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Jerry Katz
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#2546 - Sunday, August 6, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee  

To me, truth is not some vague, foggy notion.  Truth is real.  And, at the same time, unreal.  Fiction and fact and everything in between, plus some things I can't remember, all rolled into one big "thing." This is truth, to me.
     - Jack Handey (1949-    )
"Deep Thoughts" [1992]

There's no sense in being precise
when you don't even know
what you're talking about.

     - John von Neumann

    Although we may be able to behave to some extent differently than we feel, any successful coercion to feel other than we actually feel--even a coercion to fit some preferred version of ourselves--will keep us at a distance from our true selves.
- Robert Langan in Psychoanalysis and Buddhism  

    They project this self-created world onto their ideas of past and future and the present moment. They try to crystallize reality into permanent shapes and categories. In this way they veil the path of insight, the spiritual path which reveals the innate clarity, freedom, and radiant transparency of What Is.

From "The Pocket Buddha Reader," edited by Anne Bancroft, 2000    

    Wisdom replaces ignorance in our minds when we realize that happiness does not lie in the accumulation of more and more pleasant feelings, that gratifying craving does not bring us a feeling of wholeness or completeness. It simply leads to more craving and more aversion. When we realize in our own experience that happiness comes not from reaching out but from letting go, not from seeking pleasurable experience but from opening in the moment to what is true, this transformation of understanding then frees the energy of compassion within us. Our minds are no longer bound up in pushing away pain or holding on to pleasure. Compassion becomes the natural response of an open heart.

- Joseph Goldstein, in Seeking the Heart of Wisdom


photo by Robert O'Hearn on Garden Mystics  

One day the Buddha held up a flower in front of an audience of 1,250 monks and nuns. He did not say anything for quite a long time. The audience was perfectly silent. Everyone seemed to be thinking hard, trying to see the meaning behind the Buddha's gesture. Then, suddenly, the Buddha smiled. He smiled because someone in the audience smiled at him and at the flower. . . . To me the meaning is quite simple. When someone holds up a flower and shows it to you, he wants you to see it. If you keep thinking, you miss the flower. The person who was not thinking, who was just himself, was able to encounter the flower in depth, and he smiled. That is the problem of life. If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.

- Thich Nhat Hanh, in Peace Is Every Step


photo by Robert O'Hearn on Garden Mystics

Yuan Tsu:
“The mountains, rivers, earth, grasses, trees and forests, are always emanating a subtle, precious light, day and night, always emanating a subtle, precious sound, demonstrating and expounding to all people the unsurpassed ultimate truth.
It is just because you miss it right where you are, or avoid it even as you face it, that you are unable to attain actual use of it.
This is why Buddhism came into being, with its many expedients and explanations, with temporary and true, immediate and gradual, half and full, partial and complete teachings.
The words of the Buddha were intended merely as efficacious expedients for leading men out of the darkness of worse ignorance. It was as though one pretended yellow leaves were gold to stop the flow of a child's tears.”

  - Bob O'Hearn on Garden Mystics

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