The emptiness of entityness (one of five types of emptiness discussed within Buddhist philosophy) is illustrated … with the example of a cairn and a human being. Both exist and are mutually exclusive…a cairn when viewed from a distance can easily be mistaken for a human, whereas upon closer inspection, there is nothing whatsoever that is human about a pile of stones. A human is utterly absent there. A rope mistaken for a snake would seem to be another example of the emptiness of entityness.~D. Lopez, Jr. (The Heart Sutra Explained, p54.)
Sitting quietly, doing nothing,
Spring comes, and the grass grows by itself. Zenrin Kushû (The Way of Zen)
Unable to discern the form of You,
I see Your presence all around.
Filling my eyes with the love of You,
my heart is humbled,
for You are everywhere. ~ (Trans: Priya Hemenway: The Book of Everything Journey of the Heart’s Desire Hakim Sanai’s Walled Garden of Truth)
My body is the earth’s
My body is the ocean’s
My breath is the wind’s
Wind is my breath’s
My eyes are the sky’s
Rain is my eye’s
My being is water’s
I am life’s
As the winter winds travel across Wyoming’s landscape
the swirling snow releases its memories of you, lost …
somewhere… on Casper Mountain.
Its frigid touch awakens me to your
aloneness – in that wilderness of blinding snow
cries – deafened by the river of winds,
calling – out in hope for
a human form – to emerge out of the whiteness
the warmth – of a human hand
the sound – of a voice, comforting you
accompanying – you home.
As I become hostage to this winter’s swirling thoughts
the river winds tear into my soul
releasing tears arising from
the darkness of grief’s aloneness, seeking
a knowing to emerge out of ignorance’s darkness
you found – peace
within – a loving presence
embracing – you
accompanying – you home.
Lawrence John Anderson, January 11, 1957 – January 20, 1980
let everyone’s anger
be cured! ~Issa (www.haikuguy.com)
in their fading,
this moment soon to follow —
shadows on the snow ~bckofford
within the present is the past and the future
Thank you for joining me as I wandered through the photographs posted on this blog throughout 2018 and shared the contemplations that accompanied them.
May each of your steps throughout the new year be accompanied with love-filled companions and joyous moments.
November is about Thanksgiving, a celebration within the United States in which people gather around a table of abundance and give thanks (or not) before engaging in one of the seven sins…gluttony.
“The Tibetan Wheel of Suffering illustrates how our psychological patterns — our unconscious drives and needs, impulsive and reactive responses, learned and conditioned habits, and obsessions and compulsions – serve to keep us locked in self-defeating or misguided mental formations.
“Within the lower section of the wheel is the realm of the hungry ghost…beings with long, extremely slender necks, needle mouths, and bloated stomachs. They are characterized by their infinite emptiness and eternal starvation that drives addictive and compulsive behaviors. When they do obtain what they crave, their achieved desires turn into swords and knives in their bellies. Their unfulfilled longings and cravings torture them through unending grief, rejection, bargaining, and anger. They remain insatiably obsessed with the fantasy of achieving complete release from their past. Their efforts to undo the past remain unproductive as they layer past memories onto the present and thus respond to present occurrences as if they were suddenly transported into their past. While they are aware of the suffering within their misery, they are unaware of how their confusion and delusion comes from their transpositions and subsequent mistaken attributions.
“Introduced in this realm is a bodhisattva holding a bowl filled with spiritual nourishment. These spiritual morsels: grace, faith, mindfulness, centeredness, compassion, loving-kindness, and equanimity, all contain the nutrients of wisdom to ease their torments.” ~B Koeford
contemplative photography – seeing space
Gratitude is a spiritual morsel that awakens us from being overwhelmed in the darkness of resentment to the spontaneous and wondrous moments gifted us through nature’s grace.
“The citizens of every country are human beings. We cannot study and understand a human being just through statistics. We can’t leave the job to governments or political scientists alone. We have to do it ourselves. If we arrive at an understanding of the fears and hopes of a citizen from Iraq or Sudan, Afghanistan or Syria, then we can understand our own fears and hopes. If we have this very clear vision of reality, we do not have to look very far to see what we have to do.
“We are not separate. We are inextricably interrelated. The rose is the garbage, the soldier is the civilian, the criminal is also the victim. The rich man is the very poor woman, the Buddhist is the non-Buddhist. “This is like this, because that is like that.” No one among us has clean hands. None of us can claim that the situation is not our responsibility. The child who is forced to work as a prostitute is that way because of the way we are. The refugees who are forced to live in the camps have to live like that because of the way we live. The arms dealers do their business so that our economies can continue to grow and they can benefit. This helps to create that, and that helps to create this. Wealth and poverty, the affluent society and the poor society, inter-are. The wealth of one society is made of the poverty of the other. Wealth is made of non-wealth elements, and poverty is made of non-poverty elements.
“We are responsible for everything that happens around us. …we see the young prostitute, the child soldier, the starving mother, and the migrant worker; we bare their pain, and the pain of the whole world.” ~Thich Nhát Hanh, The Other Shore.