Leaving behind

Same message, different traditions, same time period

If people seek peace in outward things, whether in places or in methods or in people or in deeds … however great or of whatever kind all this may be, this is all in vain and brings them no peace. Those who seek thus seek wrongly; the further they go the less they find what they are seeking. They are like one who has taken a wrong turning: the further he goes, the more he goes astray. But what should he do? In truth, if one gave up a kingdom or the whole world and did not give up self, he or she would have given up nothing. But if one gives up oneself, then whatever one keeps, wealth, honour or whatever it may be, still they have given up everything.  

Meister Eckhart, German theologian, philosopher and mystic, 1260 – 1328

To study the self is to forget the self. 
To forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things 

Dogen, Buddhist monk and philosopher, founder of the Soto school of Zen, 1200 – 1253,

 

Traps

Imagine you are walking in the woods and you see a small dog sitting by a tree. As you approach it, it suddenly lunges at you, teeth bared. You are frightened and angry. But then you notice that one of its legs is caught in a trap. Immediately your mood shifts from anger to concern: You see that the dog’s aggression is coming from a place of vulnerability and pain. This applies to all of us. When we behave in hurtful ways, it is because we are caught in some kind of trap. The more we look through the eyes of wisdom at ourselves and one another, the more we cultivate a compassionate heart.

Tara Brach, True Refuge

All things are charged with..

Another Saturday, another piece from Mary Oliver

The dog, the donkey, surely they know they are alive. Who would argue otherwise? But now, after years of consideration, I am getting beyond that. What about the sunflowers? What about The tulips, and the pines? Listen, all you have to do is start and There?ll be no stopping. What about mountains? What about water Slipping over rocks? And speaking of stones, what about The little ones you can Hold in your hands, their heartbeats So secret, so hidden it may take years Before, finally, you hear them?

Mary Oliver, Swan: Poems and Prose Poems

All things therefore are charged with love, are charged with God and if we knew how to touch them give off sparks and take fire, yield drops and flow, ring and tell of him

Gerard Manley Hopkins, Letters

Trust the real

The tragic sense of life is ironically not tragic at all, at least in the Big Picture. We are merely joining the great parade of humanity that has walked ahead of us and will follow after us.  The tragic sense of life is not unbelief, pessimism, fatalism, or cynicism.  It is just ultimate and humiliating realism, for which some reason demands a lot of forgiveness of almost everything.  Faith is simply to trust the real….  This is perhaps our major stumbling stone, the price we must pay to keep the human heart from closing down and to keep the soul open for something more.

Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: a Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

Silent watcher

Only one thing is harassing you: your own idea of achieving things as quickly as possible.

But meditation is not to be achieved; it is already there.

It has only to be discovered.

And discovery needs only one thing: a silent watcher.

Osho, Watch and Wait

Problems and inconveniences

One of life’s best coping mechanisms is to know the difference between an inconvenience and a problem. If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you’ve got a problem. Everything else is an inconvenience. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy. A lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat and a lump in the breast are not the same kind of lump. One needs to learn the difference.

Robert Fulghum, American author and Unitarian Minister, Uh-Oh: Some Observations from Both Sides of the Refrigerator Door