Find beauty; be still.
–W. H. Murray
the inmost cocoonswhich do not open of their own accordbut are of that which abides.There it is not a matter of hatching out.There it is a matter of tending and protectingthe metamorphoses of the inmostdeeper-down swaying,the innermost playing of women in dance.
If you want to become whole, let yourself be partial.
If you want to become straight, let yourself be crooked.
If you want to become full, let yourself be empty.
If you want to be reborn, let yourself die.
If you want to be given everything, give everything up.
The Master, by residing in the Tao, sets an example for all beings.
O sweet spontaneous
earth how often have
fingers ofprurient philosophers pinchedandpokedthee, has the naughty thumbof science proddedthybeauty , howoften have religions takenthee upon their scraggy kneessqueezing andbuffeting thee that thou mightest conceivegods(buttrueto the incomparablecouch of death thyrhythmicloverthou answerestthem only withspring)
–E. E. Cummings
Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, meditating deeply on Perfection of Wisdom, saw clearly that the five aspects of human existence are empty*, and so released himself from suffering.
Answering the monk Sariputra, he said this: Body is nothing more than emptiness, emptiness is nothing more than body. The body is exactly empty, and emptiness is exactly body.
The other four aspects of human existence -- feeling, thought, will, and consciousness -- are likewise nothing more than emptiness, and emptiness nothing more than they.
All things are empty: Nothing is born, nothing dies, nothing is pure, nothing is stained, nothing increases and nothing decreases. So, in emptiness, there is no body, no feeling, no thought, no will, no consciousness.
There are no eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind. There is no seeing, no hearing, no smelling, no tasting, no touching, no imagining. There is nothing seen, nor heard, nor smelled, nor tasted, nor touched, nor imagined.
There is no ignorance, and no end to ignorance. There is no old age and death, and no end to old age and death. There is no suffering, no cause of suffering, no end to suffering, no path to follow. There is no attainment of wisdom, and no wisdom to attain.
Say it so: Gaté, gaté, paragaté, parasamgaté. Bodhi! Svaha!
Which means... Gone, gone, gone over, gone fully over. Awakened!
So be it!
(The answer to a challenge asked by Sean Carroll on Twitter,
originally posed by physicist John Wheeler.)
There is a lot to say about quantum mechanics, perhaps the most mysterious idea ever to be contemplated by human beings, but all we need is one simple (but hard to accept) fact:
How the world appears when we look at it is very different from how it really is.
The Particle at the End of the Universe -
The Hunt for the Higgs and the Discovery of a New World
When you look at anything, it is the ultimate you see, but you imagine that you see a cloud or a tree.
Learn to look without imagination, to listen without distortion: that is all. Stop attributing names and shapes to the essentially nameless and formless, realise that every mode of perception is subjective, that what is seen or heard, touched or smelt, felt or thought, expected or imagined, is in the mind and not in reality, and you will experience peace and freedom from fear.
Even the sense of ‘I am’ is composed of the pure light and the sense of being. The ‘I’ is there even without the ‘am’. So is the pure light there whether you say ‘I’ or not. Become aware of that pure light and you will never lose it. The beingness in being, the awareness in consciousness, the interest in every experience — that is not describable, yet perfectly accessible, for there is nothing else.
You look at the world and it may seem whole or it may seem broken, but then the world looks back and some sort of reciprocity that is not romantic and is not of any school of poetry or any single denomination happens, and in our absolute attention we feel attended to:
for here there is no place
That does not see you.
You must change your life.
–Rainer Maria Rilke
you have all the honourable wounds
of one who has tried to find love
where the beautiful bird
does not drink
may i speak to you
like we are close and
locked away together?
once i found a stray kittenand i used to soak my fingersin warm milk,it came to think i was five motherson one hand
travellerwhy not rest your tired body?lean back and close your eyes.come morningi will kneel by your side and feed you.i will so gentlyspread open your mouthand let you taste something of mymind and lifesurelythere is something wrongwith your ideas of thebelovedif you thinkthe beloved would not be sotender
You see various scenes passing on a cinema screen: fire seems to burn buildings to ashes; water seems to wreck ships; but the screen on which the pictures are projected remains unburnt and dry. Why? Because the pictures are unreal and the screen real.
