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Jerry Katz
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#2533 - Sunday, July 23, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee

"Your own mind is a school of true knowledge
which you can attend every moment of the day."

--Vernon Howard

If you pay attention for just five minutes, you know some very fundamental dharma: things change, nothing stays comfortable, sensations come and go quite impersonally, according to conditions, but not because of anything that you do or think you do. Changes come and go quite by themselves. In the first five minutes of paying attention, you learn that pleasant sensations lead to the desire that these sensations will stay and that unpleasant sensations lead to the hope that they will go away. And both the attraction and the aversion amount to tension in the mind. Both are uncomfortable. So in the first minutes, you get a big lesson about suffering: wanting things to be other than what they are. Such a tremendous amount of truth to be learned just closing your eyes and paying attention to bodily sensations.

--Sylvia Boorstein, in Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Fall 1992


"garden impressionism" photo by Bob O'Hearn

From Pema Chodron’s “When Things Fall Apart”

Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we would like to dream about. The off-center, in between state is an ideal situation, a situation in which we don't get caught, and in which we can open our hearts and minds beyond limit.
The spiritual journey involves going beyond hope and fear, stepping into unknown territory, continually moving forward. The most important aspect of being on the spiritual path may be to just keep moving. Usually, when we reach our limit, we feel exactly like Rinpoche's attendants and freeze in terror. Our bodies freeze and so do our minds. Rather than indulge or reject our experience, we can somehow let the energy of the emotion, the quality of what we're feeling pierce us to the heart. This is a noble way to live. It’s the path of compassion - the path of cultivating human bravery and kindheartedness.

photo by Bob O'Hearn

In Silence

A guide has entered this life in silence.
His message is only heard in silence.

Take a sip of his precious wine
And lose yourself.
Don't insult the greatness of his love,
For he helps all those who suffer, in silence.

Polish the mirror between the breaths.
Go with him, beyond words.
He knows your every deed.
He is the one
who moves the wheel of heaven, in silence.

Every thought is buried in your heart;
He will reveal them one by one, in silence.

Turn each of your thoughts into a bird
And let them fly to the other world.
One is an owl, one is a falcon, one is a crow.
Each one is different from the others
But they are all the same in silence.

To see the Moon that cannot be seen
Turn your eyes inward
and look at yourself, in silence.

In this world and the next,
Don't talk about this and that;
Let him show you everything,
shining as one. silence.

'Rumi: In the Arms of the Beloved'
Jonathan Star

"garden impressionism" photo by Bob O'Hearn

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