Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Something we tend to forget

And it's so, so true:
"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." 
-- Siddhārtha Gautama (the Buddha)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Meditation itself

I may well have posted this before here since it's a quotation with which I've long been familiar. Nevertheless, if I have, it's been a long time!

The following is quite wonderful and the first time I read it, I recognized the point made instantly (undoubtedly because of my experience as a musician):
“We could say that meditation doesn't have a reason or doesn't have a purpose. In this respect it's unlike almost all other things we do except perhaps making music and dancing. When we make music we don't do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.” 
 -- Alan Watts 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A patch of blue

Here's a visualization that will help us work skillfully with thoughts during meditation. It's found in Beginning Mindfulness by Andrew Weiss:
One meditation teacher invites us to envision the true nature of our mind as a clear blue sky. Thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions are clouds that come and go across the blue sky. Some clouds are white wisps, others dark gray thunderheads. Sometimes the clouds are few; sometimes they reach from horizon to horizon. Yet, however many clouds may obscure the blue sky, the blue sky is always there. Just as a small patch of blue often appears during a hurricane, the blue-sky true nature of our mind/heart can reveal itself through the clouds of thinking, feeling, and perceiving, no matter how dense they become.
Envisioning our thoughts and feelings this way can help us let go of the impulse to try to control our mind. Control is not necessary because the blue sky is just there. We don't have to engineer it in any way.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Posted today by a facebook friend:

Monday, May 07, 2012

Being generous toward each day

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook today and now I share it with you. It moves me very, very much and is, of course, wonderfully in keeping with meditative principles.

There is no going back
by Wendell Berry

No, no, there is no going back.
less and less you are
that possibility you were.
more and more you have become
those lives and deaths
that have belonged to you.
you have become a sort of grave
containing much that was
and is no more in time, beloved
then, now, and always.
and so you have become a sort of tree
standing over a grave.
now more than ever you can be
generous toward each day
that comes, young, to disappear
forever, and yet remain
unaging in the mind.
every day you have less reason
not to give yourself away.

Saturday, May 05, 2012


Ah, yes. This is very, very true. And Archibald MacLeish was a poet and playwright I've long admired. He was also one of our truly great Librarians of Congress.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Yes, let's

The whole of life

Oh, this is so, so true and something that is very important for us to understand:
"Meditation is not something that you practise for an hour or ten minutes and the rest of the day do your mischief. Meditation is the whole of life and that is the beauty of meditation, it is not something set aside, it covers and enters into all our activities and to all our thoughts and feelings. So it is not something that you practise or give attention to once a day or three times a day or ten times a day and the rest of the day live a life that is shoddy, neurotic, mischievous, violent." 
 -- Krishnamurti