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Jerry Katz
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The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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#2566 - Sunday, August 27, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee  

"And if you rise to that level in your own heart--the level where you and I
are one--then this very world itself will start to take on the nature of a
dream, a shimmering shining gossamer film, less and less to be taken
seriously than to be rejoiced as it passes.  Leave seriousness at the door,
and please take off your shoes, for this is hallowed ground, and bow to the
Lightness and Humor that begins to replace solemnity.  The entire world
begins to take on a glimmering transparency as material atoms are replaced
by light, and the days and nights pass before you like so many wandering
dreams, while attention increasingly turns to the divine Dreamer itself,
your very own Self, radiant in the midst of the madness..."

Ken Wilbur    

posted by Myra to nondualnow

The Places that Scare You

by Pema Chodron


A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times

To Amazon     

The Excellence of Bodhichitta

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.


When I was about six years old I received the essential bodhichitta teaching from an old woman sitting in the sun. I was walking by her house one day feeling lonely, unloved, and mad, kicking anything I could find. Laughing, she said to me, "Little girl, don't you go letting life harden your heart."

Right there, I received this pith instruction: we can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder and more open to what scares us. We always have this choice. [...]

Many of us prefer practices that will not cause discomfort, yet at the same time we want to be healed. But bodhichitta training doesn't work that way. A warrior accepts that we can never know what will happen to us next. We can try to control the uncontrollable by looking for security and predictability, always hoping to be comfortable and safe. But the truth is that we can never avoid uncertainty. This not knowing is part of the adventure, and it's also what makes us afraid.

Bodhichitta training offers no promise of happy endings. Rather, this "I" who wants to find security—who wants something to hold on to—can finally learn to grow up. The central question of a warrior's training is not how we avoid uncertainty and fear but how we relate to discomfort. How do we practice with difficulty, with our emotions, with the unpredictable encounters of an ordinary day?

All too frequently we relate like timid birds who don't dare to leave the nest. Here we sit in a nest that's getting pretty smelly and that hasn't served its function for a very long time. No one is arriving to feed us. No one is protecting us and keeping us warm. And yet we keep hoping mother bird will arrive.

We could do ourselves the ultimate favor and finally get out of that nest. That this takes courage is obvious. That we could use some helpful hints is also clear. We may doubt that we're up to being a warrior-in-training. But we can ask ourselves this question: "Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear?"

All beings have the capacity to feel tenderness—to experience heartbreak, pain, and uncertainty. Therefore the enlightened heart of bodhichitta is available to us all. The insight meditation teacher Jack Kornfield tells of witnessing this in Cambodia during the time of the Khmer Rouge. Fifty thousand people had become communists at gunpoint, threatened with death if they continued their Buddhist practices. In spite of the danger, a temple was established in the refugee camp, and twenty thousand people attended the opening ceremony. There were no lectures or prayers but simply continuous chanting of one of the central teachings of the Buddha:

Hatred never ceases by hatred
But by love alone is healed.
This is an ancient and eternal law.

Thousands of people chanted and wept, knowing that the truth in these words was even greater than their suffering.

Bodhichitta has this kind of power. It will inspire and support us in good times and bad. It is like discovering a wisdom and courage we do not even know we have. Just as alchemy changes any metal into gold, bodhichitta can, if we let it, transform any activity, word, or thought into a vehicle for awakening our compassion.


entire book review


The Way is not something which can be studied. Study leads to the
retention of concepts and so the Way is entirely misunderstood.
Moreover, the Way is not something specially existing; it is called
the Mahayana Mind - Mind which is not to be found inside, outside, or
in the middle. Truly it is not located anywhere. The first step is to
refrain from knowledge-based concepts.

The Mind is no mind of conceptual thought, and it is completely
detached from form.... There are those who, upon hearing this
teaching, rid themselves of conceptual thought in a flash.... But
whether they transcend conceptual thought by a longer or shorter way,
the result is a state of BEING: there is no practicing and no action
of realizing. That there is nothing which can be attained is not idle
talk; it is the truth.

If you would spend all your time - walking, standing, sitting or
lying down - learning to halt the concept-forming activities of your
own mind, you could be sure of ultimately attaining the goal.

Ordinary people look to their surroundings, while followers of the
Way look to Mind, but the true Dharma is to forget them both. The
former is easy enough, the latter very difficult. Men are afraid to
forget their minds, fearing to fall through the Void with nothing to
stay their fall. They do not know that the Void is not really void,
but the realm of the real Dharma.

~Huang Po


posted by Bob O'Hearn to HarshaSatsangh

Window in Assisi by Marifa    

"Sometimes the silence is within
as if there were no wind or
birdsong melting into drops of awe,
or the universe stops, holds its breath
and I step through my skin
becoming light and color and butterfly.

I am swallowed by the moment,
by the playfulness of sunset
the hands of trees
the prayers of cranes.

It is hard to climb back into the limits
of flesh, of nearsighted eyes
and feet that need a ground to walk on.

Small holes remain, the residue
of light-burns that poems slip through,
exhalations tumbling from
the fingers of the divine."


From this wonderful poet's blog:

posted to Daily Dharma

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