Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Wonderful Poem (That Surprisingly Fits)

     Weren't you struck by the aptness of last week's poem?  I know it struck me between the eyes, and I was surprised that it was written across the planet from where I live, well over a hundred years ago.

     Yes, my mind is "spinning around/About carrying out a lot of useless projects," as Patrul Rinpoche wrote.  And, when you think of it, of what use are many of the things we do? 

     Self-promotion, branding, writing, posting, texting -- what's it all for?  Even writing a book -- really, it's less than a blip in all of existence.

     No, I'm not dwelling in the swamp of despair.  But I think there's something to be said for not constantly doing, or planning to do something, and just being. 

     As the poet wrote, "If you let go of everything . . . That's the real point!" 

     I think that's the whole point, and the starting point for anything of worth.  Think about it.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

A Wonderful Poem (That Surprisingly Fits)

     Do you remember a few weeks ago I mentioned a great book on mindfulness?  It's called Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening by Joseph Goldstein.  (If you don't remember the post, you can read it here.)  I'm still working through the book; I'm finding it's not a fast read, but it's a worthwhile one.

     I was really struck the other day when I read this poem by a nineteenth century wandering Tibetan monk named Patrul Rinpoche.  If you get the book, you'll find it on page 310-311:

     For ages now you've been 
     Beguiled, entranced, and fooled by appearances.
     Are you aware of that?  Are you?
     Right this very instant, when you're
     Under the spell of mistaken perception
     You've got to watch out.
     Don't let yourself get carried away by this fake and empty life.

     Your mind is spinning around
     About carrying out a lot of useless projects:
     It's a waste!  Give it up!
     Thinking about the hundred plans you want to accomplish,
     With never enough time to finish them,
     Just weighs down the mind.
     You're completely distracted
     By all these projects, which never come to an end,
     But keep spreading out more, like ripples in water.
     Don't be a fool: for once, just sit tight . . .

     If you let go of everything --
     Everything, everything --
     That's the real point!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

A Beautiful Quote

     I've long believed that Twin Soul relationships have the power to transform the soul and set it on the path toward a higher plane of spiritual existence.  I was reading Andrew Harvey and Mark Matousek's book in dialogue form, Dialogues with a Modern Mystic.  Here's a delicious quote from Andrew Harvey:
The alchemists and certain schools of Mahayana Buddhism have claimed that final transformation cannot be attained without a partner and that human love at a high stage is the essential energy that prepares the ultimate perceptions.  Human love earths revelation and brings the divine experience down into all the ordinary details of life to reveal life's essential holiness, initiating both lovers in the process into the fullness of divine presence.
     Lovely, no?

Saturday, September 3, 2016

A Wonderful Old Friend

     Have you ever encountered an old friend and, after spending time together, felt like you got to know them for the first time?  Well, I had an old friend sitting on a bookshelf for years, who knows how long, that I finally got to know for the first time. 

     This old friend is a terrific book by Isaac Asimov entitled The End of Eternity.  It's rather old, for science fiction, but the set-up and plot line were mind-blowing for me.

     It's about a man who works in Eternity, a time line that exists outside of the actual Reality in which most people live.  Eternity exists, you see, so that a small group of people can make small changes to avoid unwanted developments (wars, plagues, unhelpful inventions, and so on) in the history of humankind.

     The main character, Harlan, is someone I wanted to shake after a while and tell him to stop being so angry and so paranoid and so devious.  But I found out that he had a reason for being this way.

     It's a love story, it's a mind-blower, it's a thriller that keeps you turning the pages until the very end.  Treat yourself and spend some time with this new friend.