 

Love well, live long.

 Michael Lewin

Good Luck