"Suzuki Roshi had a stick - and he would hit you - and when Suzuki Roshi hit you, everything disappeared - everything - there was no up or down - there was no forward or back - there were no thoughts - no feelings - you couldn't even say there was something or nothing. It was really quite remarkable. And then, often times you would think 'Well, wait a minute - where's reality - how was I doing that? Wait a minute! There must be some way to put these things together so that it seems like there's a world and there's people and there's me. Where are they?' Then you would see if you could get some sense of reality back again."
- Edward Espe Brown
return to the center
"There is a Tibetan saying: 'When things are difficult, then let yourself be happy.' Otherwise, if happiness is relying on others or the environment or your surroundings, it's not possible. Like an ocean, the waves always go like that but underneath, it always remains calm. So we have that ability as well. On an intellectual level, we may see things as desperate, difficult. But underneath, at the emotional level, you can keep calm."
- Tenzin Gyatso
The 14th Dalai Lama
Happy 80th Birthday Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and the patron saint of Tibet. July 6th 1935
The Way In
Sometimes the way to milk and honey is through the body.
Sometimes the way in is a song.
But there are three ways in the world: dangerous, wounding,
To enter stone, be water.
To rise through hard earth, be plant
desiring sunlight, believing in water.
To enter fire, be dry.
To enter life, be food.
- Linda Hogan
"There are ways in, journeys to the center of life, through time; through air, matter, dream and thought. The ways are not always mapped or charted, but sometimes being lost, if there is such a thing, is the sweetest place to be. And always, in this search, a person might find that she is already there, at the center of the world. It may be a broken world, but it is glorious nonetheless."
- Linda Hogan
"It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life.
Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things."
- Okakura Kakuzō
The Book of Tea
"One of the strangest things about life is that it will chug on, blind and oblivious, even as your private world - your little carved-out sphere - is twisting and morphing, even breaking apart. One day you have parents; the next day you're an orphan. One day you have a place and a path. The next day you're lost in the wilderness.
And still the sun rises and clouds mass and drift and people shop for groceries and toilets flush and blinds go up and down. That's when you realize that most of it - life, the relentless mechanism of existing - isn't about you. It doesn't include you at all. It will thrust onward even after you've jumped the edge."
- Lauren Oliver
The Blind Leading the Blind
Take my hand. There are two of us in this cave.
The sound you hear is water; you will hear it forever.
The ground you walk on is rock. I have been here before.
People come here to be born, to discover, to kiss,
to dream, and to dig and to kill. Watch for the mud.
Summer blows in with scent of horses and roses;
fall with the sound of sound breaking; winter shoves
its empty sleeve down the dark of your throat.
You will learn toads from diamonds, the fist from palm,
love from the sweat of love, falling from flying.
There are a thousand turnoffs. I have been here before.
Once I fell off a precipice. Once I found gold.
Once I stumbled on murder, the thin parts of a girl.
Walk on, keep walking, there are axes above us.
Watch for the occasional bits and bubbles of light -
Birthdays for you, recognitions: yourself, another.
Watch for the mud. Listen for bells, for beggars.
Something with wings went crazy against my chest once.
There are two of us here. Touch me.
- Lisel Mueller
"Allow yourself to be uncertain, but don't let your uncertainty turn to despair. It can be wonderful to write when you're sad and full of the dark bouquet of doubt, but misery leads itself to silence and one must get out of bed every morning and prepare for the great celebration of one's own imagination, even if it doesn't happen that day."
Letter from Uncle Dean
the new savagery
"Whenever I get ready again to write really sincere notes in this notebook, I shall have to undertake such a disentangling in my cluttered brain that, to stir up all that dust, I am waiting for a series of vast empty hours, a long cold, a convalescence, during which my constantly reawakened curiosities will lie at rest; during which my sole care will be to rediscover myself."
- André Gide
The Journals of André Gide