Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Everything matters: how we vote, how we tie our shoelaces, how we respond to the faintest whisper of a thought. And nothing matters, because (look!) it's already gone. When we understand this, we're home free.It's from Stephen Mitchell's new translation of the works of Lao-tzu's disciple Chuang-tzu and Confucius's grandson Tzu-Ssu. It's called The Second Book of the Tao.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
All men and women are born, live, suffer and die; what distinguishes us one from another is our dreams, whether they be dreams about worldly or unworldly things, and what we do to make them come about... We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents. We do not choose our historical epoch, the country of our birth, or the immediate circumstances of our upbringing. We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time and conditions of our death. But within this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we live.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
"Leisure is a form of silence, not noiselessness. It is the silence of contemplation such as occurs when we let our minds rest on a rosebud, a child at play, a Divine mystery, or a waterfall."
Sunday, March 22, 2009
A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don’t know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox’s or a bear’s, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Life itself is hazardous. . . . There are sharp rocks everywhere. What changes from years of practice is coming to know something you didn't know before: that there are no sharp rocks — the road is covered with diamonds.
— Charlotte Joko Beck in Nothing Special
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Well, Bernice is neither small nor serious. Maybe I'm just not quite old enough yet! :-)
Choosing A Dog
"It's love," they say. You touch
the right one and a whole half of the universe
wakes up, a new half.
Some people never find
that half, or they neglect it or trade it
for money or success and it dies.
The faces of big dogs tell, over the years,
that size is a burden: you enjoy it for awhile
but then maintenance gets to you.
When I get old I think I'll keep, not a little
dog, but a serious dog,
for the casual, drop-in criminal —
My kind of dog, unimpressed by
dress or manner, just knowing
what's really there by the smell.
Your good dogs, some things that they hear
they don't really want you to know —
it's too grim or ethereal.
And sometimes when they look in the fire
they see time going on and someone alone,
but they don't say anything.
All I know is that having a dog greatly supports my mental health. I also can take pleasure in knowing that, by adopting a rescue, I have given happiness and security to another sentient being on this wonderful earth that is full of both beauty and cruelty.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Here are some wonderful Irish toasts that I wish for all of you!
May you get all your wishes but one.Here's a wonderful brief bio of St. Patrick. Enjoy!
So you always have something to strive for.
May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.
May your neighbors respect you,
Troubles neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And Heaven accept you.
May the best day of your past
be the worst day of your future.
May you have warm words on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
And the road downhill all the way to your door.
Monday, March 16, 2009
We all live on the edge of mystery --
But most choose to ignore it.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
So stop waiting until you finish school,
until you go back to school,
until you lose ten pounds,
until you gain ten pounds,
until you have kids,
until your kids leave the house,
until you start work,
until you retire,
until you get married,
until you get divorced,
until Friday night,
until Sunday morning,
until you get a new car or home,
until your car or home is paid off,
until spring, until summer, until fall, until winter,
until you are off welfare,
until the first or fifteenth,
until your song comes on,
until you've had a drink,
until you've sobered up,
until you die,
until you are born again
to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy...
~ Author Unknown
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
On the day of their marriage, Yvonne and her husband were given a rare and gorgeous antique Hopi vase. After the ceremony someone carried the vase on a tray with too many other things, and dropped it. The bowl broke into many pieces.
"A perfect moment," she smiled. "The bowl was only whole for the ceremony."
Monday, March 09, 2009
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Men who treat women as helpless and charming playthings deserve women who treat men as delightful and generous bank accounts.
Saturday, March 07, 2009
A young man named Nasreddin planted a flower garden, but when the flowers came up so did a great crop of dandelions among them. Wishing to eliminate the unwanted guests, Nasreddin consulted with gardeners near and far, but none of their solutions worked.
Finally, Nasreddin traveled to the palace of the sheik to seek the wisdom of the royal gardener himself. But alas, Nasreddin had already tried all the methods the kind old man recommended to him for eradicating such troublesome weeds.
Silently they sat together for a good long time. At last, the royal gardener looked at Nasreddin and said, "Well, then, the only thing I can suggest is that you learn to love them."
Friday, March 06, 2009
I don't believe that the big men, the politicians and the capitalists alone are guilty of the war. Oh, no, the little man is just as keen, otherwise the people of the world would have risen in revolt long ago! There is an urge and rage in people to destroy, to kill, to murder, and until all mankind, without exception, undergoes a great change, wars will be waged, everything that has been built up, cultivated and grown, will be destroyed and disfigured, after which mankind will have to begin all over again.
I don't think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.
It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.
My friend David in Montreal sent me the video posted below. As most of you know, I keep three blogs. One is on meditation (the one you're currently reading) and I strive to keep this one deliberately non-sectarian. Another is political and I maintain it as a private citizen. The third was initially intended for the spouses of Episcopal clergy in the Diocese of Oklahoma; it is about spiritual growth and reflection and draws mainly from the mystical and contemplative teachings of Christianity. I have had a hard time deciding where to post the Armstrong speech and so I'm using it on all three blogs.
It's a little over twenty minutes long but I'm sure you'll agree that it is well worth your time. And I think you will also see why it is appropriate for all three blogs:
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
Or toes. How soles of feet know
Where they’re supposed to be.
I’ve been thinking about the patience
Of ordinary things, how clothes
Wait respectfully in closets
And soap dries quietly in the dish,
And towels drink the wet
From the skin of the back.
And the lovely repetition of stairs.
And what is more generous than a window?
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these.
Monday, March 02, 2009
Sunday, March 01, 2009
Go on over there and enjoy. The work is really quite fascinating.