Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose. --Kris Kristofferson
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
How strange and wonderful is our home, our earth, with its swirling vaporous atmosphere, its flowing and frozen liquids, its trembling plants, its creeping, crawling, climbing creatures, the croaking things with wings that hang on rocks and soar through fog, the furry grass, the scaly seas… how utterly rich and wild… Yet some among us have the nerve, the insolence, the brass, the gall, to whine about the limitations of our earthbound fate and yearn for some more perfect world beyond the sky. We are none of us good enough for the world we have. –Edward Abbey, 1970
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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
December 19th, 2013 | Category: Uncategorized | Comments are closed
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.