cherydactyl: (Cheryl The Monarch)
It is not doing the things we like to do, but liking the things we have to do that makes life blessed.

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Forgiveness means giving up all hope of a better past.
--Landrum Bolling

(thanks for the reminder of this quote, [ profile] ladyisabella)
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Some people do not know the difference between "mindfulness" and "concentration." They concentrate on what they're doing, thinking that is being mindful. . . . We can concentrate on what we are doing, but if we are not mindful at the same time, with the ability to reflect on the moment, then if somebody interferes with our concentration, we may blow up, get carried away by anger at being frustrated. If we are mindful, we are aware of the tendency to first concentrate and then to feel anger when something interferes with that concentration. With mindfulness we can concentrate when it is appropriate to do so and not concentrate when it is appropriate not to do so.

-- Ajahn Sumedho, in Teachings of a Buddhist Monk from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book

I know a few people could benefit from this concept...including me.
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At Dim Sum today I got this fortune: We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.

Then [ profile] illyaa noticed a sign a few doors down from Lai-Lai. A new sushi restaurant is going in there. In the window the unlit neon sign read "Conveying Sushi." At first, he thought this was a bad-english-ism. Then I pointed out it probably meant they would be using the dishes-on-a-conveyer method of service. *big laugh* He's kinda excited about it now.
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(thanks to [ profile] withthecircus)
"It is said that a paradox is only a truth standing on its head to attract attention." -Alan Watts
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Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there -Josh Billings
cherydactyl: (flamethrower)
Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.

Supposedly an Italian proverb according to the email I first saw it in. However, on doing a search on google, it seems the only site I can find that says this proverb is of Italian origin is Bwhahahahahahahahah. All the other attributions I found say it is a Chinese proverb. Which led to me finding these other (supposedly?) Chinese proverbs:

-After three days without reading, talk becomes flavorless.
-Better do a good deed near at home than go far away to burn incense.
-Crows everywhere are equally black.
-Flies never visit an egg that has no crack.
-Great souls have wills; feeble ones have only wishes.
-He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.
-If you want 1 year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people.
-Married couples tell each other a thousand things without speech.
-One cannot refuse to eat just because there is a chance of being choked.
-You can only go halfway into the darkest forest; then you are coming out the other side.
-The palest ink is better than the best memory.

and, of course, the famous
-Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness

all from
cherydactyl: (Default)
By all means marry. If you get a good spouse, you'll be happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.
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Ancient Pali texts liken meditation to the process of taming a wild elephant. The procedure in those days was to tie a newly captured animal to a post with a good strong rope. When you do this, the elephant is not happy. He screams and tramples, and pulls against the rope for days. Finally it sinks through his skull that he can't get away, and he settles down. At this point you can begin to feed him and to handle him with some degree of safety. Eventually you can dispense with the rope and post altogether, and train your elephant for various tasks. Now you've got a tamed elephant that can be put to useful work. In this analogy the wild elephant is your wildly active mind, the rope is mindfulness, and the post is our object of meditation, our breathing. The tamed elephant who emerges from this process is a well-trained, concentrated mind that can then be used for the exceedingly tough job of piercing the layers of illusion that obscure reality. Meditation tames the mind.
--Henepola Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English
cherydactyl: (love),10987,1156613,00.html

A friend posted a link to this article in Time Magazine. Thanks [ profile] tammylc!

Selected quotes:
Hayes and other third wavers say trying to correct negative thoughts can, paradoxically, intensify them, in the same way that a dieter who keeps telling himself "I really don't want the pizza" ends up obsessing about ... pizza.

...a 1998 Psychological Science study in which 84 subjects were asked to hold a pendulum steady. Some were told not only to hold it steady but also not to move the pendulum sideways. But the latter group tended to move the pendulum sideways more often than the group told merely to keep it steady. Why? "Because thinking about not having it move [sideways] activates the very muscles that move it that way," Hayes and Smith write. To be sure, cognitive therapy doesn't ask people to suppress negative thoughts, but it does ask us to challenge them, to fix them.

Apologies to members of [ profile] buddhists and others who are getting this notice twice, albeit in slightly different form.
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posted on [ profile] cookie_fortunes: No problem leaves you where you found it.

Just for me

Feb. 1st, 2006 12:45 pm
cherydactyl: (love)
Lyrics and discussion: The Wedding Song )
cherydactyl: (love)
Compassion means that we do not play the game of hypocrisy or self deception. For instance, if we want something from someone and we say, "I love you," often we are hoping that we will be able to lure them into our territory, over to our side. This kind of proselytizing love is extremely limited. "You should love me, even if you hate me, because I am filled with love, am high on love, am completely intoxicated!" What does it mean? Simple that the other person should march into your territory because you say that you love him, that you are not going to harm him. It is very fishy. Any intelligent person is not going to be seduced by such a ploy. "If you really love me as I am am, why do you want me to enter your territory? Why this issue of territory and demands at all? What do you want from me? How do I know, if I do march into your 'loving' territory, that you aren't going to dominate me, that you won't create a claustrophobic situation with your heavy demands for love?" As long as there is territory involved with a person's love, other people will be suspicious of his "loving" and "compassionate" attitude...

