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#2602 - Monday, October 2, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee  

"our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
--Martin Luther King

  Not Passive  

The basic precepts are not passive. They can actively express a compassionate
heart in our life. Not killing can grow into a reverence for life, a protective caring
for all sentient beings who share life with us. Not stealing can become the basis for
a wise ecology, honoring the limited resources of the earth and actively seeking
ways to live and work that share our blessings worldwide. From this spirit can come
a life of natural and healing simplicity. Out of not lying we can develop our voice to
speak for compassion, understanding, and justice. Out of nonharming sexuality, our
most intimate relations can also become expressions of love, joy, and tenderness.
Out of not abusing intoxicants or becoming heedless, we can develop a spirit that
seeks to live in the most awake and conscious manner in all circumstances. At first,
precepts are a practice. Then they become a necessity, and finally they become a
joy. When our heart is awakened, they spontaneously illuminate our way in the

--Jack Kornfield, in A Path with Heart  

  "No one sees a truth he does not want to see."  

--Vernon Howard

  A Life Beyond Problems   

One characteristic of a life lived from a thoroughly nondualistic
perspective is that we no longer have any problems. That is, we
no longer divide our life into the good parts and the problematic
parts; there is simply life, one moment after another. Problems
don't disappear from our life, they disappear into our life. 

--Barry Magid in Ordinary Mind   

  "Most people run for cover whenever a negative feeling is exposed  to the light of
consciousness, consequently, they remain in darkness. You can be a hero. Dare to
stand in the light. After a while  you will see that the very light you once feared is
the very light  of your life."

--Vernon Howard  

  Simple Attention  

The secret of beginning a life of deep awareness and sensitivity lies in our
willingness to pay attention. Our growth as conscious, awake human beings is
marked not so much by grand gestures and visible renunciations as by extending
loving attention to the minutest particulars of our lives. Every relationship, every
thought, every gesture is blessed with meaning through the wholehearted attention
we bring to it. In the complexities of our minds and lives we easily forget the power
of attention, yet without attention we live only on the surface of existence. It is
just simple attention that allows us truly to listen to the song of a bird, to see
deeply the glory of an autumn leaf, to touch the heart of another and be touched.
We need to be fully present in order to love a single thing wholeheartedly. We
need to be fully awake in this moment if we are to receive and respond to the
learning inherent in it.

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

  From: 'Transformation and Healing' by Thich Nhat Hanh  

Life is filled with suffering, but it is also filled with many wonderful things. There is
spring as well as winter, light as well as darkness, health as well as sickness, gentle
breezes and delightful rains as well as tempests and floods. Our eyes, ears, hearts,
half- smiles, and breathing are wonderful phenomena. We only need to open our
eyes and we can see the blue sky, the white clouds, the rose, the clear river, the
golden fields of wheat, the shining eyes of a child. We only have to attune our ears
to hear the whispering pines and the waves washing up on the shore. Everything is
impermanent. Everything is in a temporary form. Nevertheless, there are many
wonderful things. In us and around us, there are so many wondrous phenomena in
nature which can refresh and heal us. If we can be in contact with them, we will
receive their healing benefits. If peace and joy are in our hearts, we will gradually

bring more peace and joy to the world.  


Flower by Alan Larus

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