Saturday, September 10, 2022

Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī ~ Why complain?



 Why complain about life
If you are looking for good fish
And have followed some idiot
Into the middle of the copper market?

Why go crazy
If you are looking for fine silk
And you keep rubbing your hands
Against burlap and hemp sacks?

If your heart really needs to touch
A face that is filled with abundance
Then why didn’t you come
To this old man sooner?

For my cheek is
The universe’s cloister
And if you can make your prayers
Sweet enough tonight

Then Hafiz will lean over
And offer you all the warmth in my body
In case God is busy
Doing something else somewhere.

Why complain if you are looking
To quench your spirit’s longing
And have followed a rat into a desert.

If your soul really needs to touch a face
That is always filled with compassion
And tenderness then why,

Why my dear
Did you not come
to your friend Hafiz sooner?



Sunday, September 4, 2022

Bruce Lee ~ Oneness of all Life


49 years ago today, Bruce Lee dropped his body (at the age of 32). To pay tribute to him on this anniversary, here’s a collection of some of his deepest quotes...


“I do not experience; I am experience. I am not the subject of an experience; I am that experience. I am awareness. Nothing else can be I or can exist.”

"When we suddenly awake to the realization that there is no barrier, and never has been, one realizes that one is all things – mountains, rivers, grasses, trees, sun, moon, stars, universe are all oneself. There is no longer a division or barrier between myself and others, no longer any feeling of alienation or fear. There is nothing apart from oneself and therefore nothing to fear. Realizing this results in true compassion. Other people and things are not seen as apart from oneself but, on the contrary, as one's own body."

“The difference between knowledge and enlightenment is that in the former a contrast exists between the knower and the known, whereas in the latter, there is no such contrast.”

“As long as we separate this oneness into two, we won’t achieve realization.”

“The oneness of all life is a truth that can be fully realized only when false notions of a separate self, whose destiny can be considered apart from the whole, are forever annihilated.”

"The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, but I did not observe it. Now I see that I will never find the light unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, consuming myself."

“Sorrows are our best educator. A man can see further through a tear than a telescope.”

"Don't think. Feel. It is like a finger pointing at the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger, or you will miss all of the heavenly glory."

"Life is wide, limitless. There is no border, no frontier. The more we understand, the greater and deeper will be our contact with all that is around us."

“Zen is both something we are, our true nature expressing itself moment by moment, and something we do, a disciplined practice through which we can realize the joy of being. So, what is Zen? Stop trying to get an intellectual lock on something that is vast and boundless, far more than the rational mind can grasp. Just breathe in with full awareness.”

“To meditate means to realize the imperturbability of one’s original nature. Meditation means to be free from all phenomena, and calmness means to be internally unperturbed. There will be calmness, tranquility, when one is free from external objects and is not perturbed.”

"Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless - like water. You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put it into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend."


Thanks to Sanjeev Goel

Rebecca Elson ~ Antidotes to Fear of Death


Sometimes as an antidote
To fear of death,
I eat the stars.

Those nights, lying on my back,
I suck them from the quenching dark
Til they are all, all inside me,
Pepper hot and sharp.

Sometimes, instead, I stir myself
Into a universe still young,
Still warm as blood:

No outer space, just space,
The light of all the not yet stars
Drifting like a bright mist,
And all of us, and everything
Already there
But unconstrained by form.

And sometime it’s enough
To lie down here on earth
Beside our long ancestral bones:

To walk across the cobble fields
Of our discarded skulls,
Each like a treasure, like a chrysalis,
Thinking: whatever left these husks
Flew off on bright wings.

Rebecca Elson (1960-1999) poet & astronomer, from 'A Responsibility to Awe.'

 Thanks to Miriam Louisa Simons