Monday, August 13, 2007

Understanding is the fruit of meditation. When we practice deep looking directed toward the heart of reality, we receive help, we receive understanding, we receive the wisdom that makes us free. If there is deep pain within you, meditate. Meditating is not trying to run away, trying to ignore the presence of the pain, but on the contrary, it is looking at it face-to-face. You have to practice deep looking directed toward the nature of this pain, because for Buddhists, we are joy, but we are also pain; we are understanding, but we are also ignorance...Buddhist meditation is based on the principle of nonduality. This means that if we are mindfulness, if we are love, we are also ignorance, we are also suffering, and there is no reason to suppress anything at all.
Thich Nhat Hanh, True Love
All creatures in the heavens and on the earth give glory to God. He is mighty and wise. To him belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He ordains life and death, and has power over all things. He is the first and the last, the seen and the unseen. He knows all. He created the heavens and the earth in six days. He is secure in his power. He knows all that happens below the surface of the earth, and he knows all that emerges from the earth. He knows all that comes down from the heavens, and all that ascends to the heavens. He is close to you, wherever you are. God is aware of all your actions.
Quran 57:1 - 4
Therefore fear not, Jacob, my servant (Jeremiah: 30:10)

This speaks of Jacob, of whom it is written and he dreamed, and behold, a ladder set up on the earth... and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. Rabbi Berekiah and Rabbi Helbo and Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai in the name of Rabbi Meir said: It teaches that the Holy One, the blessed One, showed Jacob the Prince of Babylon... of Media... of Greece... and of Edom ascending and descending. Then God said to Jacob: "You also ascend." Our father Jacob was afraid, and thought: Perhaps, heaven forbid, in the same way as these nations descended, I will also have to descend. Said the Holy One, the blessed One: Fear not, Jacob my servant. Once you ascend there will be no descent for you. Jacob would not believe and did not ascend.
Leviticus Rabbah 29:2; Pesikta De-Rab Kahana 23:2)
Your life has a limit, but knowledge has none. To use that which is limited, in order to pursue tat which has no limit, is dangerous. If you understand this, and yet still strive for knowledge, you will certainly run into trouble. If you sincerely wish to do good, then avoid rewards. If you wish to do evil, then avoid punishments. Follow the middle course, because by this means you will stay in one piece. