Saturday, August 22, 2009

Don't Look Back

Don't look back, a new day is breakin
It's been too long since I felt this way
I don't mind where I get taken
The road is callin, today is the day

I can see, it took so long just to realize
I'm much too strong not to compromise
Now I see what I am is holding me down
I'll turn it around

I finally see the dawn arrivin
I see beyond the road I'm drivin

It's a bright horizon and I'm awaken
I see myself in a brand new way
The sun is shinin, the clouds are breakin
Cause I can't lose now, there's no game to play

I can tell there's no more time left to criticize
I've seen what I could not recognize
Everything in my life was leading me on,
But I can be strong

-Boston


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Friday, July 24, 2009

Transforming Pain to Joy

Before we can begin to understand the suffering of the world, we need to understand it within ourselves. If we run every time we experience difficult emotions, or escape through distractions or perhaps intoxicants, we will never come to enough understanding of emotional suffering to take on another’s suffering unto ourselves.

In the same vein, if we cannot comprehend our own joy, and understanding how to find joy within the simple things of life, we can never pass this on to others.

This implies inviting unwanted situations into our world, first so that we may understand suffering and secondly so that we can give back joy. This is a call to meditation practice – to sit with all of our emotions – and welcome unto ourselves the ugly uncomfortableness of life.

Osho says:
“First experience [pain] in its total intensity. It will be difficult, it will be heart-rending: you may start crying like a child, you may start rolling on the ground in deep pain; your body may go through contortions. You may suddenly become aware that the pain is not only in the heart, it is all over the body - that it is aching all over, that it is painful all over, that the body is nothing but pain.

If you can experience it - this is of tremendous importance - then start absorbing it...Absorb it, drink it, accept it, welcome it, feel grateful to it. It may take a few days for you to be able to digest it, but the day it happens, you have stumbled upon a door which will take you really far away. A new journey has started in your life, you are moving into a new kind of being - because immediately, the moment you accept the pain with no rejection anywhere, its energy and its quality changes. It is no longer pain.

In fact one is simply surprised, one cannot believe it, it is so incredible. One cannot believe that suffering can be transformed into ecstasy, that pain can become joy.

Whenever anything is total it transforms into its opposite. This is a great secret to be remembered...You will not believe it when it happens the first time, that your own suffering absorbed willingly, welcomingly, becomes a great blessing. The same energy that becomes hate becomes love, the same energy that becomes pain becomes pleasure, the same energy that becomes suffering becomes bliss.”


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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Become That Moment

Right now a moment of time is fleeting by! Capture its reality in paint! To do that we must put all else out of our minds. We must become that moment, make ourselves a sensitive recording plate . . . . Give the image of what we actually see, forgetting everything that has been seen before our time.

-Paul Cezanne


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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Find the Indestructable in You

"Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us."

-Pema Chodron

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Friday, April 17, 2009

When Things Fall Apart

No matter how much you try to change, your life continues to unfold mysteriously, shaped by influences far beyond your control. Stuff happens, sometimes good, sometimes bad. In any case, as you get older, you feel something missing. Perhaps you don't care any more, and you settle into your life as good or bad as it is. But if you continue to grow, then you naturally become less interested in changing the patterns of your life and more devoted to opening and giving your deepest gifts of love, right now.

-David Deida


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Thursday, April 16, 2009

What is the nature of the World?

The question is not, what is the nature of the world out there? Rather it is how does the mind go about constructing stability, identity, satisfaction, and beauty from an environment that itself lacks these qualities?

And what are the consequences of these distortions for the subject who constructs them?
-Koheleth


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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Goodness

There is a goodness, a Wisdom that arises, sometimes gracefully, sometimes gently, sometimes awkwardly, sometimes fiercely, but it will arise to save us if we let it, and it arises from within us, like the force that drives green shoots to break the winter ground, it will arise and drive us into a great blossoming like a pear tree, into flowering, into fragrance, fruit, and song . . . into that part of ourselves that can never be defiled, defeated or destroyed, but that comes back to life, time and time again, that lives - always - that does not die.

-China Gallard

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Don't Blame the Lettuce

When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look into the reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or our family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and arguments. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

A Higher Grade of Manure

They say the seeds of what we will do are in all of us, but it always seemed to me that in those who make jokes in life the seeds are covered with better soil and with a higher grade of manure.

- Ernest Hemingway 1898-1961, American Writer

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Outside In

We are blind to the fact that the things we think we enjoy spring in fact from within ourselves, from our reaction to those things rather than the things themselves. Once you can grasp this concept, a new consciousness can arise.

A new car cannot make you happy, your reaction to the car can make you happy for a while, but it is your mind that is producing the happiness, not the car.

With that wisdom, we can begin to train the mind to be happy under all circumstances.
-Koheleth


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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Your Mind is a Spoiled Child

This is not a breathing exercise; it is an exercise in awareness. The effort is not to control the breath but instead to remain conscious of it as it naturally is.

As meditators we find out at once how difficult this is. As soon as we try to keep the mind fixed on respiration, we begin to worry about a pain the legs. As soon as we try to suppress all distracting thoughts, a thousand things jump into the mind: memories, plans, hopes, fears.

Who is in control here? As soon as one begins this exercise, it becomes very clear very quickly that in fact the mind is out of control. Like a spoiled child who reaches for one toy, becomes bored, and reaches for another, and then another, the mind keeps jumping from one thought, one object of attention to another, running away from reality.

