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Highlights Issue #2678, Saturday, December 23, 2006,
To follow from Jerry's post on Friday,
In studying his students, an awakened man of a Zen school saw where many of them were going wrong. A large number of the pupils still believed in familiar but useless spiritual practices. For example, many of them gullibly believed that exterior religious ceremonies had power to transform their inner nature.
One afternoon, while with his pupils in the school's flower garden, the teacher saw the opportunity to make correction. Picking up a brick, he began to rub it with dramatic motions of his hand. The curious students gathered round. One student asked what was going on, to which the teacher replied, 'I wish to make a mirror.'
The student protested, 'But no amount of rubbing a brick can turn it into a mirror.'
The teacher made his point, 'And no amount of indulgence in exterior religious dramatics will awaken you to a new destiny'.
- Vernon Howard, posted to DailyDharma
True humility is not the opposite of pride
but the very negation of a separate entity
who could either be proud or humble.
- Ramesh S. Balsekar, posted to AlongTheWay
I feel an indescribable ecstasy
And delirium in melting ...
As it were
Into the system of beings ...
In identifying myself
With the whole of nature.
- Henri Rousseau, posted to 'MysticSpirit'
In studying ourselves
We find the harmony
That is our total existence
We do not make harmony
We do not achieve it
Or gain it
It is there - all the time
Here we are - in the midst
Of this perfect way
And our practice is ...
Simply to realize it
To actualize it
In our everyday life ...
- Maezumi Roshi, posted to MysticSpirit
If a blow comes to you from Heaven,
be alert to a gift of honor after it;
for He is not the King to slap you
without giving you a crown
and a throne on which to rest.
The whole world is worth only a gnat's wing,
but a single slap may bring an infinite reward.
Slip your neck nimbly out of this golden collar
that is the world, and take the slaps that come from God.
The prophets suffered those blows on the neck,
and from that affliction they lifted their heads high.
But always be present, attentive, and ready in yourself,
youthful one, in order that He may find you at home.
Otherwise He will take back His gift of honor,
saying "I found no one there."
- Rumi, Mathnawi VI: 1638-1643, version by Camille and Kabir Helminski, Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance, posted to Sunlight
by Jeannie Zandi
Now that you have moved
into my heart, taken
the doors off their hinges and
removed the windows,
glass, sash and
beggars are coming from
your sweet embrace.
The beggars stream in from
every direction--walking, running, crawling,
rolling and being carried. The neighbors
screaming about it. At first they had
plenty to say but after
weeks and weeks of this they
know there is no
helping it. This is beyond
Soon they will be coming
rakes, dog leashes, clothespins,
leaving cars running
in the street, for a glimpse
of your holy face.
What am I to do but
watch in awe at the blessed
variety of your creation, the myriad wounds,
the incredible stories, the way they gather
around the door quivering
with the certain knowledge that finally
will be turned away.
And stay in the house
making meals, and carrying
sheets up and down the stairs.
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