Sunday, April 30, 2017

It Takes Courage

It takes strength to be firm,
It takes courage to be gentle.

It takes strength to conquer,
It takes courage to surrender.

It takes strength to be certain,
It takes courage to have doubt.

It takes strength to fit in,
It takes courage to stand out.

It takes strength to feel a friend's pain,
It takes courage to feel your own pain.

It takes strength to endure abuse,
It takes courage to stop it.

It takes strength to stand alone,
It takes courage to lean on another.

It takes strength to love,
It takes courage to be loved.

It takes strength to survive,
It takes courage to live. 



Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.


I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott








Monday, April 24, 2017

Wu Wei

One of Taoism’s most important concepts is wu wei, which is sometimes translated as “non-doing” or “non-action.” A better way to think of it, however, is as a paradoxical “Action of non-action.”

It is a kind of “going with the flow” that is characterized by great ease and awake-ness, in which--without even trying--we’re able to respond perfectly to whatever situations arise.

The Taoist principle of wu wei has similarities to the goal in Buddhism of non-clinging to the idea of an individual ego. A Buddhist who relinquishes ego in favor of acting through the influence of inherent Buddha-nature is behaving in a very Taoist manner.
The practice of wu wei is the expression of what in Taoism is considered to be the highest form of virtue one that is in no way premeditated but instead arises spontaneously.

Laozi tells us:
The highest virtue is to act without a sense of self
The highest kindness is to give without a condition
The highest justice is to see without a preference

When Tao is lost one must learn the rules of virtue
When virtue is lost, the rules of kindness
When kindness is lost, the rules of justice
When justice is lost, the rules of conduct

Every creative individual has experienced a certain “flow” at one time or another.

It may be most evident when you paint or play a musical instrument, because these activities make it quite easy, indeed natural, to slip into this non-physical river of energy we are trying to describe. When you are immersed in the flow, you experienced timelessness and you let go of the idea of “self.” Your awareness expands to encompass all aspects of the activity you are engaged in, and your hands seem to develop a mind of their own, no longer requiring your conscious direction. You can even settle back in your mind, enjoy being a spectator for a while and marvel at this work that seems to be coming out of nowhere. Much later, long after the experience is over, you may realize that while within the flow, you were suffused with a pure bliss. This is all part of the power of wu wei.

Wu wei is a state in which one is relaxed, free yet focused. It is the antithesis of strife and struggle. We only struggle to do things when we are emotionally attached to the outcome. Wu wei is all about effort without attachment. 

When you give of yourself by going with the flow, you benefit others according to whatever comes naturally and feel absolutely no need for rewards or any sort of peer approval. In this realm of true altruism (which the cynical among us would argue does not exist), there is no room for concern about what other people may think. You let go of any desire to be seen as a Good Samaritan or a philanthropist, and this frees you to focus on doing the right thing. 

“The Tao never does,
 Yet through it everything is done.
 If princes and dukes can keep the Tao,
 the world will of its own accord be reformed.
 When reformed and rising to action,
 Let it be restrained by the Nameless pristine simplicity.
 The Nameless pristine simplicity
 Is stripped of desire (for connection). 
 By stripping of desire quiescence is achieved,
 And the world arrives at peace of its own accord."






Thursday, April 20, 2017

Anyway

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.


You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

Mother Teresa


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Rise in Love

Immature people falling in love destroy each other’s freedom, create a bondage, make a prison. Mature persons in love help each other to be free; they help each other to destroy all sorts of bondages. And when love flows with freedom there is beauty. When love flows with dependence there is ugliness.

A mature person does not fall in love, he or she rises in love. Only immature people fall; they stumble and fall down in love. Somehow they were managing and standing. Now they cannot manage and they cannot stand. They were always ready to fall on the ground and to creep. They don’t have the backbone, the spine; they don’t have the integrity to stand alone.

A mature person has the integrity to stand alone. And when a mature person gives love, he or she gives without any strings attached to it. When two mature persons are in love, one of the great paradoxes of life happens, one of the most beautiful phenomena: they are together and yet tremendously alone. They are together so much that they are almost one. Two mature persons in love help each other to become more free. There is no politics involved, no diplomacy, no effort to dominate. Only freedom and love.

Osho


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Impermanence

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” ― Alan W. Watts

Anicca is this single and simple word Impermanence which is the very core of the Buddha's teaching, being also the basis for the other two characteristics of existence, Suffering and No-self. The fact of Impermanence means that reality is never static but is dynamic throughout.

According to the teachings of the Buddha, life is comparable to a river. It is a progressive moment, a successive series of different moments, joining together to give the impression of one continuous flow. It moves from cause to cause, effect to effect, one point to another, one state of existence to another, giving an outward impression that it is one continuous and unified movement, where as in reality it is not. The river of yesterday is not the same as the river of today. The river of this moment is not going to be the same as the river of the next moment. So does life. It changes continuously, becomes something or the other from moment to moment.

