Breathe out, look in, let go

peace-zen-buddhism-sit-meditate

You’re already more and less
than whatever you can know.
Breathe out, look in, let go.

~ John Welwood

 


John Welwood is an American clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, teacher, and author, known for integrating psychological and spiritual concepts. Trained in existential psychology, Welwood did his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Chicago. He has been the Director of the East/West Psychology Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, and is an associate editor of Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. A prominent figure in transpersonal psychology, he is a pioneer in integrating Western psychology and Eastern wisdom. He has written over six books, including Journey of the Heart (1990), Challenge of the Heart (1985), and Love and Awakening (1996). His 2007 book, Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships, won the 2007 Books for a Better Life Award. (Source: Wiki)


Credits: Photography: Indigo-soul. Quote – Thank you makebelieveboutique.com


Not a single inch of grass

desert-air-george-steinmetz-photograph

“The Master, addressing the assembly, said, “Brothers, it is the beginning of autumn, and the end of summer. You may go east or west, but you should go only to a place where there is not a single inch of grass for ten thousand li.” After pausing for a while he asked, “How does one go to a place where there is not a single inch of grass for ten thousand li?”

Later this was related to Shih-shuang, who said, “Why didn’t someone say, ‘As soon as one goes out the door, there is grass’?”

The Master, hearing of this response, said, “Within the country of the Great T’ang such a man is rare.”

-The Record of Tung-Shan



Yes.

Breathe - red light

“‎In a controversy, the instant we feel anger, we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.”

— Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha


Credits: Quote: Samsaranmusing.  Image: everybodyhasabrain

Which Horse You Ridin’?

horse in sunset

“Roshi once told us that there were three different kinds of horses: with one, just a tug at the reins made them start moving; the second, a kick in the flanks and they were off; and then there were those that had to be beaten to the bone with a whip before they started to move. “Unfortunately,” he said, “most human beings are the third kind.” He told us we act as though we were going to live forever. “Wake up,” he said.

~ Natalie Goldberg

 


The sound of the rain needs no translation

black and white, Christian Calzone

“I had a discussion with a great master in Japan, and we were talking about the various people who are working to translate the Zen books into English, and he said, ‘That’s a waste of time. If you really understand Zen, you can use any book. You could use the Bible. You could use Alice in Wonderland. You could use the dictionary, because the sound of the rain needs no translation.'”

- Alan Watts


Alan Watts quotes Zen roshi Morimoto in his autobiography titled In My Own Way.  Watts (1915-1973) was a British-born philosopher, writer and speaker, best known as an interpreter and popularizer of Eastern Philosophy for Western audiences.  He moved to the United States in 1938 and began Zen training in New York. Pursuing a career, he attended Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, where he received a master’s degree in theology. Watts became an Episcopal priest then left the ministry in 1950 and moved to California, where he joined the faculty of the American Academy of Asian Studies.  Watts gained a large following in the San Francisco Bay Area while working as a volunteer programmer at KPFA, a Pacifica Radio station in Berkeley. Watts wrote more than 25 books and articles on subjects important to Eastern and Western religion, introducing the then-burgeoning youth culture to The Way of Zen (1957), one of the first bestselling books on Buddhism.  (Source: Wiki)


Credits: Photograph by Christian Calzone via Black and White.  Quote via Whiskey River.

Who Binds You?

wind, flow


Who binds you?
A monk asked Seng ts’an, “Master, show me the way to liberation.”
Seng ts’an replied, “Who binds you?”
The monk responded, “No one binds me.”
Seng ts’an said, “Then why do you seek liberation?”


Credits: Image – Madam Scherzo. Quote:  whiskeyriver.blogspot.com.  This is an Ancient koan / teaching story.  Seng Ts’an is the third Zen ancestor in China.

