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Archive for May, 2012

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

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“Usually we’re so habituated to always doing things in our life – we have this and that thing to do, this and that place to go – that we’re never really there. We think that happiness and peace and whatever we’re looking for are going to come to us when we get over there. We think, “Oh, if only I could close the door I’d be happy.” “If only I could turn the air-conditioning down just a little, everything would be perfect.” “Another cup of coffee, oh, that’s just what I need.” So all of these things come to us and we go after them.

In our life when we walk, we’re usually walking to go somewhere. We walk out of the meditation hall in order to get somewhere. We walk to our car or to the bathroom. First we’re here, then we’re over there, then suddenly we’re somewhere else and we lose the moments in between; because we’re used to focusing on our destination or on what we’ll be doing once we’re there.

Walking meditation is one of the most beautiful practices in our tradition. With each step, we practice arriving. Thay likes to give us the example of the seal and wax that people used to use on envelopes; many of us have probably seen a picture of this. You melt the wax on to the paper and then press the seal into the hot wax, making an imprint and sealing the envelope. When we practice walking meditation, we imprint our presence on the earth.”

Brother Phap Hai and Sister Tue Nghiem 

from “One Buddha Is Not Enough” – Thich Nhat Hanh and the Monks and Nuns of Plum Village

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In the old days a poet once said
our nation is destroyed
yet the mountains and rivers survive

Today’s poet says
the mountains and rivers are destroyed
yet our nation survives

Tomorrow’s poet will say
the mountain’s and rivers are destroyed
our nation is destroyed and Alas!
you and I are completely destroyed

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“From the age of six I had a mania for drawing the shapes of things. When I was fifty I had published a universe of designs. But all I have done before the the age of seventy is not worth bothering with. At seventy five I’ll have learned something of the pattern of nature, of animals, of plants, of trees, birds, fish and insects. When I am eighty you will see real progress. At ninety I shall have cut my way deeply into the mystery of life itself. At a hundred I shall be a marvellous artist. At a hundred and ten everything I create; a dot, a line, will jump to life as never before. To all of you who are going to live as long as I do, I promise to keep my word. I am writing this in my old age. I used to call myself Hokusai, but today I sign my self ‘The Old Man Mad About Drawing.'”

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“Millions of people make their living in the arms industry, helping directly or indirectly to manufacture conventional and nuclear weapons. The U.S., Russia, France, Britain, China and Germany are the primary suppliers of these weapons. Weapons are then sold to the Third World countries, where the people do not need guns; they need food. To manufacture or sell weapons is not Right Livelihood, but the responsibility for this situation lies with us all – politicians, economists and consumers. We have not yet organised a compelling national debate on this problem.

…..If someone has a profession that causes living beings to suffer and oppresses others, it will infect their own consciousness, just as when we pollute the air that we ourselves have to breathe. Many people get rich by means of wrong livelihood. Then they go to their temple or church and make donations. These donations come from feelings of fear and guilt rather than the wish to bring happiness to others and relieve others of suffering.”

From – “The Heart of the Buddha’s Teachings”  by Thich Nhat Hanh

 

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transience

i Worship –  Ramesh Chandra Mukhopadhyaya

Everything is transient like waves

Robert Herrick and the daffodils

did vanish like bubbles in the water

Waves pop up and then die

The water remains

The water alone is

The water is vast

The water has no other

So the water also is not there

What is there?

i worship that unknown and unknowable

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“To bring about peace in the world, to stop all wars, there must be a revolution in the individual, in you and me. Economic revolution without this inward revolution is meaningless, for hunger is the result of the maladjustment of economic conditions produced by our psychological states–greed, envy, ill-will and possessiveness. To put an end to sorrow, to hunger, to war, there must be a psychological revolution that few of us are willing to face. We will discuss peace, plan legislation, create new leagues, the United Nations and so on and so on; but we will not win peace because we will not give up our position, our authority, our money, our properties, our stupid lives. To rely on others is utterly futile; others cannot bring us peace. No leader is going to give us peace, no government, no army, no country. What will bring peace is inward transformation which will lead to outward action. Inward transformation is not isolation, it is not withdrawal from outward action. On the contrary there can be inward transformation only when there is right thinking and there is no right thinking where there is no self-knowledge. Without knowing yourself, there is no peace.

To put an end to outward war you must put an end to war in yourself.”

From Krishnamurti – “The First And Last Freedom”

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