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#2727 - Sunday, February 11, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee
It's possible that while sleeping the hand
that sows the seeds of the stars
started the ancient music going again
- like a note from a great harp -
and the frail wave came to our lips
as one or two honest words.
--Antonio Machado, from "Times Alone"
"There's too much
pain," I tell Toni. "I'm not sure I can
stand it." To which Toni replies: "It takes enormous
patience to see the sorrow. To be with it. To not move
away. Or find easy comfort. To look. To see human history.
Because it is not just one's personal pain that is contacted.
It's humanity's pain, the universal sorrow of human
--Joan Tollifson, from: Bare-Bones Meditation
Seeing the suffering in the
world around us and in our own
bodies and minds, we begin to understand suffering not only
as an individual problem, but as a universal experience. It is
one of the aspects of being alive. The question that then
comes to mind is: If compassion arises from the awareness of
suffering, why isn't the world a more compassionate place?
The problem is that often our hearts are not open to feel
the pain. We move away from it, close off, and become
defended. By closing ourselves off from suffering, however,
we also close ourselves to our own wellspring of compassion.
We don't need to be particularly saintly in order to be
compassionate. Compassion is the natural response of an open
heart, but that wellspring of compassion remains capped as
long as we turn away from or deny or resist the truth of
what is there. When we deny our experience of suffering, we
move away from what is genuine to what is fabricated,
deceptive and confusing.
--Joseph Goldstein, Seeking the
Heart of Wisdom
The art of losing isn't hard to master; so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster. Lose something every day. Accept the fluster of lost door keys, the hour badly spent. The art of losing isn't hard to master. Then practice losing farther, losing faster: places, and names, and where it was you meant to travel. None of these will bring disaster. I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or next-to-last, of three loved houses went. The art of losing isn't hard to master. I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster, some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent. I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster. --Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident the art of losing's not too hard to master though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
gray cat jumped up just as I lifted this spoon
there's nowhere to rest at the end
stone Buddha deserves all the birdshit it gets
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