Look for those small openings

natalie goldberg

We have this life. We live it day by day. It passes quickly. Sometimes not quickly enough- we get despondent, sullen, downcast. Those are good words. In those slow moments something might appear- a chance to fall through our blistering fast-paced lives to the other side, where we can turn around and view ourselves, take a curious interest. Underneath everything we long to know ourselves. We wouldn’t know it though by the way we act- chugging down another whiskey, not listening to our daughter at breakfast, going sixty in a twenty zone. Reaching to get away; longing to come home. In writing, in sitting, in slow walking, a flash, a moment appears when we fall through and what we are fighting, running from, struggling with becomes open, luminous- or, even better, not a problem, just what it is. Look for those small openings.

~ Natalie Goldberg


Natalie Goldberg, 65, is an American popular New Age author, speaker, teacher and painter. She is best known for a series of books which explore and practice writing as Zen practice. Her 1986 book Writing Down the Bones sold over a million copies and is considered an influential work on the craft of writing. Her 2013 book, The True Secret of Writing, is a follow-up to that work.  Goldberg has studied Zen Buddhism for more than thirty years. She has been teaching seminars in writing as a practice for the last thirty years. People from around the world attend her life-changing workshops and she has earned a reputation as a great teacher. The Oprah Winfrey Show sent a film crew to spend the day with Natalie for a segment on Spirituality that covered her writing, teaching, painting, and walking meditation. (Sources: Wiki & NatalieGoldberg.com)


Credits: Quote – Thank you makebelieveboutique.com.  Photograph: kripalu.org

Counterpunch?

buddhism

Patient acceptance is often considered a weak and passive response to problems that we do not have the power or courage to solve. In reality, however, being patient is far from being passive. There is nothing strong or courageous in reacting to hardship or insults with anger – all we are doing is being defeated by our delusions.”

~ Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (from “How to Solve Our Human Problems”)


Kelsang Gyatso is a Buddhist monk, “meditation master, scholar, and author” of 22 books based on the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. He was born in Tibet in 1931 and ordained at the age of eight. After leaving Tibet, he spent eighteen years in retreat in the Himalayas in India.  He subsequently became a teacher and founder of spiritual centers.  He retired as General Spiritual Director of the NKT-IKBU in August 2009 but continues to write books and practice materials. (Source: Wiki)


Note to Self: Patience (Still seeking).  Acceptance (Try it. Just once.).  Delusions (Thank you Monk Master for the ah ha moment.)


Credits: Image – kadampa.org.  Quote – Thank you Sun Dog

A war on want

Chogyam Trungpa

“Compassion is the ultimate attitude of wealth: an anti-poverty attitude, a war on want. It contains all sorts of heroic, juicy, positive, visionary, expansive qualities. And it implies larger scale thinking, a freer and more expansive way of relating to oneself and the world. It is the attitude that one has been born fundamentally rich rather than that one must become rich.”

- Chogyam Trungpa (1939 – 1987)


Credits: Image.  Quote: Thank you Whiskey River



Running. With Shodo.

art, painting, illustration, rain, drops, color

5:25 am.  Headline machines spewing darkness: “Curled up on a bloody boat.” (CNN) “A Grim Day for a Small Town. Bodies recovered after blast. (WSJ)  “Raped.  Delhi 5 year old in serious condition.” (BBC News)  This last one too much for me.  I shudder.  Evil.  Mimi describes her contrasting realities this morning.  And I’m in search for a contrast to my mental image reality.  I turn away from the gloom.

5:55 am. 47F.  Drizzling. I’m out the door.  Need a new route.  Need a change.  A new path. I’m determined to run long.  Man looking for accomplishment.  Looking for my body to ache.  The kind of ache deep in your bones.  A soreness that hurts – – the achy hurt – – your body telling you that you pushed it today.  That’s it.

19-year old boy shivering under tarp in the boat. Curled up. Lying is his own blood.  Chopper circling..spot lights illuminating the darkness.  Is his Mother watching? [Read more…]

Sitting in Judgment

I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.
– Dalai Lama


And that’s why he’s the Dalai Lama.  And I sit stewing in judgment.


Sources: Image – iheartit.com. Quote: swiss-miss

One only throws a stick at a lion once

lion

“When you run after your thoughts, you are like a dog chasing a stick: every time a stick is thrown, you run after it. Instead, be like a lion who, rather than chasing after the stick, turns to face the thrower. One only throws a stick at a lion once.”

