1/29/2006

Thomas Paine: Begin The World Over Again

Thomas Paine was born on January 29, 1737
(English born American writer and political pamphleteer, whose 'Common Sense' and 'Crisis' papers were important influences on the American Revolution. 1737-1809)

"We have it in our power to begin the world over again"

Humility

To the humble He revealeth His secrets, and sweetly draweth and inviteth him to Himself.
The humble man, having received reproach, maintaineth himself well enough in peace, because he is fixed in God and not in the world.
Never think that thou hast made any progress till thou look upon thyself as inferior to all.

Thomas a Kempis
Of the Imitation of Christ Bk. 3, Ch. 4, v. 4

Sayings of Buddha

Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much
as your own unguarded thoughts.


Develop the mind of equilibrium.
You will always be getting praise and blame,
but do not let either affect the poise of the mind:
follow the calmness, the absence of pride.
Sutta Nipata

One day Ananda, who had been thinking deeply about things for a while, turned to the Buddha and exclaimed:
"Lord, I've been thinking- spiritual friendship is at least half of the spiritual life!"
The Buddha replied: "Say not so, Ananda, say not so. Spiritual friendship is the whole of the spiritual life!"
Samyutta Nikaya, Verse 2

In what is seen, there should be just the seen;
In what is heard, there should be just the heard;
In what is sensed, there should be just the sensed;
In what is thought, there should be just the thought.


He should not kill a living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should he incite another to kill.
Do not injure any being, either strong or weak in the world.
Sutta Nipata II,14

These teachings are like a raft, to be abandoned once you have crossed the flood.
Since you should abandon even good states of mind generated by these teachings,
How much more so should you abandon bad states of mind!


Conquer the angry man by love.
Conquer the ill-natured man by goodness.
Conquer the miser with generosity.
Conquer the liar with truth.
The Dhammapada

In Aryans' Discipline, to build a friendship is to build wealth,
To maintain a friendship is to maintain wealth and
To end a friendship is to end wealth.
Cakkavatti Sutta, Patika Vagga, Dighanikaya

"If beings knew, as I know, the results of sharing gifts, they would not enjoy their gifts without sharing them with others, nor would the taint of stinginess obsess the heart and stay there. even if it were their last and final bit of food, they would not enjoy its use without sharing it, if there were anyone to receive it"
Itivuttaka 18

One should follow a man of wisdom who rebukes one for one's faults, as one would follow a guide to some buried treasure.
To one who follows such a wise man, it will be an advantage and not a disadvantage.
Dhammapada 76

A brahmin once asked The Blessed One:
"Are you a God?"
"No, brahmin" said The Blessed One.
"Are you a saint?"
"No, brahmin" said The Blessed One.
"Are you a magician?"
"No, brahmin" said The Blessed One.
"What are you then?"
"I am awake."

See the truth, and you will see me.

Let your love flow outward through the universe,
To its height, its depth, its broad extent,
A limitless love, without hatred or enmity.
Then as you stand or walk,
Sit or lie down,
As long as you are awake,
Strive for this with a one-pointed mind;
Your life will bring heaven to earth.
Sutta Nipata

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle,
and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
Happiness never decreases by being shared.

I teach one thing and one only:
that is, suffering and the end of suffering.

Just as a mother would protect with her life her own son, her only son,
so one should cultivate an unbounded mind towards all beings, and loving-kindness towards all the world.
One should cultivate an unbounded mind, above and below and across, without obstruction, without enmity, without rivalry.
Standing, or going, or seated, or lying down, as long as one is free from drowsiness, one should practice this mindfulness.
This, they say, is the holy state here.
Sutta Nipata

What is this world condition?
Body is the world condition.
And with body and form goes feeling, perception, consciousness, and all the activities throughout the world.
The arising of form and the ceasing of form--everything that has been heard, sensed, and known, sought after and reached by the mind--all this is the embodied world, to be penetrated and realized.
Samyutta Nikaya

Make an island of yourself,
make yourself your refuge;
there is no other refuge.
Make truth your island,
make truth your refuge;
there is no other refuge.
Digha Nikaya, 16

Solitude is happiness for one who is content, who has heard the Dhamma and clearly sees.
Non-affliction is happiness in the world - harmlessness towards all living beings.
Udana 10

The fool thinks he has won a battle when he bullies with harsh speech,
but knowing how to be forbearing alone makes one victorious.
Samyutta Nikaya I, 163

Things are not what they appear to be: nor are they otherwise.
Surangama Sutra

Do not pursue the past.
Do not lose yourself in the future.
The past no longer is.
The future has not yet come.
Looking deeply at life as it is.
In the very here and now, the practitioner dwells in stability and freedom.
We must be diligent today.
To wait until tomorrow is too late.
Death comes unexpectedly.
How can we bargain with it?
The sage calls a person who knows how to dwell in mindfulness night and day,
'one who knows the better way to live alone.'
Bhaddekaratta Sutta

Atisha

The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.

