Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Prayer

May we be at peace.
May our hearts remain open.
May we know the beauty of our own true nature.
May we be healed.

Rumi: In Your Eyes

In the heavens I see your eyes.
In your eyes , I see heavens.

The Dalai Lama: This Precious Human Life

Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.
- H.H. the Dalai Lama

Rumi: Finding the Barriers Within Ourselves

Love Birds - Photo by Henrik Nilsson
Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find
all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it.
- Rumi

Monday, April 29, 2013

Hafiz: We Have Not Come to Take Prisoners

We have not come here to take prisoners,
But to surrender ever more deeply
To freedom and joy.
We have not come into this exquisite world
To hold ourselves hostage from love.
Run my dear,
From anything
That may not strengthen
Your precious budding wings.
Run like hell my dear,
From anyone likely 
To put a sharp knife
Into the sacred, tender vision
Of your beautiful heart.
We have a duty to befriend
Those aspects of obedience
That stand outside of our house
And shout to our reason
"O please, O please,
Come out and play."
For we have not come here to take prisoners
Or to confine our wondrous spirits,
But to experience ever and ever more deeply
Our divine courage, freedom and 
~ Hafiz ~
(The Gift ~ versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Albert Einstein & Others on Ignorance, Truth, Courage, and Love

The most violent element in society is ignorance. 
~ Emma Goldman
Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth. 
~ Albert Einstein
 During times of universal deceit, telling the truth is revolutionary. 
~ George Orwell
No people can be both ignorant and free. 
~ Thomas Jefferson
One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, 
but by making the darkness conscious. 
~ Carl Jung
The period of greatest gain in knowledge and experience 
is the most difficult period of one's life. 
~ The Dalai Lama
I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, 
but I would give my life for the simplicity 
on the other side of complexity. 
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
 Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all 
the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. 
~ Rumi

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Thich Nhat Hahn: The Source of Love is Deep In Us

© Manuel Librodo - http://www.pbase.com/image/70628467
“The source of love is deep in us and we can help others 
realize a lot of happiness. One word, one action, one thought 
can reduce another person’s suffering and bring that person joy.” 

Jack Kornfield: Learning to Love

Bamboo Forest, Japan

We must look at ourselves over and over again in order to learn to love, to discover what has kept our hearts closed, and what it means to allow our hearts to open.
 The unawakened mind tends to make war against the way things are. To follow a path with heart, we must understand the whole process of making war within ourselves and without, how it begins and how it ends. War’s roots are in ignorance. Without understanding we can easily become frightened by life’s fleeting changes, the inevitable losses, disappointments, the insecurity of our aging and death. Misunderstanding leads us to fight against life, running from pain or grasping at security and pleasures that by their nature can never be satisfying.”

To bow to the fact of our life's sorrows and betrayals is to accept them; and from this deep gesture we discover that all life is workable. As we learn to bow, we discover that the heart holds more freedom and compassion than we could imagine.

Thich Nhat Hanh: The Real Message of Love

Black Forest, Germany

“Through my love for you, I want to express my love for 
the whole cosmos, the whole of humanity, and all beings. 
By living with you, I want to learn to love everyone and all species. 
If I succeed in loving you, I will be able to love everyone and 
all species on Earth... This is the real message of love.” 

Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Greatest Purveyor of Violence in the World

“As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked, and rightly so, “What about Vietnam?” They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.” 

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


If you are neutral in situations of injustice, 
you have chosen the side of the oppressor. 
~ Archbishop Desmond Tutu

 In our time, when high technology guided by values such as 
conquest, exploitation, and domination threaten our very survival, 
we need economics driven by an ethos of caring. 
We need a caring revolution. 
~ Riane Eisler

War and peace start in the human heart - and whether that heart 
is open or whether that heart closes has global implications. 
~ Pema Chodron 

I Am a Wild Woman

Art © Helena Nelson Reed
I am a wild woman
I know, in spite of myself 
and in spite of what I've been told
that there's beauty in every age
no matter how old

I am a wild woman 
I've learned what it means to be a life bearer
to bear children
to create art
to plant seeds of love

I am a wild woman 
from the depths of the dirt underneath my fingernails
to the height of my very soul
I am one with the Earth
the winds from the four directions whisper through my skin

I am a wild woman
and the spirit of every wild woman coalesces in me
for we are each wild women
and we are all the spirit of the wild woman
I will follow the voice in my heart

I am a wild woman
I sing from my heart
I dance with the stars
I howl at the moon
I love uncontrollably

I am a wild woman
from the deepest, darkest, most sacred part of me
I am fearless
I cry in strength
I open my arms to the sky and welcome the rain

I am a wild woman
I nurture, love and protect
I stand, strongly, silently, sweetly for my brothers
I walk dutifully, prayerfully, joyfully upon the mother
and I will not be stopped

I am a wild woman.
~ Melissa Clary (Bright Star Woman)
from Rivers in the Ocean 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Jack Kornfield: Moving From Delusion and Ignorance Toward Freedom

With recognition we step out of denial. Denial undermines our freedom. The diabetic who denies his body's illness if not free. Neither is the driven, stressed-out executive who denies the cost of her lifestyle or the self-critical would-be painter who denies his love of making art. The society that denies its poverty and injustice has lost part of its freedom as well. If we deny our dissatisfaction, our anger, our pain, our ambition, we will suffer. If we deny our values, our beliefs, our longings, or our goodness, we will suffer.

There is a powerful opening that comes whenever we truly recognize what is so. "The emergence and blossoming of understanding, love, and intelligence has nothing to do with any outer tradition," observes Zen teacher Toni Packer. "It happens completely on its own when a human being questions, wonders, listens, and looks without getting stuck in fear. When self-concern is quiet, in abeyance, heaven and earth are open."

With recognition our awareness becomes like the dignified host. We name and inwardly bow to our experience: "Ah, sorrow; now pain, yes, and now, ah, the judging mind." Recognition moves us from delusion and ignorance toward freedom. "We can light a lamp in the darkness," says the Buddha. We can see what is so...

As individuals, we have to start with the reality of our own suffering. As a society, we have to start with the reality of collective suffering, of injustice, racism, greed, and hate. We can only transform the world as we learn to transform ourselves. As Carl Jung once remarked, "Perhaps I myself am the enemy who must be loved."

~ Jack Kornfield, The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings  
of Buddhist Psychology 


Spiritual practice involves, on the one hand, acting out of concern for others' well-being. On the other, it entails transforming ourselves so that we become more readily disposed to do so. ~ Dalai Lama