Like the quotes you read below? They’re cut out of a big, beautiful, spacious weekly e-letter I get from Halifax Roshi‘s Upaya Zen Center. Subscribe to their newsletter—it’s the best, most elegant, fun one to read I get…and I get a lot of e-newsletters, including my own, Treehugger’s, Grist’s, Huffington Post, Coolhunting…etc.
As a master of Zen archery, Roshi Kobun Chino was asked by Roshi Joan years ago to teach a course at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. He prepared himself while standing on a beautiful grassy area on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Kobun then took his bow, notched the arrow, and shot. The arrow sailed high over the cliff, and plunged into the ocean far below. Bowing, Kobun then took questions from the onlookers. One young man asked him: Roshi, I thought Zen archery involved a target. And Roshi Kobun replied: Target everywhere!!!!
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
— Anais Nin
“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
— Martin Luther King Jr.
If you desire to gaze out over wide vistas, you do well to climb up to a high spot. But if you wish to gaze into the human heart, you must climb down and look from a low place.
— Soko Morinaga
Zen practice is a way of using your mind, living your life and doing it with other people.
— Gary Snyder
In silence, words are forgotten.
In utter clarity, things appear.
— Master Hung-chi Chen-chueh (1091-1157)
Then I ask you answer. When I do not you do not.
What is there then on your heart, O Lord Bodhidharma?
And what is it, the heart?
It is the sound of the pine breeze in the ink painting.
Each of us literally chooses, by his way of attending to things, what sort of
universe he shall appear to himself to inhabit.
— William James (1842–1910)
In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called for the forming of “The International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment:”
“Every academic discipline has its technical nomenclature. You who are in the field of psychology have given us a great word. It is the word maladjusted…But…there are some things in our society, some things in our world, to which we should never be adjusted. There are some things concerning which we must always be maladjusted if we are to be people of good will. We must never adjust ourselves to racial discrimination and racial segregation. We must never adjust ourselves to religious bigotry. We must never adjust ourselves to economic conditions that take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. We must never adjust ourselves to the madness of militarism, and the self-defeating effects of physical violence.”
The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice.
— RD Laing
“We can make our minds so like still water
that beings gather about us to see their own images,
and so live for a moment with a clearer,
perhaps even with a fiercer life
because of our silence.”
— William Butler Yeats
… when the monk is percipient of himself here, then from there to there, step by step, he touches the peak of perception. As he remains at the peak of perception, the thought occurs to him, ‘Thinking is bad for me. Not thinking is better for me. If I were to think and will, this perception of mine would cease, and a grosser perception would appear. What if I were neither to think nor to will?’ So he neither thinks nor wills, and as he is neither thinking nor willing, that perception ceases and another, grosser perception does not appear. He touches cessation.
— The Buddha, Potthapada Sutta, DN 9, trans. Thanissaro
Nothing is left behind,
Nothing stays with us.
Bright and empty,
The mind shines by itself.
— Seng Can, third patriarch of Chan, Xin Shin Ming, trans. Lombardo