liveonearth: (Default)
"Times are difficult globally;
awakening is no longer a luxury or an ideal.
It’s becoming critical.
We don’t need to add more depression,
more discouragement,
or more anger to what’s already here.
It’s becoming essential that we learn
how to relate sanely with difficult times.
The earth seems to be beseeching us
to connect with joy
and discover our innermost essence.
This is the best way
that we can benefit others."
~ Pema Chodron
liveonearth: (Default)
I have often said "it's a free will universe" as a basis for extolling choice as a power, whether conscious or unconscious, for determining your experience. To "choice" I always connect the concept of responsibility. Responsibility always follows immediately upon choice. Those who tremble before this power of choice may even habitually refuse to make choices, unwilling to take on the responsibility that choice of necessity implies. This is a choice in itself, a pattern of omission and passivity with it's own distinct effects and power to manipulate. All this having been said, what if in fact it's not "a free will universe" after all? The concept of "predestination" also has a long history in philosophical and religious thought and stands as a counterpoint to "free will" with it's own ardent supporters. When I look at an average day, things happen and I respond. Needs arise and I must act. My breath and heartbeat and peristalsis are events occurring to me, gifts freely given from what great source I cannot truly fathom. I won't pretend to resolve here a millennia-long question. And in the face of it, perhaps, at the very least, we might choose with lighter hearts, and enjoy the uncertainty knowing that our every action is effected upon waves of permission from powers greater than our own.
--Gil Hedley, Integral Anatomy
liveonearth: (Default)
“Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.”
― William Martin
liveonearth: (Default)
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stand at times of challenge and controversy.
—Martin Luther King Jr.
liveonearth: (moon)
We might think, as we become more open, that it's going to take bigger catastrophes for us to reach our limit. The interesting thing is that, as we open more and more, it's the big ones that immediately wake us up and the little things that catch us off guard. However, no matter what the size, color, or shape is, the point is still to lean toward the discomfort of life & see it clearly, rather than to protect ourselves from it.
~Pema Chodron
liveonearth: (Default)
It’s fantastic to look at people and see that they really, deep down, are enlightened. They’re It. They’re faces of the divine.

And they look at you, and they say ‘oh no, but I’m not divine. I’m just ordinary little me.’ You look at them in a funny way, and here you see the buddha nature looking out of their eyes, straight at you, and saying it’s not, and saying it quite sincerely.

And that’s why, when you get up against a great guru, the Zen master, or whatever, he has a funny look in his eyes. When you say ‘I have a problem, guru. I’m really mixed up, I don’t understand,’ he looks at you in this queer way, and you think ‘oh dear me, he’s reading my most secret thoughts. He’s seeing all the awful things I am, all my cowardice, all my shortcomings.’

But that’s not what he’s looking at. He’s giving you a funny look for quite another reason altogether. He’s giving you a funny look because he sees in you the Brahman, the Godhead, just claiming it’s ‘poor little me’.

~ Alan Watts, Lectures on Zen/Spiritual Alchemy
liveonearth: (urban sitter)

There is no need to run outside for better seeing...

Rather abide a the center of your being.

For the more you leave it the less you learn.

Search your heart and see...

The way to do is to be.

--Lao Tzu

liveonearth: (moon)
Your vision
will become clear
only when
you can look into your own heart.
Who looks outside, dreams;
who looks inside,
awakes.

--Carl Jung
liveonearth: (Homer Simpson "D'oh!")
How did I live to be 50 before I watched this classic movie?  Bill Murray plays a sunovabitch who because of a glitch in time learns to be a decent human.  The glitch: every day is the same day, Groundhog day.  He is a TV weather man who is accumstomed to being rude, selfish, and sarcastic to everyone.  He discovers along the way that one of the people he gets to relive this day with is a truly wonderful woman, and it takes him a long time to become a man worthy of her.  People told me it was a great movie but for some reason the groundhog part turned me off.  Funny, maybe I'm learning.
liveonearth: (Spidey: come into my parlour)

I call it conscious realism: Objective reality is just conscious agents, just points of view. Interestingly, I can take two conscious agents and have them interact, and the mathematical structure of that interaction also satisfies the definition of a conscious agent. This mathematics is telling me something. I can take two minds, and they can generate a new, unified single mind. Here’s a concrete example. We have two hemispheres in our brain. But when you do a split-brain operation, a complete transection of the corpus callosum, you get clear evidence of two separate consciousnesses. Before that slicing happened, it seemed there was a single unified consciousness. So it’s not implausible that there is a single conscious agent. And yet it’s also the case that there are two conscious agents there, and you can see that when they’re split. I didn’t expect that, the mathematics forced me to recognize this. It suggests that I can take separate observers, put them together and create new observers, and keep doing this ad infinitum. It’s conscious agents all the way down.

