That it will never come again | Emily Dickinson

I was working today feeling tired and numb (Friday), and decided to stroll outside for a break. I found balm in the weather: a clear blue sky, buildings bathed in sunshine, shady trees and a cool breeze. I just stood there for a while, enjoying the moment.

An attractive lady was approaching  and I said hello. She answered and asked me how I was doing. Her smile was as bright as the sunshine, so I said, “Much better now that you are here”.  She thanked me and I mentioned the weather. She agreed as she sauntered away.

About half an hour later I came back out and there was a change. Same weather but not quite the same feeling —  due to the position of the sun perhaps. That moment will never come again, I thought. And I remembered Emily Dickinson’s poem:

That it will never come again

Is what makes life so sweet.

Believing what we don’t believe

Does not exhilarate.

That if it be, it be at best

An ablative estate —

This instigates an appetite

Precisely opposite.

Poets have a way of “seeing” life as it is. Don’t you think?

Emily Dickinson

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Bassui | Rinzai Zen Master | 1327-1387

In 1387 (at the age of 61), as Bassui was sitting in zazen meditation among his followers, he turned to them and shouted twice, “Look directly! What is this? Look in this manner and you won’t be deceived!”. He then died.

As a young man Bassui had many questions, ones like “What is a soul?” and “Who is this that hears, sees and understands?” These are questions he would struggle with for a good portion of his life. He would pursue this style of inquiry in meditation, one day realizing that the soul is ungraspable due to its inherent emptiness.


Merry Christmas | The Christ

Christmas is upon us. How many Christians do actually know the Christ? A few quotes below from the Sermon on the Mount:

26 Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns ; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value than they ?
27 And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto his stature ?
34 Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself.

7:5 You hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of your own eye; and then shall you see clearly to cast out the speck out of your brother’s eye.

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“…Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.”–Gospel of Thomas

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”–Mohandas Gandhi

http://www.archive.org/stream/sermononmount00findiala/sermononmount00findiala_djvu.txt

Mohandas Gandhi’s birthday is today | Quotes!

Gandhi at home next to a spinning wheel, which looms in the foreground as a symbol of India's struggle for independence

Gandhi at home next to a spinning wheel, which looms in the foreground as a symbol of India’s struggle for independence

Mohandas Gandhi: His philosophy of nonviolence changed the world.

“Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi: (2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent political and spiritual leader of India during the Indian independence movement.  He was the pioneer of satyagraha—resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience, firmly founded upon ahimsa or total non-violence—which led India to independence and has inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. Gandhi is commonly known around the world as Mahatma Gandhi or ‘Great Soul’, an honorific first applied to him by Rabindranath Tagore, and in India also as Bapu (Gujarati: બાપુ bāpu or ‘Father’). He is officially honoured in India as the Father of the Nation; his birthday, 2 October, is commemorated there as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Non-Violence.”–Wikipedia

“I cannot teach you violence, as I do not myself believe in it. I can only teach you not to bow your heads before any one even at the cost of your life.”–Mahatma GandhiMore quotes at: http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Mahatma_Gandhi/   To know more: http://www.lucidcafe.com/library/95oct/mkgandhi.html or www.wikipedia.com

Steve Hagen | Buddhism | On Reincarnation

hagen_97x120The Wisdom of Seeing

Author Steve Hagen invites us to experience the truth that lies before us, but eludes the thinking mind.

Interview by Lisa Schneider

Excerpt: On Reincarnation:

“Reincarnation implies the persistence of a self. And this goes to the very heart of the Buddhist insight. There isn’t any persistence of any kind whatsoever. Everything is fresh, new in each moment. Already you’re not the person who called me a few moments ago. Already your mind is different, new thoughts have entered into it. Your feelings and emotions have changed.

Within a few months virtually all the material of our bodies will be exchanged with other material that’s now disbursed in the environment. This is a continuous ongoing flow. Even the electrons, the electrical exchanges between the materials in our bodies and the cabinet, the floor, or anything else that’s around you is in continuous flow and flux and change. Nothing is holding still.

