Religion and Philosophy
One does not sit in order to become enlightened. One sits because, as the Buddha exclaimed at the moment of his awakening, one is enlightened as one is. The practice is simply a means of realizing this fact, which the ordinary, dualistic mind obscures.
Norman Fischer On The Tyranny Of The Self
We are paradoxical. We are beings who are limited and who will always create a world of suffering, and we’re beings who have the capacity to understand that and, in some way, go beyond it.
On my very first hospital run I picked up this long-faced, country white guy who’d survived seven surgeries in the last five years. He looked to be late eighties, all but dead, but friendly in a half-deaf way.
In fact, one’s whole attitude toward pain can change. Instead of fending it off and hiding from it, one could open one’s heart and allow oneself to feel that pain, feel it as something that will soften and purify us and make us far more loving and kind.
The first instruction was “Find a quiet place.” I went to Inwood Park and seated myself on a large rock, legs crossed, eyes closed. Immediately an airplane flew overhead. I stood up, walked a hundred yards deeper into the park, sat beside a tree, and again closed my eyes. This time I heard traffic from the Henry Hudson Parkway. Over and over I sat down, each time encountering a new distraction. Defeated, I walked home.
The pathless world of wild nature is a surpassing school and those who have lived through her can be tough and funny teachers.
Jack Turner On Our Lost Intimacy With The Natural World
One of my essays starts: “My cabin is located next to a stream that runs through a meadow, but it is not on any map.” It’s not on a map because the places I’ve lived and loved are labeled with my own names: Where Rio chases her stick. Rio’s favorite pool. Where Rio ran into the bear. It’s a private mapping, a personal geography projected onto the land. It requires a long time living in one place and studying its plants and animals. If you follow them and their lives, you gain a deeper sense of home.
Basic goodness is good because it is unconditional, or fundamental. It is there already, in the same way that heaven and earth are there already.