November 19, 2009
“The Christian life of virtue is not only a life in which we strive to
unite ourselves to God by the practice of virtue. Rather it is also a
life in which, drawn to union with God in Christ by the Holy Spirit, we
strive to express our love and our new being by acts of virtue. Being
united to Christ, we seek with all possible fervor to let him manifest
his virtue and his sanctity in our lives. Our efforts should be
directed to removing the obstacles of selfishness, disobedience, and all
attachments to what is contrary to his love.”
–Thomas Merton ( Life and Holiness )
“Before I began my study of Zen,
mountains were just mountains,
and trees were just trees.
During my study of Zen,
mountains were no longer mountains,
and trees no longer trees.
When I became Enlightened,
mountains were once again mountains,
and trees once again trees.”
November 18, 2009
“Perfection is therefore a question of fidelity and love–fidelity to
duty first of all, then love of God’s will in all its manifestations.
Love implies preference and preference demands sacrifice. In practice,
then, the preference of God’s will means setting aside and sacrificing
our own will. The more a Christian renounces his own will to do the
will of God in loving submission and carefree abandonment the more he
will be united to Christ in the Spirit of divine sonship, the more truly
will he show himself a son of the heavenly Father, and the close he will
come to Christian perfection.”
–Thomas Merton (Life and Holiness, page 36)
There is a language older by far and deeper than words.
It is the language of Bodies, of body on body, wind on snow, rain
on trees, wave on stone. It is the language of dream, of gesture,
of symbol, of memory. We have forgotten this language, forgotten
it for so long we do not even remeber that it exists. If we are
to survive, we must again remember this language.
We must relearn how to think like the planet.
I remember walking into a cold January afternoon several years ago.
My breath hung white in the air, and two dogs danced at my feet.
I heard in the distance the clamour of geese, then stood speechless
to watch a huge V fly low over head. I opened my mouyth to say something
- I didn’t know what it would be – and heard my voice say three times
“Godspeed.” Suddenly and for no reason I could understand, I burst into tears .
Then ran into the house.
Walking back outside later and staring into the now empty sky,
I realized that in speaking not only had I been wishing the geese well for their
journey south but they had been using my voice and my breath
to wish me just-as-well on my own-just-as-difficult- journey – this journey
of opposition to the culture that is destroying life on this planet.
The tears,it came clear to me, had been neither for sorrow nor joy,
but for home coming, like a sailor that has been too long at sea,
and who spontaneously bursts into sobs on feeling those tentative
first steps back on solid ground, back at home.
If we are to suvive, we need the planet’s help, just as it
needs ours. To dismantle the walls we’ve so laboriously constructed
to constrict our broken hearts, we must step away from our isolation
from the rest of the world. There is a whole world
waiting for us, ready to welcome us home.
They have missed us as sorely as we have missed them.
It is time. Return. Godspeed.
November 17, 2009
which is better a tree or a piece of paper?
Which is better some sand or a glass window?
Better is subjective….
those that cling to non dualism like to deny dualism…and vice versa
both are however stances, beliefs, ideas, maps…..concepts
A map of london is a map of London
A picture of London is a picture of London
If we say that the map of london is non dualism, as it contains the whole of london
then we could say it is good, and perhaps better for one that wanting to travel around london
A photgraph of London is dualism, for example, because London s probably too big to fit onto one photograph. But a photograph is useful for a specific part of London, for example if we wish to visit piccadilly circus, a photograph of the stone liions would be good, to help us identify it, this is something we cannot find on a map.
So we have dualistic and non dualistic views of London.
Both are useful
But both are maps, models, conceptualisations
Neither IS London….
London thus, Like God, Like Islam, Like Judaism, like Buddhism, like….
is Dualistic and Non Dualistic…
It all depends on perspective.
Or as the famous Muslim Kahlil Gibran said:
We see things as we are
Not as they are.
November 16, 2009
Posted by GraalBaum under Gnosis
, zen 1 Comment
The Yellow Emperor went wandering
To the north of the Red Water
To the Kwan Lun mountain.
He looked around
Over the edge of the world.
On the way home
He lost his night-colored pearl*.
He sent out Science to seek his pearl, and got nothing.
He sent Analysis to look for his pearl, and got nothing.
He sent out Logic to seek his pearl, and got nothing.
Then he asked Nothingness, and Nothingness had it!
The Yellow Emperor said:
“Strange, indeed: Nothingness
Who was not sent
Who did no work to find it
Had the night-colored pearl!”
from “The Way of Chuang Tzu,” trans Merton
(*Night-colored pearl: original nature; spiritual enlightenment)
November 11, 2009
Spiritual practice is essentially prayer. There are three forms of prayer: first, canonical prayer, for instance the Lord’s prayer; second, personal prayer, whose best model is given by the Psalms; third, the contemplative prayer of the heart; this is mystical spirituality, which requires certain conditions. The story of the “Russian Pilgrim” offers an image of it; also Hindu texts about japa-yoga, methodical invocation.
Having unalterable opinions with an air of self-confidence, rejecting society with distaste for the people involved in it, and engaging in intellectual discussions while cursing and slandering others are merely signs of self-righteousness. That’s what the scholars in the mountains and valleys do – those people who remove themselves from the world and would prefer to either grow old and withered or drown themselves in a deep river.
The people in the villages have a saying:
“Most people place importance on profits. A person of principles places importance on his reputation. A person with high ideals values devotion. The sage treasures his essence.”
Therefore, pureness can be called that which isn’t sullied. Genuineness can be called that which doesn’t depart from spirit. One who has the ability to place the most importance in genuine pureness can be called a True Person.
–Zhuangzi Chapter 15: Unalterable Opinions
The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu
November 10, 2009
“No matter what the situation, you cannot neglect Buddha, because you yourself are Buddha. Only this Buddha will help you completely.” “Our teaching is to live, always in reality, in its exact sense….To make our effort, moment after moment, is our way. In an exact sense, the only thing we actually can study in our life is that on which we are working in each moment. We cannot even study Buddha’s words. To study Buddha’s words in their exact sense means to study them through some activity which you face moment after moment.”
–Suzuki Roshi ( Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind (Shambhala Library)