--Donald Hoffman, Professor of cognitive science UC, Irvine,

http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/04/the-illusion-of-reality/479559/

liveonearth: (moon)

NY TIMES OPINION PIECE: MOLLY WORTHEN SAYS STOP SAYING “I FEEL LIKE”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/01/opinion/sunday/stop-saying-i-feel-like.html

The PC-ness and softening of modern verbal communications has results in a net loss of meaning.  We can fix this, if we want.  Behind the cut is a good article arguing for awareness of this one particular phrase.  "I feel like" is often used to replace the words "I think", and it is not a feeling at all.  Feelings, that is emotions, are quite distinct from thoughts and judgements.  To be clear in our communications requires that we recognize and communicate that difference.

Read more... )

liveonearth: (dancing calvin & Hobbes)

When Shiva the Great Yogin chooses
to become the Lord of the Dance, Nataraja,
the universe appears as Consciousness
in its most ecstatic forms:
as art and play, as knowledge and beauty,
as the very embodiment of awareness
in the form of the Self.


—From
Clothed in Consciousness:
Nataraja in the Tantric Tradition

by Dr. Douglas Brooks

liveonearth: (critter)
You can't talk about the ocean
with a frog who lives in a well;
he is bounded by the space he inhabits.

You can't talk about ice
with an insect who was born in June;
he is bounded by a single season.

You can't talk about Tao
with a person who thinks he knows something;
he is bounded by his own beliefs

The Tao is vast and fathomless.
You can understand only by stepping
beyond the limits of yourself.


From the Chaung Tzu. 17
via Stephen Mitchell, The Second Book of the Tao.

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] bobby1933 at But I Don't Know The Frogs Language Or Mind, And Can't Know What The Frog Knows.
liveonearth: (moon)
May the Infinite Light of Wisdom and Compassion so shine within us that the
errors and vanities of self may be dispelled; so shall we understand the changing nature of
existence and awaken into spiritual peace.

--Unknown
liveonearth: (arched back)
I've been trying to be polite. I am more dedicated to my own practice than to any teacher. I've studied under many teachers, and in many schools. Some new teachers were far better than some veterans. Every teacher teaches me something. Every school has taught me something.

Sometimes the thing I learn is a negative. Part of growing up and separating from your parents is deciding "I don't want to ever do that." What I have been learning recently is that many teachers are so busy teaching that they don't take the time to breathe. That is to say, the best teachers are the ones who are truly present with us in the practice, and not simply filling airspace with instructions.

My yoga practice involves tuning in to my own inner voice, and being present with my breath and body. This was a great learning for me, because I grew up very American, unaware of my body, or worse, in denial of it.

Exhale, inhale... )
liveonearth: (dancer romani)
To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.

What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.

And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.


--Howard Zinn
liveonearth: (business dance)
People that don’t move
will never notice
the chains
they carry.



― Shannon L. Alder
liveonearth: (moon)
"Isn't it sad to go to your grave without ever wondering why you
were born? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed,
eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be part
of it?" ~Richard Dawkins

"A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe
as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves
of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.
Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge."
~Carl Sagan

"Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger
than we can imagine."
~Sir Arthur Eddington (1882 - 1944)

"Not only are we in the universe, the universe is in us. I don't know of
any deeper spiritual feeling than what that brings upon me."
~Neil deGrasse Tyson
www.tinyurl.com/TysonSpirituality

“Spirituality is about being awake. It’s the attempt to transcend
the mundane, sleepwalking experience of life we all fall into, to
tap into the wonder of being a conscious and grateful thing in
the midst of an astonishing universe. It doesn’t require religion. ”
~Dale McGowan, author of "Atheism for Dummies"
liveonearth: (head in pattern)
The awakening to the mystery of life is a revolutionary event; in it an old world is destroyed so that a new and better one may take its place, and all things are affected by the change. We ourselves have become mysterious strangers in our own eyes and tremblingly we ask ourselves who we are, whence we came, whither we are bound. Are we the being who is called by our name, whom we thought we knew so well in the past? Are we the form we see in the mirror, our body, offspring of our parents? Who, then, is it that feels and thinks within us, that wills and struggles, plans and dreams, that can oppose and control this physical body which we thought to be ourselves? We wake up to realize that we have never known ourselves, that we have lived as in a blind dream of ceaseless activity in which there was never a moment of self recollection.
—J.J. Van Der Leeuw from "The Conquest of Illusion" (George Allen & Unwin), 1951.
liveonearth: (moon)
"Living a conscious life is extreme sport enough."
--Liz Sutherland, 2008

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