Similarly, reflections pass through a mirror but it is not affected at all by their number or quality.
In the same way, the world is a phenomenon upon the substratum of the single Reality which is not affected by it in any way.
Reality is only One.
Talk of illusion is due only to the point of view. Change your viewpoint to that of Knowledge and you will perceive the Universe to be only Brahman. Being now immersed in the world, you see it as a real world; get beyond it and it will disappear and Reality alone will remain.
Be quiet. Ra is in the wind.
He speaks when the earth is silent and he alone existed until he named the names of things.
River, he said, and River lived.
Nile. Mountain. Beetle. Fisherman.
From his tongue springs words of water.
The river quakes with the sound of his voice.
Air escaping from his nose. Breathe deep.
The wind a sigh from his mother.
Such things are made everyday:
Duck, Mandrake, Raisin.
Grape, Pomegranate, Melon.
Cypress, Palm, Osiris.
–The Egyptian Book of the Dead
It is difficult to speak of the night.
It is the other time. Not
an absence of day.
But where there are no flowers
to turn away into.
There is only this dark
and the familiar place of my body.
And the voices calling out
of me for love.
This is not the night of the young:
their simple midnight of fear.
Nor the later place to employ.
This dark is a major nation.
I turn to it at forty
and find the night in flood.
Find the dark deployed in process.
Clotted in parts, in parts
flowing with lights.
The voices still keen of the divorce
we are born into.
But they are farther off,
and do not interest me.
I am forty, and it is different.
Suddenly in mid passage
I come into myself. I leaf
gigantically. An empire yields
unexpectedly: cities, summer forests,
A solitude: an enormity.
Your sickness is from you,
But you do not perceive it,
And your remedy is within you,
But you do not sense it.
You presume you are a small entity,
But within you is enfolded the entire universe,
You are indeed the evident book,
By whose alphabet the hidden become manifest.
Therefore you have no need to look beyond yourselves,
What you seek is within you,
If only you reflect.
—Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib
.Wage peace with your breath.
Breathe in firemen and rubble,
breathe out whole buildings
and flocks of redwing blackbirds.Breathe in terrorists and breathe out sleeping children
and freshly mown fields.
Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees.
Breathe in the fallen
and breathe out lifelong friendships intact.
Wage peace with your listening:
hearing sirens, pray loud.
Remember your tools:
flower seeds, clothes pins, clean rivers.Make soup.
Play music, learn the word for thank you in three languages.
Learn to knit, and make a hat.
Think of chaos as dancing raspberries,
imagine grief as the outbreath of beauty
or the gesture of fish.
Swim for the other side.
Never has the world seemed so fresh and precious.
Have a cup of tea and rejoice.
Act as if armistice has already arrived.
Don't wait another minute.
You wear coarse wool, but you're a king,as the soul's energy hides, as loveremembers. You enter this room in a humanshape and as the atmosphere we breathe.You are the central pole through the ninelevels connecting them and us to absoluteabsence. So that we can have what we want,you give failure and frustration. You wantonly the company of the lion and the lioncub, no wobbly legs. That man there, yousuggest, might remove his head beforeentering the temple. Then he could listenwithout ears to a voice that says, Mycreature. A month of walking the road, youmake that distance in one day. Never mindgold and silver payments. When you feelgenerous, give your head. My beauty,you have no need for a guide. The onewho follows and the one who leads areinseparable, as the moon and the circlearound it. An Arab drags his camel townto town. You go through your troublesand changing beliefs, both no different fromthe moon moving across or basil growingand getting cut for a bouquet. It doesn'tmatter you've been lost. The hoopoe isstill looking for you. It's anotherbeginning, my friend, this waking in amorning with no haze, and help comingwithout your asking! A glass submergedis turning inside the wine. With griefwaved away, sweet gratefulness arrives.
