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Seasons

September 23, 2017

Ten thousand flowers in spring,

the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer,

snow in winter. If your mind isn’t clouded

by unnecessary things, this is the best season

of your life.

~Wumen Huikai

(1183-1260 Chinese Zen Poet)

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Listen

September 22, 2017

The best way to deal

with excessive thinking

is to just listen to it,

to listen to the mind.

Listening is much more effective

than trying to stop thought

or cut it off.

When we listen

there is a different mode

employed in the heart.

Instead of trying to cut it off,

we receive thought

without making anything out of it.

~Ajahn Amaro

(1956 to pres.,

Abbot of the Amaravati Buddhist Monastery,

England)

Inward Illumination

September 21, 2017

The problem before us

is how to bring about a change

in our hearts and effect

an inner conversion

so that we can see truly and clearly

and learn to discriminate

between truth and untruth.

Since this lies beyond the scope

of body and intellect,

it can only come about

through an inward illumination

of divine wisdom

in the sanctuary of the soul.

~Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj

(1894-1974 Mystic Adept, Spiritual Teacher,

Organizer of World Conference on Unity of Man,

President of the World Fellowship of Religions,

and Sant Satguru of Surat Shabd Yoga)

 

Silence

September 20, 2017

Silence allows you to watch your mind

and become aware of the thoughts

that you may be acting on unconsciously.

When you see the thoughts,

you can make a conscious choice

to act on the thought

or change your mind,

instead of going along with the noise.

I have seen people

who don’t want to look at themselves

keep going until something happens

that makes them stop —

a sickness or an accident —

but it gives them that reflective,

quiet space where they can face

what is difficult in their mind.

We each have a unique purpose

to fulfill in this life and inklings

can come in those quiet moments.

~Swami Radhananda

(1914-1995, Spiritual teacher)

 

BEYOND CONTENT OF THOUGHT

September 19, 2017

BEYOND CONTENT OF THOUGHT by Ram Dass

Instead of trying so hard to get out of the shadow, the dark, which I think actually reinforces the shadow and its reality, just do your practices. See, if somebody says, “I’m having these terrible thoughts, and I don’t know why, will you help me understand why?” I’d tell them that I’d rather sit with them and help them to follow their breath. The breath has no content to it at all. It’s just breath. It’s better to strengthen their centering, the quieting, the presence, than to keep strengthening the problem, which keeps being reinforced when you work on it directly. It’s a very delicate situation. I don’t want to undercut times when it’s really appropriate to work on thoughts as content, but for the most part, the focusing on the content of thoughts is, to me, a last strategy. It is a much better strategy to focus on the mechanics of thought, rather than the content of thought. Do you hear that distinction? Now I can go to a therapist, and they can say “Let’s talk about your childhood and where did it all come from…” That’s dealing with the content of the thoughts. Or, instead, I could choose to just see them as thoughts, not focusing on the content so much, looking for answers. They’re just thoughts! Put them in the category of thoughts, not what they’re about, they’re just thoughts, and it’s my major game in meditation to extricate awareness from identification with thought or with clinging to it. In order to do that you go into your meditation practice, which in some cases might be taking one thought, like following the breath. What will then come up is, “But what am I gonna do about this relationship?” Thought appears, and I hear the teacher say, “Return to your breath.” Go back to breathing in, breathing out, then another one comes and says, “God my life is a mess!” Now at that point, you can leave, call a therapist, and say, “Let’s deal with why my life is a mess,” or you say, “Ok, go back to the breath. Sure your life is a mess. Go back to the breath.” It’s just rising-falling, rising-falling, and now, in other words, you can use the meditative practice to extricate yourself from identification with thoughts, whatever they are, shadowy or not. There are some thoughts that you won’t get rid of that way, because they’re sort of in a nest or web of stuff. Then, you’ll approach them in terms of content, but my strategy is to go for the mechanics first, and then go to the content later on, when it’s really ripe for the picking.

~Ram Dass

(1931-pres, Mystical Bhakti Spiritual Teacher)

 

Sanity

September 19, 2017

When we are happy,

healthy, safe, and at ease,

we can model those qualities

for others as well as make choices

and take action from a place

of sanity and lovingkindness.

~Cyndi Lee

(Hatha yoga and

Tibetan Buddhist teacher)

Friend

September 18, 2017

A friend is not to be found

in the world such as one can conceive of,

such as one needs,

for no human being unites

so many of the attributes of God

as we feel our nature requires.

We have therefore a circle

whom we call friends,

giving a name to the whole,

which perhaps in its singular occupation

might be used for the combination.

Out of the whole circle

we may make up a single friend.

We love them all but

we love the union of all better.

~Maria Mitchel

(1818–1889 Astronomer)