We are awakening from a dream. When the Buddha was asked to describe his experience of awakening he said, ‘What I have awoken to is deep, quiet, and excellent. But,’ he continues, ‘people love their place. It’s hard for people who love, delight, and revel in the fixed views and places of absolute certainty, to see interdependence.’ Over and over, the Buddha taught that what causes suffering is holding on to inflexible views. Enlightenment is not personal; it’s collective. We need a language now that allows us to reimagine what a flourishing society looks like. We need stories to make sense of an ailing world that needs us. This process of dislodging old narratives is the function of spirituality and art. Both ethics and aesthetics ask us to let go in a way that is deep enough to find ourselves embedded in the world in a new way. Intimacy deepens. Relationships deepen. In the Lotus Sutra it is said that the quickest way to become a buddha is by seeing others as buddhas. You remain human. You no longer try to get beyond others. Our buddha nature is our deep imagination……M. Stone & D. Loy
there are infinite perspectives and so few softenings to enter them….can we sit and drink tea with another without agenda or judgment?….oh how rare to be genuine and ‘with’ the unruliness of love’s unpredictable and layered light……may we remember that love simply is so that we may love…..
Today it is raining. On a day like this you might see red, yellow, or green traffic lights reflected on wet pavement. You might see raindrops running down a window pane or hanging from a railing or overhead wire. You might see two people walking under a bright green umbrella. You might see a dull gray sky or a wet red truck. Inside, there will be soft shadows and muted colors. You might even look through the drops on a window and see the landscape distorted by odd-shaped raindrop lenses. When the sun comes out, you might see patterns of light coming through venetian blinds. You might see the complex shadows of trees or bright green leaves against darker foliage. You might look up at a bright sky with high, wispy clouds or notice clumps of light reflected by the windows of an office building onto light gray streets. At dusk the light changes again, and you might see white buildings become orange or pink. If you awake in the middle of the night, the walls and furniture will be monochromatic, illuminated by the moon. The possibilities of perception are limitless, and clear seeing is joyful. Unfortunately, much of the time, we are cut off from clear seeing and the creative potential of our basic being. Instead, we get caught up in cascades of internal dialogue and emotionality. Immersed in thoughts, daydreams, and projections, we fabricate our personal versions of the world and dwell within them like silkworms in cocoons. The root meaning of the word contemplate is connected with careful observation. It means to be present with something in a open space. This space is created by letting go of the currents of mental activity that obscure our natural insight and awareness. The thing to be feared most is the artificially contrived, the contrary to life. Putting this conclusion positively, the uncontrived is what is true to life. This is not meant as an objective standard of truth, it is more like being true, being willing to express things as they are, without dressing them up in any way…….A. Karr & M. Wood
Colors blind the eye.
Sounds deafen the ear.
Flavors numb the taste.
Thoughts weaken the mind.
Desires wither the heart.
The Master observes the world
but trusts his inner vision.
He allows things to come and go.
His heart is open as the sky.
….The Tao….Trans. Stephen Mitchell