Identifying with a desire or a fear tightens the knot that binds one to it and thereby increases the sway it can have over one. Only when Buddha was able to experience the desires and fears that threatened to overwhelm him as nothing but impersonal and ephemeral conditions of mind and body, did they lose their power to mesmerize him. Instead of perceiving them as forces of an avenging army intent on his destruction, he recognized that they were no more solid than brittle, unfired pots that crumble on being struck by a well-aimed stone. As soon as Buddha stopped compulsively identifying the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that arose within him as “me” or “mine,” Mara could no longer influence him.
– Stephen Batchelor, “Living with the Devil” (Summer 2004)~ Tricycle
“I’m sure everyone agrees that we need to overcome violence, but first we need to analyze whether it has any value. From a strictly practical perspective, we find that on certain occasions violence appears useful: one can solve a problem quickly with force. But this success is often at the expense of the rights and welfare of others. Although one problem has been solved, the seed of another has been planted.” ~ His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama
During the 1960’s, many unusual people showed up at the (Zen) monastery gate. Among them was a young electrician from Sweden, whose limited command of English was further hindered by a few beers. He was met at the gate by the director, who asked him what he wanted. “I want to study Buddhism!” the Swede bellowed.
“Have you ever sat?” the director asked, using our shorthand expression for “Have you ever done sitting meditation?”
The Swede didn’t know how to answer this question. It seemed to be a question in plain English, and he understood the words, but somehow the meaning eluded him. Was this some kind of Buddhist trick? Was the director making fun of him? Of course, he had sat. Finally, he decided that if the question were a trick he would not take the bait. He drew himself up to his full height and shouted, “Everyone has sat!”
The Swede entered the retreat center and remained there for several years. He was right, of course. All people have sat. We do it every day. We stand too, and walk, and lie down. ~ Lewis Richmond
Why make meditation into some holy and separate ritual when you can sit, stand, walk, and lie down in awareness?
From 365 Days of Nirvana by Josh Baran
From the contemplative point of view, remaining within “the freshness of the present instant” helps us to recognize the mind’s empty and luminous nature and the transparency of the world of phenomena. This nature is immutable, not in the sense of being a sort of permanent entity, but because it is the mind’s and phenomena’s true mode of existence, beyond any concept of coming and going, being and not being, one or many, beginning or end. ~ Matthieu Ricard
Chuang Tzu and his friend were walking along a river bank and stopped for a moment to gaze at the water.
Chuang Tzu exclaimed, “Look at those fish, how they’re enjoying themselves!”
“How would you know? You aren’t a fish to know if they’re having a good time!” snorted the friend.
“You aren’t me either,” said Chuang Tzu. “So how would you know that I don’t know the fish are having fun?”
Others’ perceptions are as valid as yours – or not. Think about that before jumping to conclusions!
(found this story on Facebook….and sharing it here with you. ~ Talon)