God turns you from one feeling to another,
and teaches by means of opposites,
so that you have two wings to fly, not one.
The Great Way has no gate.
There are a thousand different paths,
Once you pass through the barrier,
you walk the universe alone.
……Aldous Huxley: “To know the ultimate Not-Self, which transcends the other not-selves and the ego, but which is yet closer than breathing, nearer than hands and feet – this is the consummation of human life, the end and ultimate purpose of human existence.”
Live at the empty heart of paradox.
I’ll dance with you there, cheek to cheek.
Our minds are perpetually shifting in and out of confusion and clarity. If only we were confused all the time, that would at least make for some kind of clarity.
- Sogyal Rinpoche
….as Joseph Campbell pointed out, one of the problems with conventional religion is that it can work against it deeper purpose by serving as an “inoculation against the Divine:” its comforting certainties protect you from having to face the Mystery in all its awesome majesty.
Our mission is to recognize contraries for what they are: first of all as contraries, but then as opposite poles of a unity.
- Hermann Hesse
“Live the questions now. Perhaps then ….. you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
“Getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic – this is the spiritual path.” – Pema Chodron
“Life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived.” – Joe Ripley Caldwell.
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there.”
…..the famous Zen saying: “Things are not what they appear to be. Nor are they otherwise.”
Learn to be silent. Let your quiet mind listen and absorb
Galileo: “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”
…the great scholar-theologian St.Thomas Aquinas, after having written 60 books, had such a powerful experience of the Divine that he declared, “I can do no more. Such secrets have been revealed to me that all I have written now appears to be of little value.”
….the Zen master who, before dying, told her son in a note: “There are eighty thousand books on Buddhism, and if you should read all of them and still not see your own nature, you will not understand even this letter.”
Study, even though you forget, even though you don’t understand.
- The Talmud
I am because we are. We are because I am.
- African saying
Would to God that religions multiplied
until every man had his own religion,
quite separate from that of any other.
- Swami Vivekananda
God requires no synagogue except in the heart.
- Hasidic saying
….this poem by the 12th-century Muslim mystic Ibn Arabi: “There was a time when I blamed my companion if his religion did not resemble mine / Now, however, my heart accepts every form: it is pasture ground for gazelles, a cloister for monks / A temple for idols and a Ka’bah for the pilgrim, thy tables of the Torah and the sacred books of the Koran / Love alone is my religion, and wherever their beasts of burden go, there is my religion and my faith.”
“The outer teacher is merely a milestone,” said Nisargadatta Maharaj. “It is only your inner teacher that will walk with you to the goal, for he is the goal.”
A man has no religion who has not slowly and painfully gathered one together, adding to it, shaping it.
- D. H. Lawrence
…..from T. S. Eliot’s “Little Gidding:”
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Be melting snow,
Wash yourself of yourself.
Every blade of grass has its angel
that bends over it and whispers, “Grow, grow.”
- The Talmud
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n
- John Milton
The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them
at the door laughing, and invite them in.
Mindfulness refers to keeping one’s consciousness
alive to the present reality
- Thich Nhat Hanh
To get a human body is a rare thing.
Make full use of it ….
Afte getting human, if you dont
reach God, then you have
sold a diamond at the price of spinach.
- Swami Brahmananda Saraswati
“Pray to God, but keep rowing to shore.”…..a Russian proverb.
Am I not a man, and is not a man stupid? I’m a man, so I married. Wife, children, house, everything – the full catastrophe.
- Nikos Kazantzakis (“Zorba the Greek”)
…a 4th-century scholar-priest, St. Augustine …. “Grant me chastity and self-control, but please not yet.”
Humility! The last trap that awaits the ego in search of absolute truth.
- Lawrence Durrell
…..Rabbi Hillel …… “What is hateful to you, do not do to others,” said Hillel, “That is the whole of the Torah. The rest is commentary. Now go and learn.”
So keep sniffing out what Zen calls “the stink of enlightenment” – that whiff of pride in your own goodness and spiritual achievements.
Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble.
- Samuel Johnson
God resides wherever we let God in.
- Menachem Mendel
Living the spiritual life is the attitude you hold in your mind when you are down on your knees scrubbing the steps.
- Evelyn Underhill
….Franz Kafka: “You need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, simply wait. You need not even wait, just learn to become quiet, and still, and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice; it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”
As George Carlin quipped, “God cant be perfect; everything he makes dies.”
“There is no room for God in one who is full of himself,” said the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidism in the 18th century.
…..a 19th-century rabbi…..renowned for this wisdom…..One visitor, astonished to see that the famous teacher lived in a small room with only an old bed, a wooden chair, and a table, asked where his furniture was.
“Wher is yours?” replied the rabbi.
The guest was perplexed: “I’m just a visitor here.”
“So am I,” said the rabbi.
….verse from Rumi:
You are quaffing drink from a hundred fountains.
Whenever any of these hundred yields less,
Your pleasure is diminished.
But when the sublime fountain gushes from within you,
No longer need you steal from the other fontains.
The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win you’re still a rat.
- Lily Tomlin
….Lao Tzu: “When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”
The poor, the orphan, the captive – feed them for the love of God alone, desiring no reward, nor even thanks.
- Islamic saying
There lives more faith in honest doubt,
Believe me, than in half the creeds.
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Said Bankei, “My miracle is that when I feel hungry I eat, and when I feel thirsty I drink.”
You’re bound to become a Buddha if you practice.
If water drips long enough even rocks wear through.
The Upanishads ….. “When all the senses are stilled, when the mind is at rest, when the intellect waivers not – then, say the wise, is reached the highest state.”
Rituals channel your life energy toward the light. Without the discipline of practice, you will tumble constantly backward into darkness.
- Lao Tzu
As Father Thomas Keating put it, “Silence is the language of God, and everything else is a bad translation.”
Hasten slowly and ye shall soon arrive
….someone asked a guru, “Does it take a long time to get enlightened?” The teacher laughed, “Only if you’re in a hurry,” he said.