Ghazal (Ode) 2935
Coleman Barks, Nevit Ergin version
I have been taught to look for the gaps: the gap at the end of each out-breath; the space between thoughts; the naturally occurring, non-conceptual pause after a sudden shock, unexpected noise, or moment of awe.
Trungpa Rinpoche advised intentionally creating these gaps by pausing to look at the sky or stopping to listen intently.He called this "poking holes in the clouds."
No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva
Among the more irritating minor ideasOf Mr. Homburg during his visits homeTo Concord, at the edge of things, was this:To think away the grass, the trees, the clouds,Not to transform them into other things,Is only what the sun does every day,Until we say to ourselves that there may beA pensive nature, a mechanicalAnd slightly detestable operandum, freeFrom man's ghost, larger and yet a little like,Without his literature and without his gods . . .No doubt we live beyond ourselves in air,In an element that does not do for us,so well, that which we do for ourselves, too big,A thing not planned for imagery or belief,Not one of the masculine myths we used to make,A transparency through which the swallow weaves,Without any form or any sense of form,What we know in what we see, what we feel in whatWe hear, what we are, beyond mystic disputation,In the tumult of integrations out of the sky,And what we think, a breathing like the wind,A moving part of a motion, a discoveryPart of a discovery, a change part of a change,A sharing of color and being part of it.The afternoon is visibly a source,Too wide, too irised, to be more than calm,Too much like thinking to be less than thought,Obscurest parent, obscurest patriarch,A daily majesty of meditation,That comes and goes in silences of its own.We think, then as the sun shines or does not.We think as wind skitters on a pond in a fieldOr we put mantles on our words becauseThe same wind, rising and rising, makes a soundLike the last muting of winter as it ends.A new scholar replacing an older one reflectsA moment on this fantasia. He seeksFor a human that can be accounted for.The spirit comes from the body of the world,Or so Mr. Homburg thought: the body of a worldWhose blunt laws make an affectation of mind,The mannerism of nature caught in a glassAnd there become a spirit's mannerism,A glass aswarm with things going as far as they can.–Wallace Stevens
... your breath is a bridge between you and your body. Constantly, breath is bridging you to your body, connecting you, relating you to your body.Not only is the breath a bridge to your body, it is also a bridge between you and the universe. The body is just the universe which is nearer to you.If the bridge is broken, you are no more in the body. You move into some unknown dimension; then you can not be found in space and time. So, breath is also the bridge between you, and space and time.Breath has two points.
One is where it touches the body and the universe, and another is where it touches you and that which transcends the universe.We know only one part of the breath. When it moves into the universe, into the body, we know it. But it is always moving from the body to the "no-body," from the "no-body" to the body.There are certain points in breathing which you have never observed, and those points are the doors.Man is trying to reach further, from earth into space, and man has not yet learned the nearest part of his life ...
The Book of Secrets
It could happen any time, tornado,earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.Or sunshine, love, salvation.It could, you know. That's why we wakeand look out -- no guaranteesin this life.But some bonuses, like morning,like right now, like noon,
You on a slave block
And the unreal bought
You. Now I keep coming to your owner
"This one is mine."
You often overhear us talking
And this can make your heart leap
I will not let sadness
I will gladly borrow all the gold
To get you
I had tea yesterday with a great theologian,
and he asked me,“What is your experience of God’s will?”
I liked that question –
for the distillation of thought hones thought in others.
Clarity, I know, is freedom.
What is my experience of God’s will?Everyone is a traveler. Most all need lodging, food,
I let enter my mouth what will enrich me.
I wear what will make my eye content,
I sleep where I will wake with the strength to deeply loveall my mind can hold.
What is God’s will for a wing?
Every bird knows that.
–St. Teresa of Avila