Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.
--Janis Joplin

We enter the world alone, we leave the world alone.
--James Anthony Froude

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.
--Siddhartha Gautama

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning how to dance in the rain.
--Anonymous

The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.
--Søren Kierkegaard

Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.
--Eckhart Tolle

That which is now called the Christian religion existed among the ancients, and has never failed from the beginning of the human race, until Christ came in the flesh, whence the true religion, which was already in existence, began to be called Christian.
--Augustine Retractiones 1:13

It is said that men may not be the dreams of the gods, but rather that the the gods are the dreams of men.
--Carl Sagan, Cosmos (1980), p 258.

The purpose of Buddhism is the cessation of all suffering. This suffering comes as a result of wrong perceptions or misunderstandings. Meditation, the practice of looking deeply, removes wrong perceptions and frees us from all suffering.
--Thich Nhat Hanh

I have gathered a posie of other men's flowers, and nothing but the string that binds them is mine own.
--Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1553-1592)
Who laid [the earth's] cornerstone when all the stars of the morning were singing with joy, and the Sons of God in chorus were chanting praise?... Which is the way to the home of the light, and where does darkness live?... Who carves a channel for the downpour, and hacks a way for rolling thunder? What womb brings forth the ice, and gives birth to the frost of heaven...? Whose skill details every cloud and tilts the flasks of heaven...? Who makes provision for the raven when his squabs cry out to God and crane their necks in hunger?
--Job 38:6-7,19,25,29,37,41

At the end of life

Where there is love there is life At the end of life, what really matters is not what we bought but what we built; not what we got but what we shared; not competence but our character; and not our success but our significance. Live a life that matters. Live a life of Love.

Zen Catholic Nun – Sister Elaine Macinnes

Sister Elaine MacInnes is a Catholic Nun and a Zen Roshi trained in Japan and fully accredited by the Sanbo Kyodan lineage of Kamakura.

Sister Elaine is also the Founder & President of Freeing the Human Spirit (provides inmates with meditation and yoga training) and founder of the Toronto Zendo of The Sanbo Kyodan, a member of Our Lady’s Missionaries (an order of Roman Catholic Nuns), a Zen Roshi and she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2001 for her ground-breaking work with inmates in the United Kingdom and the Philippines, she is also the author of a number of books on meditation.

Tricycle magazine describes Sister Elaine’s journey: “Emboldened by the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, she began studying Zen to know the Japanese people better, continued it as a personal discipline in the development of her own spirituality, “and finally chose it as my service to others.” She even lived with Rinzai Buddhist nuns in Kyoto for a time, engaging in a samurai-like regimen of 10 hours of zazen a day, beginning at precisely 3:05 a.m.”

Awakening the heart

One needs to listen to this with an open mind and an open heart. Buddhism speaks of saints or bodhisattvas, and Avalokiteśvara is one such person. She is the bodhisattva of compassion.

The End Of Suffering

The end of suffering does not mean that one does not suffer. It does mean that one knows how produce happiness out of suffering. Thich Nhat Hanh compares suffering and happiness to a sheet of paper. The front side of the paper is suffering, and the back side is happiness. Take away the suffering side, and there can be no happiness because suffering and happiness are two sides of the same thing. The sheet of paper can not be without both the front and the back sides.


Please remember that Buddhism is not a religion. Buddhism says nothing about God. Buddhism is a practice for the purpose of turning suffering into happiness.

In Buddhist practice the sound of a bell is used as a prompt to think deeply.

The End of Suffering

May the sound of this bell penetrate deep into the cosmos,
even in the darkest spots.
Living beings are able to feel it clearly,
so that all suffering in them ceases.
Understanding comes to their heart,
and it transcends the path of sorrow and death.

The universal dharma-door is already open,
the sound of the rising tide is heard clearly.
The miracle happens,
the beautiful child appears in the heart of the lotus flower.
One single drop of this compassionate water
is enough to bring back the refreshing springs to the mountains and its people.

Listening to the bell I feel the afflictions in me begin to dissolve;
my mind is calm.
My body is relaxed,
the smile is warm on my lips.
Following the sound of the bell my breath brings me back to the safe island of mindfulness,
in the garden of my heart the flowers of peace bloom beautifully.

Vatican Council II

Roman Catholic Church tombstone 1955

The pelican in her piety

Pio Pelicano

Pio Pelicano

The Pelican is excessively devoted to its children. But when these have been born and begin to grow up, they flap their parents in the face with their wings, and the parents, striking back, kill them. Three days afterward the mother pierces her breast, opens her side, and lays herself across her young pouring out her blood over the dead bodies. This brings them to life again.

In the same way, Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the originator and maker of all created things begets us and calls us into being out of nothing. We, on the contrary, strike him in the face. As the prophet Isaiah says: “I have borne children and exalted them and truly they have scorned me.” We have struck him in the face by devoting ourselves to the creation rather than the creator.

That was why he ascended into the height of the cross, and, his side having been pierced, there came from it blood and water for our salvation and eternal life.

T.H. White. The bestiary: a book of beasts: being a translation frorn a Latin bestiary of the twelfth century. New York, 1954, repr. 1984.

The survival of the Earth

It is possible that the next Buddha will not take the form of an individual. The next Buddha may take the form of a community – a community practicing understanding and loving kindness, a community practicing mindful living. This may be the most important thing we can do for the survival of the Earth.

–Thich Nhat Hanh

The ability to find connection

mary

What Buddhism teaches is that the connection, the ability to find intimacy or connection, is inherent within us, and that if we can just surrender back into that capacity for love, that is all of our birthrights–all babies are born with that; they instinctively love their caretakers. So if we can find that again, then our relationships will take care of themselves.

Mark Epstein

Nighthawks

Nighthawks_by_Edward_Hopper_1942

 

Limited human distinctions

Early Christian Worship

I discovered that it was common for a Sufi to claim that she was equally at home in a synagogue, mosque, temple or a church, and was neither a Jew, nor Christian nor Muslim, because once you have glimpsed the divine, you have left these limited human distinctions behind.

–Ibn Arabi, 13th-century Sufi philosopher