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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

AgeSong | Words of Wisdom

“Our happiness is the happiness of others. The misfortune of others is our misfortune. To see ourselves in others and feel an inner sense of unity with them represents a fundamental revolution in the way we view and live our lives. Therefore, discriminating against another person is the same as discriminating against ourselves. When we hurt another, we are hurting ourselves. And when we respect others, we respect and elevate our own lives as well.”
“Do not worry in the least about yourself, leave all worry to God,” – this appears to be the commandment in all religions. This need not frighten people. They who devote themselves to service with a clear conscience, will day by day grasp the necessity for it in greater measure, and will continually grow richer in faith. The path of service can hardly be trodden by those who are not prepared to renounce their self-interests, and who cannot recognize the conditions of their birth. Consciously or unconsciously, every one of us does render some service or other. If we cultivate the habit of doing this service deliberately, our desire for service will steadily grow stronger, and will make not only for our own happiness but that of the world at large.”

“If you have a touchstone, go ahead, choose; otherwise, go and devote yourself to one who knows the differences. Either you must have a touchstone within your own soul, or if you don’t know the way, find someone who does.”
- Rumi

Quotes of Wisdom With Links to the Authors

“Our habitual pattern is that whenever we encounter anything undesirable and unappealing, we try little ways within ourselves to avoid it. We could watch ourselves doing that. The little things we do, the little areas in which we try to entertain ourselves – that process which takes place all the time is bot h the product of suffering and the producer of suffering. It is the origin that perpetually re-creates suffering, as well as that we are constantly going through as the result of suffering.”
“Worry, anxiety, fear, regret, guilt, and resentment have a common dynamic: the mind cannot stay focused, but jumps like a grasshopper to all kinds of conflicting, unrelated thoughts. Concentrating on one task at a time focuses attention, which not only results in a better job but actually improves the ability to manage the conflicting claims on attention that are the order of the day – in an emergency rom, the classroom, or even the playroom at home.”
Sunrise


You can
die for it –
an idea,
or the world. People

have done so,
brilliantly,
letting
their small bodies

be bound to the stake,
creating
an unforgettable
fury of light. But

this morning,
climbing the familiar hills
in the familiar
fabric of dawn, I thought

of China,
and India,
and Europe, and I thought
how the sun

blazes
for everyone just
so joyfully
as it rises

under the lashes
of my own eyes, and I thought
I am so many!
What is my name?

What is the name of
the deep breath I would take
over and over
for all of us? Call it

whatever you want, it is
happiness, it is
another one of the ways to enter
fire. - Mary Oliver
 
“Most of us repress states that do not go along with our accepted identities. Thus we never ask others to relate to our most shadowy spots, to our trancelike our comalike conditions. This is one of the reasons why even the most outgoing people often feel lonely. A part of them is unknown to themselves and left out of their contact with others. We need to learn how to share our altered states with others whom we love. If we don’t, when we finally enter these states we are alone. The end of our life is then an exaggeration of the loneliness we have always felt. We have no contact with others in our altered states.”
“The teacher Dainan Katagiri Roshi was once asked by his Zen students about the beautiful faith and warmth he radiated. “This is what we want to learn from you. How do we learn that?” The master answered, “When people see me today, they don’t see the years I spent just being with my teacher!” He described how he practiced year after year, living simply, hearing the same teachings over and over again, sitting every morning no matter what, doing the rituals of the temple. This is the slow way of initiation, putting yourself over and over into the condition of attention and respect, baking yourself in the oven repeatedly until your whole being is cooked, matured, transformed.”
“I am committed to the idea that equanimity in the mind is the foundation of wisdom and that wisdom sustains the mind’s capacity to respond with benevolence. Effort, concentration, and mindfulness are internal ways in which the mind restores itself from being out of balance and lost in confusion to a condition of ease, clarity and wisdom. No external action needs to happen. No recourse to wisdom – which isn’t present when the mind is confused – needs to be available. The return to wisdom is an inside job.”
“My husband , known by his nickname “Hob,” was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when he was in his early seventies. With the help of his nature, his life’s work, and, above all, his lightheartedness and sense of humor, he negotiated the difficult passages of this illness with insight and inspiring perspectives. Given the tremendous challenges of Alzheimer’s, he naturally had his share of difficult times – of frustration, discouragement, and fear. Yet one day, referring to the challenge of it all, he declared emphatically: “This is the best education I’ve ever had!”
“There is a beautiful creature living in a hole you have dug. So, at night I set fruit and grains and little pots of wine and milk beside your soft earthen mounds, and I often sing. But still, my dear, you do not come out. I have fallen in love with someone who hides inside you. We should talk about this problem – otherwise, I will never leave you alone.”
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