Consider how some days we wander into a wash of birdsong and are filled with the quiet music of the Universe. But no matter how we linger, the birdsong fades and we must enter our day. Other days, the birds seem to come out of nowhere, from behind buildings or under bridges, and their song covers us with an invisible mist that reminds us: life is so much more than the machinery of our tasks. But they swoop on, taking their sweet medicine with them. Either way, we are refreshed and left with the world of listening: to keep the song that comes out of nowhere alive in what we do, wherever life leads us. Truth often appears to us like the song of these birds. We wander into a wash of it and, no matter how we linger, it fades. On other days, truth seems to come out of nowhere to remind us how rare it is to be here at all. Then off it goes with its refreshing medicine and we are left with the work of keeping the song of truth alive in the days that remain. This lifelong conversation with love, wonder, and truth in counterpoint with pain, loss, and obstacles is how we dilate and constrict our way into the essence of our aliveness…….Mark Nepo
the humble thought of the Dalai Lama simply brushing his teeth, somehow offers us a glimpse into the extraordinary fact that we are here, living this life….we re-experience the possibility of each layer of meaning, sensing consolation in between our cherished beliefs…the need to ask ‘what is real’ or ‘who belongs’ dissolves like wings flying away….
My days begin at around three or three-thirty in the morning. When I wake up, I think of the Buddha, and I recite a prayer of salutation. As a practicing Buddhist monk, as soon as I wake up I pay homage to the Buddha, and I try to prepare my mind to be more altruistic, more compassionate, during the day to come so that I can be of benefit to others. Then I do physical exercise- I walk on a treadmill. Around five o’clock I have breakfast; then I have a few more mediation sessions, and I recite prayers until about eight or nine. Afterward I usually read the paper, but sometimes I also go to the interview room for meetings. If I have nothing else to do, I mainly study the Buddhist scriptures that my teachers have taught me in the past but I also read some recent books. Then I practice analytic meditation on altruism, which we call bodhicitta, or enlightened mind. I also meditate on emptiness. After lunch I go back to the interview room for other meetings. Around five o’clock it’s time for my evening tea. As a Buddhist monk, I don’t eat dinner. If I’m hungry, I snack on a cookie, asking the Buddhas for forgiveness. Then I devote myself to more prayers and meditations. Around seven or eight o’clock I go to sleep- not without examining what I did during the day first. Some nights I sleep eight or even nine hours. That’s the best time. Total relaxation……Dalai Lama
From pre- to post- eternity
is but a single breath
a breath free of all these
high and low melodies
Treasure this breath,
this moment you now enjoy.
Spend it in happiness; there is
no time for sorrow.
Once this moment has passed,
it is gone forever.
Your remaining time is less
than the very least you can imagine.
If you spend this moment laughing,
the world will reflect your joy.
But if you fall into depression,
the whole world will seem to be in mourning.
Don’t give your heart to this
with all its ups and downs,
its twists and turns.
Bring joy to another’s heart;
and be joyful yourself,
for the highest gain in the world
Take care, Nurbakhsh,
not to hurt any heart;
accomplishing this is more dear
than any crown or throne.
….Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh