June 08, 2004

I'm home!

...and I'm tired. The trip was wonderful. I have lots of photos and stories, but they will have to wait till my mind and body are rested. One thing I did come away with that I will share is a sense that we need to expand our horizons, as humans. I thought the drive to my house from the highway was beautiful, with bowers of trees and a little pond with ducks. Then I saw Trees and Lakes and Rivers and such, and realized how much more there is out there than in my own back yard.

Then I came home, and also realized the beauty of being there as well. Both experiences are important. With that, I will leave you with something from one of my email lists I got among the 400 emails I had waiting for me when I got back. It says what I really mean:


Beauty

The wanderer Bhaggava accused the Buddha of saying that the universe was caused merely by chance. The Buddha replied:

"I have heard others of your sect, Bhaggava, say that when I awoke and found the truth, which was beautiful, I remained in that bliss and then regarded the universe as ugly and meaningless in comparison.

"But I never taught that, Bhaggava. This is what I do say: 'Whenever one awakes and finds the beautiful, then one knows indeed what beauty is.'"

-Majjhima Nikaya
From "Buddha Speaks," edited by Anne Bancroft, 2000. Reprinted by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Boston, www.shambhala.com.




I indeed found the beautiful on this trip, and I am grateful.

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May 28, 2004

the end of sorrow

I have received this specific bit of wisdom Three Days In A Row.

Maybe it's really trying to tell me something.

Where there is dependence, there is instability, where there is no dependence, there is no instability, where there is no instability, there is quietude, where there is quietude, there is no desire, where there is no desire, there is no coming and going, where there is no coming or going, there is no birth and death, where there is no birth or death, there is neither this world nor that world, nor both: that is the end of sorrow.

-Udana
From "365 Buddha: Daily Meditations," edited by Jeff Schmidt. Reprinted by arrangement with Tarcher/Putnam, a division of Penguin Putnam Inc.


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March 31, 2004

The Invitation

Lori at Gita Manas has posted a poemy bit of sorts called The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. This has been a favorite of mine so I will put it here, but also go check it out on Lori's beautiful site. She has some great posts and is a great gal.

The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!"

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.


by
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
copyright © 1999 by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

Life, Spirituality 11:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 04, 2003

the cube

Have any of you played "the cube?" It is supposed to be based on Sufi teachings. There is a list of questions, things you visualize. In the end you are told what your visualization means.

I have a book on this game, but it also can be found around the 'net someplaces.

For the game itself, click on "continue reading the cube" below. If you like, list your responses in comments. I will post what each element represents later in the week, maybe tomorrow.

Start by picturing a desert in your mind's eye. A simple scene with a horizon line separating sand from sky.
(For this, and all the following questions, there are no specific rules; no right or wrong answers. You are perfectly free to describe the cube that you see in your mind.)

And somewhere in the desert landscape, there is a cube.
See it in your mind’s eye; describe it to yourself.
What is its size? Where is it located? What kind of materials is it made up of?

Now somewhere in this landscape, besides the cube that you have imagined, there is also a ladder.
That’s right, a ladder (don’t worry about logic right now – this is just an imagination game, remember).

Just as you did with the cube, see the ladder in your mind’s eye and describe it to yourself. Imagine all the details…

What is its size (especially in comparison to the cube)? Where is it located (specifically in relationship with the position of the cube)? What is it made of, etc.?

Don’t be afraid to see every little detail of each visualized object. The more you imagine, the more rewarding the game will be.

Now also in this desert landscape, along with the cube and the ladder, is a horse.
Just as you did with the cube and ladder, it’s time to picture the horse and describe it.

Is it a specific breed? How big is it? What is its coloring and markings (if any)? Anything special about this horse?

Also be sure to imagine how it relates to the cube and the ladder. And since this is a living object, what action might it be doing right now?

You’ve pictured three things so far, just a couple more to go.
This time, imagine in your mind’s eye, that in this landscape there is also a storm.

What kind of storm do you see? Where is it in relation to the other three objects in this scene? How is it affecting them (or not)?

Again, the more you allow yourself to see, the better this game will be.

Now for the last component.
In your desert, there are flowers.

How many of them are there? What type and what color?

And how do they relate to the other four objects you’ve imagined?

You’ve successfully created an unique image in your mind’s eye that only you could come up with.

Every element is individual to you; this is a purely subjective exercise. There are no right or wrong answers. After all, this is your imagination, and only you are capable of describing what occurs inside.

Look one more time at the scene you’ve created. Make sure that you’ve left nothing out; that everything is described in as much detail as you are capable of.


What did you see? Meanings posted later this week sometime.

Games, Spirituality 01:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack