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Jerry Katz
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#2455 - Monday, April 24, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee  

"... it is by no means to everyone that the gods grant a clear sight of themselves."

[Homer, Odyssey 16.160] posted to Alpha World

"If we really see thing the way they are our mind will give up attachment to them."

  - Ajahn Chah

From the book, "Food For the Heart," published for free by the Sangha,
Wat Pah Nanachat.

posted to Daily Dharma

  The future enters into us, in order to transform us, long before it happens.

- Rainer Maria Rilke

The greatest art in spiritual life is finding balance. The entire teachings of the Buddha are summed up in his encouragement to find and travel the middle path. To seek neither the extremes of mortification and aversion for life, nor the extreme of indulgence, losing ourselves in pleasure-seeking. The balance between these two is the path of awakening and freedom. The path of balance is to be with what is true in life and to love that, to be committed to the truth on every level of our being.

- Christina Feldman and Jack Kornfield, Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart

I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.

-John Cage

  Ego Distortions    

"Our ego distorts our perceptions according to its desires and
concerns, its fears and its attitudes. Egocentric filters prevent
some things from getting through at all, while others acquire new
colors. If, for example, we worry about being overweight, then when
we see other people, we first notice their weight.
If we feel financially unsuccessful and worry about it, then we see
others and ourselves through the filter of money. If we feel
unattractive, we measure others and ourselves in terms of physical
appearance. If we think we're too short or too tall, we see people in
terms of their height. To the extent that our sex hormones drive us,
we see people in terms of whether they are sexually attractive or
not, usually ignoring the latter. If we feel lonely, we see people as
having a mate or not. If we feel sad or depressed, we may see in
terms of happiness and unhappiness.
Unfortunately, our perceptual filters do not announce themselves;
they just do their work without us even noticing the damage they
inflict. Whenever we encounter one of the triggers of our ego-based
filters, we automatically fall right into its power. Our emotions and
thoughts collapse into the corresponding reactions without us even
realizing that there are other ways to see, think, and feel.

We can, however, work to shine the healing light of direct awareness
onto these inner processes. We set the intention to notice how our
ego distorts our perceptions. We remind ourselves several times a day
to look for such inner events. When we feel emotional reactions,
strong or weak, we suspect our ego filters have been active. Perhaps
the easiest situation to notice these ego-filters occurs when we see
other people and our comparing mind takes hold. See what kinds of
comparisons your mind makes and how those comparisons make you feel.
Seeing these automatic, ego attitudes in action shaping our
perceptions, thoughts, and emotions, helps diminish their power and
free us."

- Joseph Naft
posted to The Power of Silence  

  "Anyone who isn't confused really doesn't understand the situation."   

- Edward R. Murrow  

"the truck you didn't see..."

How do you deal with the death of your spouse? How would you feel if you lost your mother tomorrow? Or your sister or your closest friend? Suppose you lost your job, your savings, and the use of your legs, on the same day; could you face the prospect of spending the rest of your life in a wheelchair? How.... will you deal with your own death, when that approaches? You may escape most of these misfortunes, but you wont escape all of them.... You can suffer through things like that or you can face them openly--The choice is yours. Pain is inevitable. Suffering is not. Pain and suffering are two different animals. If any of these tragedies strike you in your present state of mind, you will suffer.... Buddhism does advise you to invest some of your time and energy in learning to deal with unpleasantness, because some pain is unavoidable. When you see a truck bearing down on you, by all means jump out of the way. But spend some time in meditation, too. Learning to deal with discomfort is the only way you'll be ready to handle the truck you didn't see.

- Henepola Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English

The Race

When I got to the airport I rushed up to the desk,
bought a ticket, ten minutes later
they told me the flight was cancelled, the doctors
had said my father would not live through the night
and the flight was cancelled. A young man
with a dark brown moustache told me
another airline had a nonstop
leaving in seven minutes. See that
elevator over there, well go
down to the first floor, make a right, you'll
see a yellow bus, get off at the
second Pan Am terminal, I
ran, I who have no sense of direction
raced exactly where he'd told me, a fish
slipping upstream deftly against
the flow of the river. I jumped off that bus with those
bags I had thrown everything into
in five minutes, and ran, the bags
wagged me from side to side as if
to prove I was under the claims of the material,
I ran up to a man with a flower on his breast,
I who always go to the end of the line, I said
Help me. He looked at my ticket, he said
Make a left and then a right, go up the moving stairs and then
run. I lumbered up the moving stairs,
at the top I saw the corridor,
and then I took a deep breath, I said
goodbye to my body, goodbye to comfort,
I used my legs and heart as if I would
gladly use them up for this,
to touch him again in this life. I ran, and the
bags banged against me, wheeled and coursed
in skewed orbits, I have seen pictures of
women running, their belongings tied
in scarves grasped in their fists, I blessed my
long legs he gave me, my strong
heart I abandoned to its own purpose,
I ran to Gate 17 and they were
just lifting the thick white
lozenge of the door to fit it into
the socket of the plane. Like the one who is not
too rich, I turned sideways and
slipped through the needle's eye, and then
I walked down the aisle toward my father. The jet
was full, and people's hair was shining, they were
smiling, the interior of the plane was filled with a
mist of gold endorphin light,
I wept as people weep when they enter heaven,
in massive relief. We lifted up
gently from one tip of the continent
and did not stop until we set down lightly on the
other edge, I walked into his room
and watched his chest rise slowly
and sink again, all night
I watched him breathe.
  Sharon Olds

Listen to a recording of
Sharon Olds reading "The Race"


Quarternarium Dipole

When I was in the Good Will yesterday,
   I found an expanding universe for 99 cents,
   --- but it was damaged.
   When I got to the checkout stand
   they asked me what it was.
   So I told them,
   that it was an expanding universe,
   --- but that it was damaged,
   while pointing out the obvious holes.
   When I got it home,
   I tore out the planets and stars,
   and collapsed it.
   Maybe I'll make it into
   a bird house
   or squirrel feeder.

   Mace Mealer


Quarternarium Dipole

The only universe I know to be good,
Is this damaged universe I live in;
Perfection is in the incomplete,
Words that cannot be spoken,
We sit in zazen,
Knowing we are not able to answer all the questions.

Vulnerability and insecurity are not options,
They are facts.
Ever changing life is reality.
Too fast to find a grip: no solid ground.

There is a force that I can't say I know of,
Though it unites the impossible opposites,
And warms my heart and bones,
I cannot say I understand.

May that be written on the scarred surface of my skull.

Let my life be the embodiment of the fundamental koan.

Sun shines,
Birds sing.

- Ben Hassine

both poems posted to Awakened Awareness

A collection of Terrence Gray (aka Wei Wu Wei) photos
may be found here:

This site also has selections from all of WWW's writings. Check it out.
The site below also has excerpts from his writing, and more photos.
posted to The Power of Silence


NEW Tricycle Blogs

We are pleased to announce our blog launch. You'll find voices representing a diversity of communities and views. You'll hear the unedited voices of some of the West's most popular teachers, scholars, and cultural figures. We will continue to add voices, so check back with us regularly. Here we introduce Sharon Salzberg, Stephen Batchelor, Lin Jensen, Jeff Wilson, and Tricycle's take on the Buddhist news of the day.

Check out the blogs now.

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