Atisha

1/28/2006

Buddhism: Disdain for Material Things

"He who lives looking for pleasures only, his senses uncontrolled, immoderate in his food, idle, and weak, Mara (the Tempter) will certainly overthrow him, as the wind throws down a weak tree. He who lives without looking for pleasures, his senses well controlled, moderate in his food, faithful and strong, him Mara will certainly not overthrow, any more than the wind throws down a strong mountain."

Dhammapada V. 7-8

Biography of Rumi

"Jalaluddin Rumi was born in 1207 C.E. ( i.e. Common Era aligned with A.D.) in Balkh. This city was then in the Persian province of Khorasan but is now in Afghanistan. Balkh was then a prominent city and his family had a tradition of service there in legal and religious offices. Despite this background he moved, in his youth and with his family about 1218 C.E., away from Balkh in order to avoid the warlike Mongols who were then conquering extensively under the leadership of their Khans.

The family travelled to Baghdad, to Mecca on pilgrimage, and to Damascus and eventually settled at Karaman near Konya in what is now western Turkey.

Following this move to Konya, then the capital of the western Seljuk Turks Jalaluddin's father was busy as an Islamic theologian, teacher and preacher. Jalaluddin followed in this tradition and, upon his father's demise in 1231 C.E. succeeded to his post as a prominent religious teacher.

This part of the world was then known to its inhabitants as Rum, a name derived from the Byzantine Roman Empire that had formerly held it. Jalaluddin's name in religion and literature - Rumi - is itself derived from Rum.

Rumi is today thought of being a Persian mystic and poet and is closely identified with Sufism and Sufi mysticism. This Sufism being a mysticism within Islam where devotees sought a mystical union with God.

From around 1232 C.E. and the arrival of one of his fathers former Balkh students in Konya Rumi was thoroughly familiarised with doctrines of Sufism that had emerged in Persia and in 1240 C.E. he was recognised as being a Shaykh in his own right.

In about 1244 C.E. Rumi befriended Shams ad-Din (Sun of Religion), a wandering dervish or Sufi devotee who was formerly from Tabrìz, who became his mentor. For over two years he and Shams ad-Din were very closely associated in a platonic friendship and living in the same house. Sufis had a tradition of such close platonic friendships based on a commonality of spiritual endeavours.

Rumi had previous to this all absorbing friendship been busy as a teacher and leader of a Mevlevi discipleship. His former pupils were most discomfited by the friendship with Shams and threatened violence.

Shams ad-Din disappeared unexplainedly in 1247 C.E. and Rumi subsequently composed approaching to 30,000 verses of poetry, the Lyrics of Shams of Tabrìz, expressing his feelings at the disappearance of his friend. He later formed other deep spiritual friendships that were not really welcomed by his disciples in the Mevlevi Order.

One of these friendships again inspired poetry, notably the epic poem Masnavi I Ma'navi (Spiritual Couplets), which has had an immense influence on Islamic literature and thought.

This friend, Husam ad-Din Chelebi, became leader of the Mevlevi Order upon Rumi's death in 1273 C.E.

Rumi had taught that "Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians should be viewed with the same eye" and it is said that people drawn from five faith backgrounds followed his funeral bier. His mausoleum, the Green Dome in Konya, is today a place of pilgrimage for many thousands."

John Keats: Poetry

"Poetry should be great and unobtrusive,
a thing which enters into one's soul,
and does not startle it or amaze it with itself,
but with its subject."

John Keats

Humility

"Would you become a pilgrim on the road of love? The first condition is that you make yourself humble as dust and ashes."

Ansari of Heart - (Islam)

Jesus: Entering the Kingdom

"Jesus saw some babies nursing.
He said to his disciples:
"These babies nursing are like those
Who enter the kingdom.'
His disciples said to him:
"Shall we then enter the kingdom as babies?
" Jesus answered them and said:
'When you make the two into one,
"And when you make the inner like the outer,
'And the outer like the inner,
'And the upper like the lower,
'And when you make male and female
Into a single one,
"So that the male will not be male
'And the female not be female …
"Then you shall enter the kingdom."

Thomas a Kempis

"Some have Me in their mouths, but little in their hearts.
There are others who, being enlightened in their understanding and purified in their affection, always breathe after things eternal."

Meditation

“We could say that meditation doesn't have a reason or doesn't have a purpose. In this respect it's unlike almost all other things we do except perhaps making music and dancing. When we make music we don't do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.”

SRI AUROBINDO

"You think then that in me there was never any doubt or despair, no attacks of that kind. I have borne every attack which human beings have borne, otherwise I would be unable to assure anybody "This too can be conquered." At least I would have no right to say so. Your psychology is terribly rigid. I repeat, the Divine when he takes on the burden of terrestrial nature, takes it fully, sincerely and without any conjuring tricks or pretence. If he has something behind him which emerges always out of the coverings, it is the same thing in essence even if greater in degree, that there is behind others -- and it is to awaken that that he is here.

The psychic being does the same for all who are intended for the spiritual way -- men need not be extraordinary beings to follow it. That is the mistake you are making -- to harp on greatness as if only the great can be spiritual."

1/26/2006

The Light that shines in your heart

" There is a Light that shines beyond all things on Earthbeyond the highest, very highest heavens.This is the Light that shines in your heart."Chandogya Upanishad