So within this kind of world of total impermanence, where do we find permanence? We don’t find it anywhere. But that’s what would be required for the standard understanding of reincarnation: that there’s something called me, an “I” that will persist.

Well we can believe this and of course this would be one of those form things: something that we think, something that we believe. But as I understand the Buddhist teachings, the awakened wouldn’t buy this. They would go with what is actually experienced directly. What is experienced directly? Total flux and change, impermanence. So impermanent that we actually don’t find a thing there to be impermanent, such as a self.”

To read the complete interview please follow the link below:

http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Buddhism/2003/11/The-Wisdom-Of-Seeing.aspx?p=1

Sri Ramana Maharshi | Who am I? Enquiry | Meditation

Ramana Maharshi and a way to awake.

Who Am I ? Enquiry

“For all thoughts the source is the ‘I’ thought. The mind will merge only by Self-enquiry ‘Who am I?’ The thought ‘Who am l?’ will destroy all other thoughts and finally kill itself also. If other thoughts arise, without trying to complete them, one must enquire to whom did this thought arise. What does it matter how many thoughts arise? As each thought arises one must be watchful and ask to whom is this thought occurring. The answer will be ‘to me’. If you enquire ‘Who am I?’ the mind will return to its source (or where it issued from). The thought which arose will also submerge. As you practise like this more and more, the power of the mind to remain as its source is increased.”

What is the nature of the mind?

What is called ‘mind’ is a wondrous power residing in the Self. It causes all thoughts to arise. Apart from thoughts, there is no such thing as mind. Therefore, thought is the nature of mind. Apart from thoughts, there is no independent entity called the world. In deep sleep there are no thoughts, and there is no world. In the states of waking and dream, there are thoughts, and there is a world also. Just as the spider emits the thread (of the web) out of itself and again withdraws it into itself, likewise the mind projects the world out of itself and again resolves it into itself. When the mind comes out of the Self, the world appears. Therefore, when the world appears (to be real), the Self does not appear; and when the Self appears (shines) the world does not appear. When one persistently inquires into the nature of the mind, the mind will end leaving the Self (as the residue). What is referred to as the Self is the Atman. The mind always exists only in dependence on something gross; it cannot stay alone. It is the mind that is called the subtle body or the soul (jiva).

More  about Sri Ramana Maharshi at: http://www.sriramanamaharshi.org/index.html and

http://www.arunachala-ramana.org/publications/who_am_i.html

On Reincarnation | Sri Ramana Maharshi

I found this website: http://www.hinduism.co.za/ and a really good interview with Sri Ramana Maharshi on reincarnation. Excerpt below: (The site is hard to navigate: Go to “Hinduism and Quantum Physics” and look for “Reincarnation”)
Sri Ramana Maharshi: Reincarnation exists only so long as there is ignorance. There is really no reincarnation at all, either now or before. Nor will there be any hereafter. This is the truth.

[Note: Comments by David Godman: Most religions have constructed elaborate theories which purport to explain what happens to the individual soul after the death of the body. Some claim that the soul goes to heaven or hell while others claim that it is reincarnated in a new body.

Sri Ramana Maharshi taught that all such theories are based on the false assumption that the individual self or soul is real; once this illusion is seen through, the whole superstructure of after-life theories collapses. From the standpoint of the Self, there is no birth or death, no heaven or hell, and no reincarnation.

As a concession to those who were unable to assimilate the implications of this truth, Sri Ramana would sometimes admit that reincarnation existed. In replying to such people he would say that if one imagined that the individual self was real, then that imaginary self would persist after death and that eventually it would identify with a new body and a new life. The whole process, he said, is sustained by the tendency of the mind to identify itself with a body. Once the limiting illusion of mind is transcended, identification with the body ceases, and all theories about death and reincarnation are found to be inapplicable]

Question: Are the past and future mere imagination?

Maharshi: Yes, even the present is mere imagination, for the sense of time is purely mental. Space is similarly mental. Therefore birth and rebirth, which take place in time and space, cannot be other than imagination.

Memorable quote: “You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.”–Woodrow Wilson

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