~ Milarepa


Milarepa (1052-1135) was a great Tibetan Yogi who lived an austere life on the bare hillsides of the Himalayas, eking out an existence on donations and the few plants — principally nettles — that grow in that harsh environment. His name means “The Cotton-Clad One,” and he generally wore just a thin sheet, using the heat generated by meditation practices to keep the fierce Tibetan cold at bay.”


Image Source: Thank you. madamescherzo. Quote Source: Thank you Whiskeyriver via Wildmind.org

There is nothing that I dislike

mirror, woman, portrait, black and white
“There is nothing I dislike.”

“These are the extraordinary words of the great teacher Linji; they are a lifetime koan for anyone who dares to take it on. Lifetime koans like this one never give up on you, luckily. ‘There is nothing I dislike’ is daring and fragrant and alive, and it is like this because it’s like this. ‘There is nothing I dislike’ rearranges us profoundly, when we offer ourselves to its energy, its scrutiny, its disturbance in us. [Read more…]

Let there be an opening into the quiet…

Meditation, zen, peace, calm, relax, buddhism

Let there be
an opening
into the quiet
that lies beneath
the chaos,
where you find
the peace
you did not think
possible
and see what shimmers
within the storm.

Jan Richardson (excerpted from “Blessing in the Chaos”)


Jan Richardson is a writer, artist, United Methodist minister, workshop leader, conference speaker and director of a company called The Wellspring Studio, LLC, which serves as an umbrella for all the writer/artist/minister activities.  Jan and her husband live in central Florida.  Her site can be found at janrichardson.com.


Photograph was taken by Raymond Depardon via goodmemory.  Poem Source: Thank you Jan Richardson

4:02 am. And, Inspired…

gif, funny, laugh, humor

Good Wednesday morning.  And Happy Halloween.

Here’s a selection of inspiring posts of the week from my favorite bloggers:

Shawn Smucker with his post:  “One Sign of a Life Well Lived:  “Ours is a culture obsessed with sanitizing life, and not just in the physical or chemical sense. We want everything to line up with some unattainable standard, devoid of messiness or intrusion. Funeral services are to remain silent. Learning should be on point. Churches present their Statements of Faith as things which should not even be discussed. Children are expected to behave like robots. Can we become brave enough to leave room for some mess? Can we care less about modern sensitivities and more about meaning? Can we come to appreciate life in all of its unsanitized beauty?…Life = Mess.”  I encourage you to read the entire post.

Tanushree Srivastava @ Charity Spring with her post: “Silence.”  “Silence is underrated in today’s world. There is too much noise. Too many words and too much to say…Why do we have to fill in all the voids with words which are not needed?…Silence is often mistaken as symbol of weakness of a person, which is Wrong. I love silence and stillness…There is no greater power than silence which gives you the authority to steer anything in your favor…I personally spoke a lot and was a girl of too many words. But then realization struck me that I am losing on so much by creating my own noise and being always busy with thinking what I had to speak next. Always in a rush. I am sure many will relate to it. So change it like me. Life is amazing when you enjoy it with a calm and silent heart that is not rushing towards the next thought.”

[Read more…]

4:56 am. And, Inspired…

Good Wednesday morning.

Here’s a selection of inspiring posts of the week from my favorite bloggers:

Cristian Mihai, with over 19,000 blog followers, with his post:  “The 7 Golden Rules of Blogging: I was quite sure that I would never become a successful blogger. I created some blogs on various platforms, but I never had the patience to build an audience. The thing is that I never asked myself whether I had something worth writing about on an almost daily basis. I think this is something a lot of bloggers struggle with. What’s worth sharing? What’s considered useful information?…

Dr. James Stratford @ Beyond the Call with his post: “How do you judge your self worth?”  “I formed the opinion that everyone and everything is in a constant yet constantly changing form of perfection, that we can only ever be what we are in this moment, however ignorant or foolish or amazing that might be, based on the fact that we have lived our particular experience with our particular perspective that has been influences in unique ways since the moment we were born and probably long before. It’s a rationale that demands, often against superficial likes and dislikes, that I honour and respect everyone, including myself. Most of all it demands acceptance of people and conditions as they are. You might want to change the world, but it’s actually essential to be able to accept the way things are exactly as they are before you can do so. Usually, it’s in this clear mindset that we see the seeds of growth, the bud of the lotus, in the present conditions.

