Experience the Weird

“Don’t expect to practice hard and not experience the weird. Hard practice that evades the unknown makes for a weak commitment. So an ancient once said, ‘Help hard practice by befriending every demon.'”  ~Kyong Ho

Everybody terrified, it don’t seem fair…

The tempo to this song is really slow for rock and roll, but it just powers forward like a bulldozer.

Full lyrics HERE.

Sweet Ripe Mango

 

“Dhamma is in your mind, not in the forest. Don’t believe others. Just listen to your mind. You don’t have to go and look anywhere else. Wisdom is in yourself, just like a sweet ripe mango is already in a young green one.”  ~Ajahn Chah

Do not worry too much.

“We shouldn’t get carried away. We shouldn’t get lost when things happen to us. Getting lost in good things is as bad as getting lost in bad things. We should not get lost in anything. We should always be aware and mindful. We should always follow the path no matter whether we are taking baby steps, elephant steps or kangaroo steps. Kangaroo steps are pretty big. Elephants cannot jump because their knees bend backward not forward, but Kangaroos can. Anyway, whether our steps are big or small we will get there. Our destiny is nothing more and nothing less than our potential, and our ultimate potential is no less and no more than Prince Siddhartha’s. Whatever he was able to attain, we will attain. Do not worry too much about your life. Enjoy it. Just do not be too indulgent. Practice diligence but do not let your practice become a burden for you. That is not very good karma. You may find yourself thinking, ‘Oh no, I have to do my practice. I have to do this hard work. I don’t like it but I have taken vows so I have to do it.’ This is very negative. Do not let it happen. Instead practice comfortably, happily, joyfully with honor and gratitude. It may be bad karma for me to speak like this but if it helps you to understand more clearly then that is okay.”  ~Tai Situ Rinpoche

That’s how come

“I am a monopolar depressive descended from monopolar depressives. That’s how come I write so good.”  ~Kurt Vonnegut

Getting the Knack

“To stay with that shakiness– to stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feeling of hopelessness and wanting to get revenge– that is the path of true awakening. Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic– this is the spiritual path.”  ~Pema Chödron

Full of Meanness

Of The Empire
by Mary Oliver

We will be known as a culture that feared death
and adored power, that tried to vanquish insecurity
for the few and cared little for the penury of the
many. We will be known as a culture that taught
and rewarded the amassing of things, that spoke
little if at all about the quality of life for
people (other people), for dogs, for rivers. All
the world, in our eyes, they will say, was a
commodity. And they will say that this structure
was held together politically, which it was, and
they will say also that our politics was no more
that an apparatus to accommodate the feelings of
the heart, and that the heart, in those days,
was small, and hard, and full of meanness.

 

—•—

 

On to the next one!

I’m reading You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe, ©1940, and I’m at that horrible point where I’m not really enjoying it anymore, but I’ve invested so much time I hate to walk away without finishing it.

He writes beautifully.  The problem is that he hates everybody.

I’m 165 pages in to a 744 page novel, and so far he’s expressed specific disdain for Negroes, Italians, Irish, Jews, and Orientals. He doesn’t like people from small towns, nor people from big cities; he doesn’t like the working class, nor the leisure class; he doesn’t like evil people, nor the pious. He doesn’t mind women, per se,  but finds them frivolous.

Actually… I think I’ve just decided what I’m going to do.

A White Dove

When I was a kid, listening to this song on a mono AM radio with a half-inch speaker pressed tightly to my ear, I thought this was a song about a white horse– but it turns out he wasn’t saying “Palomino Blanca.”

Full lyrics HERE.

Severe and Ruthless Toward Ourselves

I like the quote below by the late Thubten Yeshe.

Most people have had the experience of starting a diet, then slipping and eating a cookie and just giving up.  Or beginning a New Year’s Resolution, only to abandon it when the results didn’t come quickly.

It’s good to be reminded to take it easy, to just keep moving in the right direction:

Throughout your Dharma practice you must never push yourself, but on the contrary you should try to be at ease and to do only what is possible at the moment. If you push yourself beyond your capacity you may shock your entire nervous system, thus producing an extremely negative reaction; you may even give up trying to deal with your delusions altogether.

Even though we are adults we have the minds of children. A child’s mind requires especially tender care; we need great skill and patience to deal with it. It cannot endure being squeezed, or pushed beyond its limits. Yet many spiritual seekers are perfectionists whose egos impel them to try and advance too quickly. They are severe and ruthless toward themselves, and end up in a state of tension. They become frustrated and angry with themselves and everyone around them. Of course it is good to strive for perfection, but we must be practical. It is best to go by degrees, step by step. Otherwise you are likely to jump in too quickly and break your leg. To succeed in your Dharma practice it is best to be at ease, relaxed and down-to-earth, to adjust the intensity of your practice day by day according to your situation.

Upstream

“There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river.  We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.”  ~Desmond Tutu

This is the bridge, and it’s really exciting!

This amused me probably more than it should have, but you have to be Of A Certain Age to really appreciate it. 😀

Full lyrics HERE.