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#2973 - Wednesday, October 31, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee
Live in tune with things as they are and not as they are imagined.
"You need some food, clothing and shelter for you and yours, but this
will not create problems as long as greed is not taken for a need.
Live in tune with things as they are and not as they are imagined."
The Wisdom of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj posted to A Net of Jewels
Those of us who
start on the path to right livelihood find that our lives are
more balanced, simple, clear, and focused. We are no longer
strung out in a meaningless cycle of material consumption. The
contemporary economy focuses on this cycle of consumption. It
doesn't really support our efforts to find meaningful work.
Today, work is a means to consume or to pay debt for consumption
already indulged in. How many people do you know who really love
the work they are doing? How many feel bored and alienated? How
many are simply earning the money to spend it on material
pleasures? Right livelihood demands that you take responsibility
for making your work more meaningful. Good work is dignified. It
develops your faculties and serves your community. It is a
central human activity.
-- Roger Pritchard, in Claude Whitmyer's Mindfulness and Meaningful Work
When we throw a
banana peel into the garbage, if we are mindful, we know that the
peel will become compost and be reborn as a tomato or a lettuce
salad in just a few months. But when we throw a plastic bag into
the garbage, thanks to our awareness, we know that a plastic bag
will not become a tomato or a salad very quickly. Some kinds of
garbage need four or five hundred years to decompose. Nuclear
waste needs a quarter of a million years before it stops being
harmful and returns to the soil. Living in the present moment in
an awakened way, looking after the present moment with all our
heart, we will not do things which destroy the future. That is
the most concrete way to do what is constructive for the future.
--Thich Nhat Hanh
You might think that if you let go of your ego world, you become passive and defenseless like some kind of crash dummy and people will take advantage of you. Or that you might wander around aimlessly in the street without an agenda. If this were the case, as one contemporary Buddhist master pointed out, it would be necessary to have enlightenment wards in hospitals to take care of bruised or socially inoperative buddhas. But this is not the case. Rather than being inmate types, people who have become enlightened to any degree are builders of hospitals for other people. Their intelligence and compassion are relatively unobstructed, and they tend to become quite active and effective citizens. -- Samuel Bercholz, in Entering the Stream
It is a great turning point in our spiritual lives when we go from intellectual appreciation of a path to the heartfelt confidence that says, "Yes, it is possible to awaken. I can, too." A tremendous joy accompanies this confidence. When we place our hearts upon the practice, the teachings come alive. That turning point, which transforms an abstract concept of a spiritual path into our own personal path, is faith.
-- Sharon Salzberg, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Spring 1995
Morality as taught by way of rules is extremely powerful and valuable in the development of practice. It must be remembered that it, like all the techniques in meditation, is merely a tool to enable one to eventually get to that place of unselfishness where morality and wisdom flow naturally. In the West, there's a myth that freedom means free expression--that to follow all desires wherever they take one is true freedom. In fact, as one serves the mind, one sees that following desires, attractions, repulsions is not at all freedom, but is a kind of bondage. A mind filled with desires and grasping inevitably entails great suffering. Freedom is not to be gained through the ability to perform certain external actions. True freedom is an inward state of being. Once it is attained, no situation in the world can bind one or limit one's freedom. It is in this context that we must understand moral precepts and moral rules.
-- Jack Kornfield, Living Dharma
"Even at over sixty years of age, I'm still kind of suspicious of what I think I understand, because I have had so many experiences of having thought I understood something really sharply, even having a eureka-type insight, only to have a further insight a couple of years later that turned my previous understanding upside down. Sometimes I have been embarrassed about the way I previously understood something! And yet, every new understanding has a quality of, "Wow! Eureka! Now I've got it!" Later that dissolves, and I go more deeply still, and I am embarrassed that I had thought the other thing. Again and again, it goes like that.
So, you shouldn't be defensive and think you have one thing you know for certain, and hold on to that because you think it will never change. It will change, the deeper you live your knowledge. And the deeper you live and examine your knowledge, the more wonderful it is. We have the assurance of the enlightened beings that reality is goodness, that reality is freedom from suffering, that reality is bliss. So we should never fear to open ourselves to reality, to cast aside our preconceptions and biases, and to open more and more to whatever turns out to be real. You can have faith in enlightenment, faith in evolutionary potential, faith in infinity, faith in your infinite self."
-- Robert Thurman
from the book "The Jewel Tree of Tibet- The Enlightenment Engine of Tibetan Buddhism" www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0743257626/angelinc
I built my
cottage among the habitations of men,
and yet there is no clamor of carriages and horses.
You ask: "Sir, how can this be done?"
"A heart that is distant creates its own solitude."
I pluck chrysanthemums under the eastern hedge,
then gaze afar towards the southern hills.
The mountain air is fresh at the dusk of day;
The flying birds in flocks return.
In these things there lies a deep meaning;
I want to tell it, but have forgotten the words.
-- Tao Yuan Ming
posted to GardenMystics by Tom
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