[Read more…]

4:01 am. And, Inspired…

Good Wednesday morning.

Yes.  If you’ve read my “About” page, you get an understanding of why.  Why I do this (blog).  To get someone.  Anyone.  Everyone.  To share a laugh.  A smile.  An “aha” moment.  Perhaps a tear.  A moment of inspiration.  And I’ve come to learn that I “get” far more than I “give.”  I had another one of those moments at 4:00 pm on Sunday afternoon.  It came unexpectedly in an email from a follower.  I don’t know “D.”  “D” is from the other side of this country. I didn’t know he followed my blog.  I’m reading his email: “Hello. I’m finally doing what I’ve been meaning to for months. I’ve never written to a blogger before and I am absolutely compelled to do so now. Your blog; your blog! Since I came across your blog a few months ago, I have been inspired and uplifted. Most profoundly, your posts about your kids have moved this xx year old father to tears. I just want to thank you, David, for sharing. I don’t believe that many days have passed without me going to your blog. And, I can tell you that after I have done so, I feel a genuine sense of gratitude for the kindness and goodness you so obviously bring to this world. Yes, I am very grateful indeed.”  

Thank you “D.”  You moved me.  You made my day, my week and likely months to come.  Thank you “D” and all of my other friends and followers who take the time to check in to visit each day.  You inspire me with long shots of adrenaline to “blog on.”  And now on to the inspiring posts of the week from my favorite bloggers:

Kurt @ CulturalOffering with his share he titles “Pause“: “Within a breath or two of emptying my mind, thoughts came flooding in — nature abhors a vacuum. I felt an itch on my face and wanted to scratch it. A great title for my next book popped into my head and I wanted to write it down before I forgot it. I thought of at least four phone calls I wanted to make and one difficult conversation I was going to have later that day. I became anxious, knowing I only had a few hours of writing time. What was I doing just sitting here? I wanted to open my eyes and look at how much time was left on my countdown timer. I heard my kids fighting in the other room and wanted to intervene.  Here’s the key though: I wanted to do all those things, but I didn’t do them. Instead, every time I had one of those thoughts, I brought my attention back to my breath…(Read more)

Becky Robinson @ Weaving Influence with her post These Exact Places: I believe that there is nothing random about my path, about the people I’ve encountered, about the opportunities I’ve discovered, the places I’ve lived…Where I live, where I go, what I say, and what I do, makes a difference. Where you live, where you go, what you say, and what you do makes a difference. There are no accidents. You are exactly where you need to be, right now.” (Read more) [Read more…]

To Be

“Ours is a time of continual movement which often leads to restlessness, with the risk of ‘doing for the sake of doing.’ We must resist this temptation by trying ‘to be’ before trying ‘to do.’”

~ Pope John Paul II, Novo Millennio Inuente


Sources: Image –  goodmemory. Quote: crashinglybeautiful

Learn to be quiet

Noell S. Oszvald - Silence - Art - Photograph

You need not do anything.
Remain sitting at your table and listen.
You need not even listen, just wait.
You need not even wait,
just learn to be quiet, still and solitary.
And the world will freely offer itself to you unmasked.
It has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.

Franz Kafka


Artist: Noell S. Oszvald: “Silence” via artlimited.net via yama-bato.

Quote Source: blogut via creatingaquietmind

Other related Kafka posts:

4:36 am. And, Inspired…

Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s kicking off hump day with inspiring posts of the week from my favorite bloggers (including a “professional blogger’s” post this week).

