But First

“Every day, priests minutely examine the Law and endlessly chant complicated sutras. Before doing that, though, they should learn how to read the love letters sent by the wind and rain, the snow and moon.”  ~Ikkyu

As They Experience It

“All animals are somebody– someone with a life of their own. Behind those eyes is a story, the story of their life in their world as they experience it.”  ~Tom Regan

Thinks He Is Alone

“You read something which you thought only happened to you, and you discover that it happened 100 years ago to Dostoyevsky. This is a very great liberation for the suffering, struggling person, who always thinks that he is alone. This is why art is important.” ~James Baldwin

That is also why blogs are important.

I’ll See You In My Dreams

Joe Brown is better known in the UK than in the colonies.  He has an innate kindness that always seems to shine through and charm.

Fundamentally Unperturbed

“If we allow ourselves to relax and take a mental step back, we can begin to recognize that all these different thoughts are simply coming and going within the context of an unlimited mind, which, like space, remains fundamentally unperturbed by whatever occurs within it.”  ~Mingyur Rinpoche

Minnie & Rod

Minnie Pearl and Rod Brasfield were close friends, and even though their material hasn’t aged well it’s still fun to see them enjoying each other’s company.

Minnie Pearl has a smile that could turn winter into spring.  😀

Not Even

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”  ~William Faulkner, from Requiem for a Nun, Act I Scene III

Illusion

“My coffee was beginning to wear off and with it the momentary illusion it gives that things are Right and life is Good.”  ~James Thurber, in The Black Magic of Barney Haller ©1935

18th Century Hippy

Too lazy
Ryōkan Taigu
from The Zen Poems of Ryokan, translation ©2014

Too lazy to be ambitious,
I let the world take care of itself.
Ten days’ worth of rice in my bag;
a bundle of twigs by the fireplace.
Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?
Listening to the night rain on my roof,
I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.

The Big Taboo

“Our culture finds this question of losing very difficult. It’s very good about getting. Our consumer culture, especially nowadays, is all about getting, getting, getting. We throw away those things which were fashionable yesterday but are no longer fashionable today to get something new. We don’t have that attitude, though, toward our own bodies or the bodies of others. We don’t think that we too need to be recycled from time to time, but we do. It’s ironical that in our society everybody talks very openly about sex, which in other societies is a big taboo. But in our society, the big taboo is death.”  ~Tenzin Palmo

One More Saturday Night

Bobby is having fun being a rock star.  Donna is having fun doing whatever that is that she’s doing.

And I am having fun watching and listening.

Petty Concerns

“If we are attached to petty concerns and never aspired to anything great, we won’t accomplish much. What is petty and what is great? Petty is for oneself alone, for immediate gratification, and for harmful deeds, while great is for the many, for the long term, and for positive pursuits. Look closely– what have you or those around you achieved? Avoid pettiness and aspire to great things!”  ~Ogyen Trinley Dorje

Somebody said that there is really only one sin– selfishness– and every other sin is just a branch from that one.

When I’m faced with a moral ambiguity, I reflect back on that and ask myself, “Who benefits?”  If the answer is “Only me,” I know to tread carefully.