A poem for the start of autumn: to be a witness

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I do not know if the seasons remember their history or if the days and
nights by which we count time remember their own passing.

I do not know if the oak tree remembers its planting or if the pine
remembers its slow climb toward sun and stars.

I do not know if the squirrel remembers last fall’s gathering or if the
bluejay remembers the meaning of snow.

I do not know if the air remembers September or if the night remembers
the moon.

I do not know if the earth remembers the flowers from last spring or if
the evergreen remembers that it shall stay so.

Perhaps that is the reason for our births — to be the memory for
creation.

Perhaps salvation is something very different than anyone ever expected.

Perhaps this will be the only question we will have to answer:
“What can you tell me about September?”

Burton D. Carley, September Meditation

photo leslie seaton

 

Note, dont react

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Buddhadasa Bhikkhu said, “If there was to be a useful inscription to put on a medallion around your neck it would be This is the way it is’.” This reflection helps us to contemplate: wherever we happen to be, whatever time and place, good or bad, ‘This is the way it is.’ It is a way of bringing an acceptance into our minds, a noting rather than a reaction.

Ajahn Sumedho, The Way it is

photo : sharada prasad

Noticing

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A lesson on really paying attention, from an unusual guide:

“Holmes you see everything!”  Watson exclaimed.

“I see no more than you,

but I have trained myself to notice what I see“, said Holmes.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier

photo ian kirk

The gap between words

Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think.

Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.

A. A. Milne, The House on Pooh Corner

Knowing oneself gently

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Dogen Zen-ji said, “To know yourself is to forget yourself.” We might think that knowing ourselves is a very ego-centered thing, but by beginning to look so clearly and so honestly at ourselves—at our emotions, at our thoughts, at who we really are — we begin to dissolve the walls that separate us from others. Somehow all of these walls, these ways of feeling separate from everything else and everyone else, are made up of opinions. They are made up of dogma; they are made of prejudice. These walls come from our fear of knowing parts of ourselves. There is a Tibetan teaching that is often translated as, “Self-cherishing is the root of all suffering.” It can be hard for a Western person to hear the term “self-cherishing” without misunderstanding what is being said. I would guess that 85% of us Westerners would interpret it as telling us that we shouldn’t care for ourselves….. But that isn’t what it really means. What it is talking about is fixating.

Pema Chodron, To Know Yourself is to Forget Yourself

photo U.S fish and wildlife service