Ioanna @ life portOfolio with her post Hate Words.  “Take a moment and think. Your phone rings, at the end of the line is a loved one…“Hey sweetie, my test results are out…”  The rest of the phone call can be guessed…Yes, you lose ground under your feet…

Seth Segall @ The Existential Buddhist with his postDoes All This Sitting Get Us Somewhere?  Novice meditators often ask “will all this sitting get me somewhere?” By “somewhere” they mean somewhere else than where their sitting currently gets them — countless cushion-hours accompanied by states of desire, aversion, judgment, pain, boredom, torpor, fantasy, reminiscence, doubt, planning, philosophizing — and, yes — moments of presence and clarity…We marinate in life and are cooked by it. It’s a process that happens, not something we accomplish. We didn’t build that. Things shift. We tire of hanging onto things. We cease repeating old mistakes. We laugh at ourselves. We open and soften. We come alive…

By “somewhere else” they mean their fantasy of whatever-it-was the Buddha experienced at the moment of his Enlightenment. They wonder whether they will ever have an experience like the Buddha’s…The answer is “no.” The Buddha’s experience was his own. Ours is ours. But sitting isn’t about having a spiritual experience. It’s about living a spiritual life. Sitting isn’t where the miracle occurs. Our life is the miracle. Sitting is the mirror. It’s the pot we’re cooked in.” [Read more…]

Sunday Morning: All is a miracle…

curious eyes of a child

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.

~Thich Nhat Hanh


Source: Thank you artemisdreaming

Related Posts:

Peace is every step…

 

 

 

 

Peace and happiness are available if we can only quiet our distracted thinking long enough to come back to the present moment and notice the blue sky, the child’s smile, the beautiful sunrise.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Thank you abirdeyeview for photo and creatingaquietmind for quote by Thich Nhat Hanh from his book Peace Is Every Step.

Related Posts:

Zeke + Buddhist Monk + Almonds = Enlightenment!

zeke staring at almond9:15 pm.  June 26, 2012.

Zeke, our four-year old Vizsla, has excellent hearing and smell.  But not for the bird hunting discipline that he was bred for – – but for California Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds.  From a room away, he can hear a 1/2 turn on the top of the plastic Almond container.  If he’s outside and comes inside, his nose goes 911 when he sniffs a whiff of a single nut.

Zeke and I have a routine each night.  He waits for Dad’s snack time before bed time when Dad and Zeke share a heaping handful of almonds.  Most days, it’s one for Zeke, one for Dad, one for Zeke, one for Dad.  (OK, sometimes Dad cheats on the allocation when Zeke isn’t looking. OK, OK, more than sometimes.)

Zeke wolfs down his Almond without breaking his eye lock with Dad.  No chewing.  Straight down the gullet.  1 Almond.  2 Almonds.  3 Almonds.  Same pattern.  He gives me the same desperate look that he might miss out on his share if he breaks his stare.   (Those eyes are telling me that he knows that I’m cheating him out of his allocation.)

I proceed to tell him that “maybe you should chew your almonds and enjoy them rather than just scarfing them down without tasting them – maybe you won’t keep begging for more.” (I’m no different that you other dog owners.  I believe he understands me but he just doesn’t want to cooperate.)

[Read more…]

Suffering is due entirely to…


Related Posts:

  1. There are two mistakes you can make along the road…
  2. To Arrive at the Unshakeable
  3. Some days
  4. You are not your body. You are not your mind.

More info on: Nisargadatta Maharaj

Quote Source: spycnsweet

To arrive at the unshakeable…

More inspiration from my stops at Steve Layman‘s and Luke Storm’s blogs…

Nothing in the realm of thoughts or ideologies is absolute. Lean on one for long, and it collapses.  Because of this, there is nothing more futile and frustrating than relying on the mind. To arrive at the unshakable, you must befriend the Tao. To do this, quiet your thinking.  Stop analyzing, dividing, making distinctions between one thing and another. Simply see that you are at the center of the universe, and accept all things and beings as parts of your infinite body. When you perceive that an act done to another is done to yourself, you have understood the great truth.

~Verse 42.  Hua Hu Ching: The Unknown Sayings of Lao Tzu

 


Image: Thank you crashinglybeautiful:

Today in Bangkok: Thousands of Buddhist monks chanted during a lantern lighting to celebrate Makha Bucha day, which commemorates Buddha’s first sermon on the essence of Buddhism.