Chat about the snow
on Fuji’s peak–
and summer is no more
~Sanjonishi Sanetaka (S Carter, Haiku before Haiku)
“When I look at the trees in front of me, my mind does not go outside of me into the forest, nor does it open a door to let the trees in. My mind fixes on the trees, but they are not a distant object. My mind and trees are one. The trees are only one of the miraculous manifestations of the mind.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh (The Sun My Heart)
Vision: Unable to see things clearly unless they are relatively close to the eyes, owing to the focusing of rays of light by the eye at a point in front of the retina; myopic
The Six Blind Men & the Elephant, a famous Hindu fable that tells the story of six blind sojourners that come across different parts of an elephant. In turn, each blind man creates his own version of reality from that limited experience and perspective. The video below is a illustrated version sharing an aged truth about our human condition and the relation between relative and absolute truth.
Jump on over to Lost in Translation to join this week’s Thursday’s Special.
a greeting card from heaven
What are the various conditions—past and present, known and unknown—that come together to create raindrops? Scientists have suggested that the interactions between water vapor, dust particles, and wind turbulence within clouds create millimeter-sized droplets which are heavy enough to begin their descent towards earth. And in the process of falling, the droplets accumulate more and more moisture, becoming the raindrops we see on the ground.
This scientific explanation of how raindrops form invites contemplation of the prior conditions that create vapor, dust, and wind. Each of these transient phenomenon is a telling of the ongoing weaving and unweaving of interconnected threads creating the various phenomena we experience within each given moment.
This weaving and unweaving of threads is noted by Thich Nhat Hanh, “This is, because that is. This is not, because that is not. This is born, because that is born. This dies, because that dies.”
When you look at a leaf or a raindrop, meditate on all the conditions, near and distant, that have contributed to the presence of that leaf or raindrop. Know that the world is woven of interconnected threads. This is, because that is. This is not, because that is not. This is born because that is born. This dies, because that dies.
The birth and death of any dharma are connected to the birth and death of all other dharms. The one contains the many and the many contain the one. Without the one, there cannot be the many. Without the many, there cannot be the one.
…the interconnected links consist of many layers and levels…
~Thich Nhat Hanh (Old Path White Clouds)
“To be aware is to be aware of something. When the mind settles on the mountain, it becomes the mountain. When it settles on the sea, it becomes the sea. When we say. ‘know,’ both the known and the knower are included.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh (The Sun My Heart)
I hope you enjoy hearing this amazing young man sing…
When you are in touch with the suffering in the world, it is so easy for despair to overwhelm you. …Throughout the war in Vietnam young people easily became the victims of despair because the war went on for so long and it seemed it would never end. It is the same with the situation in the Middle East. young Israelis and Palestinians feel the heavy atmosphere of war will never end.
Animals, plants, and minerals also suffer because of the greed of human beings. The earth, the water and air are suffering because we have polluted them. The trees suffer because we destroy the forest for our own profit. Some species have become extinct because of the destruction of the natural environment. Humans also destroy and exploit one another. How can we stop ourselves from collapsing in despair?
The bodhisattva of wonderful sound, Gadgadashvara, can use music, writings and sound to awaken people. If you are a poet, a writer or a composer you can be that bodhisattva. Your artistic creations are not just to help people forget their pain momentarily but to water the seeds of awakened understanding and compassion in others. Among us are so many writers, poets and composers who are using the wonderful ocean of sound to serve the way of understanding and love…(excerpts from Thich Nhat Hanh’s No Death, No Fear)
I don’t know
what’s beyond the mountain
where the late sunlight streams
but already I’ve sent
my mind on ahead
~Saigyo (Trans: B Watson, Poems of a Mountain Home)