This is the ingrained habit of the mind; this is what it has been doing all our lives. But once we start to investigate our true nature, the running away must stop.

-S.N. Goenka


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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Playing the Blame Game

We habitually erect a barrier called blame that keeps us from communicating genuinely with others, and we fortify it with our concepts of who's right and who's wrong. We do that with the people who are closest to us and we do it with political systems, with all kinds of things that we don't like about our associates or our society. It is a very common, ancient, well-perfected device for trying to feel better. Blame others. Blaming is a way to protect your heart, trying to protect what is soft and open and tender in yourself. Rather than own that pain, we scramble to find some comfortable ground.

-Pema Chodron



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Monday, April 06, 2009

Where Is Your Mind?

The old traditional approach to the whole question of enlightenment was thrown out of my system, although I continued to read books on religion, studied philosophy, psychology, and science. I tried to find out answers from those people who have not been contaminated by the traditional teachings. I got interested in Western philosophy and science, and tried to find the answer to my basic question. My basic question was one question: "Where is this mind that we are so concerned about, that we are trying to understand, study, and change? Why do we talk of a total change in the makeup of the mind? I don't see any such thing as mind there at all, let alone a transformation or mutation of the mind." This question always intrigued me and I questioned everybody about the mind. I tried to get answers from every area of human thought, but nothing helped me to find out the answers to those questions. At that time I didn't have the certainty that I have today. The certainty I have today that there is no mind is something which I cannot transmit to anybody, however hard I may try, because the very thing which we are using to communicate is in jeopardy, and you are not ready to accept that possibility.

-UG. Krishnamurti



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Friday, April 03, 2009

Sharing

"If beings knew, as I know, the results of sharing gifts, they would not enjoy their gifts without sharing them with others, nor would the taint of stinginess obsess the heart and stay there. Even if it were their last and final bit of food, they would not enjoy its use without sharing it, if there were anyone to receive it"

Itivuttaka 18


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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Look Within

The only way to experience truth directly is to look within, to observe oneself. All our lives we have been accustomed to look outward. We have always been interested in what is happening outside, what others are doing. We have rarely if ever tried to examine ourselves, our own mental and physical structure, our own actions, our own reality. Therefore we remain unknown to ourselves. We do not know how harmful this ignorance is, how much we remain the slaves of forces within ourselves of which we are unaware.
-S.N. Goenka





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Friday, March 27, 2009

More is Never Enough

It’s easy to think we’re generous and magnanimous people when we’re sitting here reading. We think, "I’m not attached. I’d be happy to share whatever I have with others.” But should somebody ask us, "May I have the food in your cupboards?" We would probably respond, "No! Why should I give it to you?" Or if somebody took our shoes that we left outside the meditation hall, we would be upset. "Who took my shoes? How dare they! I want them back!"

Fear often lies beneath our excuses. We falsely believe that possessions will bring us security in cyclic existence. In fact, our attachment to them keeps us bound in a prison of dissatisfaction. We constantly crave more and better, yet are never satisfied with what we have.

–Thubten Chodron, from Tara the Liberator

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Friday, March 20, 2009

How To Climb a Mountain

Some people say that mountain climbers are really wasting their time. They have nothing better to do so they climb mountains, tire themselves out, and come back with nothing to show for it. Yet a person who climbs a tall mountain sees the world and experiences nature in a very different way from someone who never leaves his own front door. Genuine mountain climbers do not struggle up great precipices for the glory of it. They know that glory is only a label given by others. A true climber climbs for the experience of climbing.

-Ch’an Master Sheng-yen, from Dharma Drum

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rosebud

And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

-Unkown Islamic Author

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Face and Embrace Difficulty

I lived for eight years in a Tibetan monastery, a forest cloister under my late teacher Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche’s guidance. One amazing discovery for me was to find there—mirrored within those blessed, peaceful, sylvan walls and garden—much of the same dissatisfaction and delusion that can be found in the world around us. All of those conflicts and illusions lie within. "The soul of man is the true battlefield", as Dostoevsky and Gandhi both said. Thus we may find many spiritual warriors dedicated to waging this inner struggle for the benefit of the world as well as for inner peace. As above, so below; as within, so without. My Tibetan teachers always told me that the first step in handling suffering was to look at our losses realistically. Put aside all illusions and delusions about what could have been or should have been, then squarely face the grief and the pain. Acknowledge your tears and unhappiness. Know what you are experiencing. This is the opposite of denial. Feel it, examine it, and reflect upon it. Sense directly in the present moment how it affects you in your body and your mind. Face and embrace the difficulties, and you'll be better for it.
-Lama Surya Das


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Monday, February 02, 2009

Cracking the Whip of Effort

Upon the oxen of a mind free from doubt I put the yoke and plow of skillful means and wisdom. Steadfastly I hold the reins without distraction. Cracking the whip of effort, I break up the clods of the five poisons. I cast away the stones of a defiled heart, And weed out all hypocrisy. I cut the stalks and reap the fruit of action leading to liberation.... Realization does not arise out of words. Understanding does not come from mere suggestions. I urge all those who work for Enlightenment To meditate with perseverance and effort. Endurance and effort overcome the greatest of difficulties. May there be no obstacles for those who seek enlightenment.

--The Life of Milarepa