Take for example the life of an individual. It is a fallacy to believe that a person would remain the same person during his entire life time. He changes every moment. He actually lives and dies but for a moment, or lives and dies moment by moment, as each moment leads to the next. A person is what he is in the context of the time in which he exists. It is an illusion to believe that the person you have seen just now is the same as the person you are just now seeing or the person whom you are seeing now will be the same as the person you will see after a few moments. 

Even from a scientific point of view this is true. We know cell divisions take place in each living being continuously. Old cells in our bodies die and yield place continuously to the new ones that are forming. Like the waves in a sea, every moment, many thoughts arise and die in each individual. Psychologically and physically he is never the same all the time. Technically speaking, no individual is ever composed of the same amount of energy. Mental stuff and cellular material all the time. He is subject to change and the change is a continuous movement.

Impermanence and change are thus the undeniable truths of our existence. What is real is the existing moment, the present that is a product of the past, or a result of the previous causes and actions. Because of ignorance, an ordinary mind conceives them all to be part of one continuous reality. But in truth they are not.

In many Western spiritual traditions, we use the expression “let go and let God.” Similarly, the Buddhists teach that the essential path to personal transformation and freedom comes from learning to stop grasping after impermanence, for indeed, everything is in a constant state of change. The message of impermanence is that one of the main causes of suffering is grasping and attachment. Since what we grasp for is impermanent, grasping is an act of futility.

We have to learn to let go. We don’t have to change — simply change our minds and recognize that impermanence is the very nature and fabric of life itself.

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.” ― Heraclitus


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Love Freedom Bliss

Love is more like a fragrance than a flower. A flower has a form, but every form creates a limitation. Love is unlimited, hence it can’t have any form. The flower has color, the fragrance is colorless. Every color makes you one-dimensional, but colorlessness makes you multidimensional. And love, to be truly love, has to be formless, unlimited, multidimensional. If it is linear, it becomes lust; if it is multidimensional, it becomes prayer. It is the same energy – love. The lowest it can fall is lust and the highest it can rise to is prayer.

The energy is not different, it is the same ladder. Lust is the lowest rung and prayer is the highest. The name of the ladder is love; it includes all the rungs from the lowest to the highest.

That’s what I mean when I say it is multidimensional, formless. But because of our unawareness we try to give it a form, a color, a shape, a limit. We try to create a boundary and the more we succeed in doing it, the more love is going to disappear; it will die.


It has to be a bird on the wing, in the sky – you cannot encage it. Even if you make a golden cage, you will kill the bird. The bird in the cage and the bird in the open sky are not the same; they are two different phenomena. They look alike, but the bird on the wing, in the winds, in the clouds, has freedom and because of freedom it has bliss.

Osho


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Who is your master?

When the great Sufi mystic, Hasan, was dying, somebody asked “Hasan, who was your master?”
He said, “I had thousands of masters. If I just relate their names it will take months, years and it is too late. But three masters I will certainly tell you about.
One was a thief. Once I got lost in the desert, and when I reached a village it was very late, everything was closed. But at last I found one man who was trying to make a hole in the wall of a house. I asked him where I could stay and he said ‘At this time of night it will be difficult, but you can say with me – if you can stay with a thief’
And the man was so beautiful. I stayed for one month! And each night he would say to me, ‘Now I am going to my work. You rest, you pray.’ When he came back I would ask ‘Could you get anything?’ He would say, ‘Not tonight. But tomorrow I will try again, God willing.’ He was never in a state of hopelessness, he was always happy.
When I was meditating and meditating for years on end and nothing was happening, many times the moment came when I was so desperate, so hopeless, that I thought to stop all this nonsense. And suddenly I would remember the thief who would say every night, ‘God willing, tomorrow it is going to happen.’
And my second master was a dog. I was going to the river, thirsty and a dog came. He was also thirsty. He looked into the river, he saw another dog there — his own image — and became afraid. He would bard and run away, but his thirst was so much that he would come back. Finally, despite his fear, he just jumped into the water, and the image disappeared. And I knew that a message had come to me from God: one has to jump in spite of all fears.

And the third master was a small child. I entered a town and a child was carrying a lit candle. He was going to the mosque to put the candle there. ‘Just joking,’ I asked the boy, ‘Have you lit the candle yourself?’ He said, ‘Yes sir.’ And I asked, ‘There was a moment when the candle was unlit, then there was a moment when the candle was lit. Can you show me the source from which the light came?’
And the boy laughed, blew out the candle, and said, ‘You have seen the light go. Can you tell me where it has gone? If you can tell me where it has gone I will tell you from where it has come, because it has gone to the same place. It has returned to the source.’ My ego was shattered, my whole knowledge was shattered. And that moment I felt my own stupidity.
Since then I dropped all my knowledgeability.
It is true that I had no master. That does not mean that I was not a disciple — I accepted the whole existence as my master. My Disciplehood was a greater involvement than yours is.
I trusted the clouds, the trees. I trusted existence as such. I had no master because I had millions of masters I learned from every possible source. To be a disciple is a must on the path. What does it mean to be a disciple? It means to be able to learn. To be available to learn to be vulnerable to existence. With a master you start learning to learn.

The master is a swimming pool where you can learn how to swim. Once you have learned, all the oceans are yours.