Source: Gentleman’s Essentials
Source: Gentleman’s Essentials
There is a story in Zen circles about a man and a horse. The horse is galloping quickly, and it appears that the man on the horse is going somewhere important. Another man standing alongside the road, shouts, “Where are you going?” and the first man replies, “I don’t know! Ask the horse!” This is also our story. We are riding a horse, we don’t know where we are going, and we can’t stop. The horse is our habit energy pulling us along, and we are powerless. We struggle all the time, even during our sleep. We are at war within ourselves…We have to learn the art of stopping – stopping our thinking, our habit energies, our forgetfulness, the strong emotions that rule us. When an emotion rushes through us like a storm, we have no peace.
The spintop wobbles after a dizzying week. It spins, the revolutions breathless. It turns, slower now, spinning on wisps of the remaining adrenaline.
He’s got it half right. It is the steady pounding of days that is our undoing.
I’ve seen what’s to come—
it is the days,
the steady pounding of days,
like gentle rain,
that will be our undoing.
— John Philip Johnson, from “There Have Come Soft Rains,” Rattle (No. 45)
And it’s Yoko Ono’s memories of the Summer of 1961 that beckon. “Stand in the evening light until you become transparent or until you fall asleep.”
Let it go.
Evaporate into the night.
Bring on the grace of Saturday morning.
“By embarking on the spiritual path, an aspirant is attempting to encounter silence firsthand. This is the quintessential journey in life–the inner sojourn. It is returning to a source long ago forgotten but often glimpsed at moment unawares. Recapturing that which flitters on the periphery of awareness is the goal of the mystic. …The mystic consciously dives into silence, at first unfelt. With repeated practice it becomes a living, palpable Presence filled with immeasurable vitality and boundless, nondual continuity. But what causes this gradual revelation?
First we need to discover why we do not experience silence. The simplest answer is that we are habituated to noise. We are addicted to novelty, sensation, to ourselves. Fuss and commotion, mental chattering, and outer stimulation occupy our minds from dawn to dusk. The twentieth-century Japanese Zen master Nan-in rightly noted that we are overflowing with our own ideas and opinions; to learn Zen we must first empty our minds. But there is no room for such emptiness. When one is clattering away on a keyboard sixteen hours every day, the capacious pockets of silence are kept well at bay. We thereby deafen ourselves to the underlying silence we would otherwise clearly hear.
By intentionally quieting our restless minds and calling a temporary halt to the random noise–inner and outer–to which we are subject, we create an environment conducive to the manifestations of silence. Welling up from within, this silence subtly engulfs us, drowning out all the noise of existence. The Jewish mystics refer to God as “ayin,” nothingness. When we quell the somethingness of our lives, this nothingness emerges. But as long as we dwell in the realm of substance, it remains elusive.”
–John Roger Barrie, in Parabola Magazine: “Silence.”
~ Daniel Klein, Travels with Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s 1943 classic The Little Prince is one of the best-selling books of all time. It has now been adapted into a papercraft animated film scheduled for release in 2015. Here’s a short (and beautiful) French trailer of what’s coming.
Find the English language film trailer for The Little Prince here: The Little Prince Trailer
Credits: Thank you SensualStarfish
What does the earth’s shadow look like flying through space? A jellyfish, perhaps, swimming at the speed of light with filaments streaming behind. At sunrise or sunset, if you stand on a hilltop, with your arms spread out and your fingers fluttering like feathers, your shadow can ride at the top of that enormous, flying darkness, racing forever into the stars.
~ Ted Kooser, “December.” The Wheeling Year: A Poet’s Field Book
I imagine a word, a single word, that would pierce through the hardest of hearts.
But who am I? No one and everyone…
Quiet and still. There are so many things I cannot explain.
Be compassionate. Aequo animo.
~ Marion Blank, Note to Self
I think there’s still a small block of original quiet
that exists in the world.
3 a.m. to 5 a.m. —
a last natural wilderness,
time’s shrinking little Antarctica.
Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn?
Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends?
Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer
to a question you’ve been asked,
or the hush of a country road at night,
or the expectant pause of a room full of people
when someone is just about to speak, or,
most beautiful of all,
the moment after the door closes and
you’re alone in the whole house?
Each one is different, you know,
and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.
~ Norton Juster