Aryeah Kaplan wrote that when one is in a meditative state, one has obtained the ability to turn off faint after-images that are constantly with us and interfere with seeing objects with total clarity. He noted that when one is able “to turn off the spontaneous self-generated images . . . the beauty of the flower . . . seen in these higher states of awareness is indescribable [and] appears to radiate beauty.
~Aryeah, Kaplan, Jewish Meditation: A Practical Guide, p.9
A flower is not a flower. It is made only of non-flower elements–sunshine, clouds, time, space, earth, minerals, gardeners, and so on. A true flower contains the whole universe. If we return any one of these non-flower elements to its source, there will be no flower. That is why we can say, “A rose is not a rose. That is why it is an authentic rose.” We have to remove our concept of rose if we want to touch the real rose.
~Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching, p. 129
…when we hold a rose we see that it is composed of multiple elements, some tangible – leaves, stem, thorns, petals, stamens – and others intangible – scent, color, memories. If you were to remove any of these constituent parts, would you find an entity know as “rose”? As we are unable to find the rose in the absence of any one of these parts, we are also unable to find an enduring solid rose in any one of these elements.
~B Catherine Koeford, A Meditative Journey with Saldage, pp152-153
F – a bit of fun…and a flower
just being alive
and the poppy
“We humans have talented artist, but how can our paintings compare to your masterpiece of the four seasons? How could we ever paint such a compelling dawn or create a more radiant dust? We have great composers, but how can our music compare to your celestial harmony with the Sun and planets-or to the sound of the rising tide? We have great heroes and heroines who have endured wars, hardship, and dangerous voyages, but how can their bravery compare to your great forbearance and patience…” ~Thich Nhat Hanh, Love Letter to the Earth
submitted in response to Lost in Translation’s photo challenge.
May that lady live one thousand years who guards the flowers!
My sleeves are wet with thankful tears
As though I had been working
In a garden of dewy chrysanthemums.
~Murasaki Shikibu (Trans: A Omori & K Doi, Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan)
“Nothing can exist by itself alone. It has to depend on every other thing. That is called inter-being. … Looking deeply into a flower, we see that the flower is made of non-flower elements. We can describe the flower as being full of everything. There is nothing that is not present in the flower. We see sunshine, we see the rain, we see clouds, we see the earth, and we also see time and space in the flower. A flower, like everything else, is made entirely of non-flower elements. The whole cosmos has come together in order to help the flower manifest itself. The flower is full of everything except one thing: a separate self, a separate identity.” (Thich Nhat Hanh, No Death, No Fear, pp 47-48)
Protecting oneself, one protects others; protecting others, one protects oneself . . . And how does one, in protecting oneself, protect others? By the repeated and frequent practice of meditation.
And how does one, in protecting others, protect oneself? By patience and forbearance, by a non-violent and harmless life, by loving kindness and compassion. But self-protection is not selfish protection. It is self-control, ethical and spiritual self-development.
~ The Buddha
Without my journey.
And without the spring.
I would have missed this dawn.
~Shiki (The Moon in the Pines, Trans: J Clements)
A child weeping
Pick the full moon
From the sky. ~Issa (The Year of My Life, Trans: N Yuasa)
…she’d recognized my name…for the first time in my life, I felt the comfort, the firmness of identity that a name might provide, how it could carry an entire history in other people’s memories… No one here…would ask how to spell my name, or mangle it with an unfamiliar tongue. My name belonged so I belonged, drawn into a web of relationships, alliances, and grudges that I did not yet understand.
~ Dreams from my Father, Barack Obama
This 6th image submitted for Robin’s challenge, Seeing Differently, is from the Colorado State University’s Flower Trial Garden. This red flower (name unknown) with a bit of a spider web, while in focus, seems to have a separate identity from the unfocused background which resembles a painting.
Image 6th submitted to Robin’s October photo challenge, Seeing Differently.