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
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
There is a great deal of difference
between loss, change, and transformation.
A loss is a step backward;
a change is an opportunity;
transformation is a step forward.
The common denominator in these three realities
is the fact that one must
give up something.
It is possible for both loss and change to lead to transformation,
but it is not possible for transformation to occur unless
something is lost and something is changed.
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
In the tantric tradition it is said that chaos is 'extremely good news.' When you are willing to enter into your neurosis, your confusion, and your hopelessness, you approach the threshold of the sacred world. No matter where you look, all you see is path. Nothing is out of place and every state of mind is shown to be valid and workable. Even your most disturbing emotions are revealed to be of the nature of light, sent to magically evoke the infinite qualities of love buried within the darkness.
It is risky to let in the possibility that you are not broken, are not a mistake, and are not in need of fixing; that you could actually fully step into this world and participate right here and right now – that you need not wait until certain feelings are present or absent, for the right 'partner' or groovy spiritual career to show up, or for things to look quite the way you thought they were supposed to. If you will let her, the beloved will come in at once and remove all of this, leaving you naked before the truth of your illuminated presence.
Here, you will no longer be able to hide out from your unique natural perfection, pretending you are unworthy. You will no longer be able to assert your unlovability as you discover that what you are is love itself. You see so clearly that there is no 'you' here and 'love' over there; this old idea has been burned up in the fires of transmutation. When you are no longer able to conclude that a mistake has been made, you will see that even your neurotic spinning is weaved of particles of luminosity, brilliance, and intelligence.
Please do not postpone your participation here until things look the way you thought they would. Love is here now. And is burning up in its longing to move through you to set this world on fire.
—J.J. Van Der Leeuw from "The Conquest of Illusion" (George Allen & Unwin), 1951.
p88 in Prescriptions for Living
*new tag: perfection
About 50 percent of the population, the APA admits, will have one of its listed disorders at some point in their lives. Shy, like Emily Dickinson? You have "avoidant personality disorder." Obsessed with abstractions and numbers? You have "autistic spectrum disorder," like Isaac Newton. Suffer form "narcissistic personality disorder," with some hypersexuality thrown in? You must be a politician. To be skeptical of these neat categories isn't to deny that minds get broken, stuck, or lost, and need help finding their way out of misery. But psychotherapy remains an art, not a science; there is no bright line between nuts or not. If you're an old lady who lives amid piles of newspapers and personal treasures, you have "hoarding disorder." If you're a CEO who exploits sweatshop labor to pile up countless billions, you're on the cover of Forbes.
--William Faulk (editor-in-chief) in The Week, May 24, 2013 issue.