Sunday Quote: An Autumn chant

Gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā

[“Gone, Gone, Gone beyond, Completely gone to the Other Shore. Oh what an Awakening”]

The final lines of the Heart Sutra considered by some Buddhists the perfection of all wisdom –  Pragya Paramita- finding a pace of rest, a stability that is beyond all coming or going.

Insisting and contracting

What is craving? Basically, experientially, it’s contracting onto a wish and getting insistent about it. A highly insistent contracting around something we want. And we can include in that things we don’t want also, because not wanting something is wanting something to be absent. Or wanting something to be different.

So, if we want to suffer less, we need to find where we are getting insistent and contracted around how we would like things to be. So don’t look at the suffering and say: I want that to stop. Look for craving instead…. try to find it, and just leave it at that for now. Just see the craving, and let it be. If we can just learn to do that, that’s a great big lesson.

Henry Shukman, Mountain Cloud Zen Center Blog

Hold firm

Whatever disquiet we sense in a room
we have brought there.

And so I instruct my ribs each morning,
pointing to hinge and plaster and wood –

You are matter, as they are.
See how perfectly it can be done.

Hold, one day more, what is asked.

Jane Hirshfield, A Room [extract]

Love and fear

Happiness, anxiety, joy, resentment — we have many words for the many emotions we experience in our lifetimes. But deep down, there are only two emotions: love and fearAll positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt.

We have to make a decision to be in one place or the other. If you don’t actively choose love, you will find yourself in a place of either fear or one of its component feelings. Every moment offers the choice to choose one or the other. And we must continually make these choices, especially in difficult circumstances when our commitment to love, instead of fear, is challenged.

Elizabeth Kubler Ross

An overcast day

Pay close attention to your mean thoughts.
That sourness may be a blessing,
as an overcast day brings rain for the roses
and relief to dry soil.

Don’t look so sourly on your sourness!
It may be it’s carrying what you most deeply need
and want.

What seems to be keeping you from joy
may be what leads you to joy.

Don’t call it a dead branch.
Call it the live, moist root.
Don’t always be waiting to see
what’s behind it.
Reach for it.
Hold your meanness to your chest
as a healing root,
and be through with waiting.

Rumi in Coleman Banks, Delicious Laughter: Rambunctious Teaching Stories from the Mathnawi