The fundamental characteristic of true compassion is pure and fearless openness without territorial limitations.

-Chogyam Trungpa
as quoted by [ profile] dirty_deeds here
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I think to some extent we all let ourselves get tied up to the past. Feelings of shame are probably just indicators of things that we need to accept and let go of.

A Taoist teacher once told me that regret was nothing more than a desire to control the past and apprehension nothing more than a desire to control the future, and that both do nothing but paralyze us and deprive us of our ability to control our present.

Let the future be the future, let the past be the past; now is the only time there is.

--[ profile] nonhuman in this post in [ profile] buddhists
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I think that [enlightenment]'s probably like one of those finger trap things — to get it, you have to stop trying.
--[ profile] apollotiger in [ profile] buddhists, in this thread
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No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
-Eleanor Roosevelt
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Infinite altruism is the basis of peace and happiness. If you want altruism, you must control hate and you must practice patience. The main teachers of patience are our enemies. --HH the Dalai Lama (Apparently from a HHDL calendar, posted by someone on [ profile] buddhists today.)

This morning as I was going to my yoga class, two of the other class participants had a shouting match as I was getting out of my car. They had a traffic disagreement apparently. One woman accused the other of 'trying to kill her,' and the other said something about staying in one's own lane. I entered, wondering if I ought to warn our instructor.

Class went off without much hitch as it turned out, but C (one of the women involved) mentioned it after class to Sondra (the instructor), so a discussion of vritis /vree-tees/ (often translated as 'agitations'), dealing with difficult people, and what constituted evil ensued. I was a little put off by Sondra aligning herself with her longtime student C (by calling the other woman, or her actions, it was unclear which, 'evil'), and I tried to insert the idea of anger and agitation instead of actual evil as the cause of the difficulties. The other woman had left already, and was therefore unable to explain or defend herself.
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I just went to Noodles & Co. on Washtenaw for the first time in a long time. One of the workers there greeted me, came over, and asked after my (younger) daughter. We used to go there about once every week or two together, and M always used their chopstick helpers to eat her mac & cheese. (The chopstick helpers turn their chopsicks into tongs, which is actually counterproductive for learning to use chopsicks, but I digress. ;) I was soooo glad when M learned to use the chopstick helpers, because before that, she would have me spear the mac with chopsticks. It was cute, but kept me busy keeping up with her.

This person, who I later found out is named Nancy, took my order (though she may well have been able to recite it by heart, and has before--I almost always get the same thing: spicy thai ceasar with tofu and sweet red pepper). I was telling her that M was in preschool, loving it, and that I was in job-search mode and struggling with it after 8 years out of the regular work force. She told me she was buying me my lunch! Previously I would have made a big show of "no, are you sure? really?" etc. and killed the joy if not the blessing itself. But I put that aside. I thanked her profusely, and she gave me some good ideas for possible teaching leads. She said she hoped they would see me more often again. I think she must be a manager, but I had to ask to get her name, even though this is not the first conversation I have enjoyed wth her.

I had a really nice lunch, enjoying my salad and reading If the Buddha Got Stuck.

Now I am going to write her a thank-you!

Heaven is a somewhere locked inside and I must find the key, wish I'd never locked the door. Ordinary things in life are where this Heaven likes to be. Hold the sky, feet on the floor.
cherydactyl: (Default)
an excerpt from the Foreword of the Tao Teh Ching translated by Dr. John C. H. Wu:

Both Confucianism and Taoism complement each other, however incompatible they seem at first sight to be. The former places a man in his proper relation to his fellow-men, the latter in proper relation to nature. A third philosphy, Buddhism, though introduced from India, deals with the problem of human suffering and with man's ultimate destiny. These three inheritances ... have moulded the thinking not only of the Chinese people but of all Eastern Asia. There is truth, then, in the common saying that every Chinese wears a Confucian cap, a Taoist robe and Buddhist sandals.

Whereas Confucius counseled his people to labor untiringly for the welfare and dignity of man in society, Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu on the other hand cautioned them against excessive interference. In their view, the urge to change what by nature is already good only increases the sum-total of human unhappiness. These two urges: on the one hand, to do something, and on the other hand, not to do too much, are forever contending in our natures. The man who can maintain a just balance between them is on the road to social and intellectual maturity.

Arthur W. Hummel,
Former Head, Division of Orientalia
Library of Congress, Washington D.C., 1962


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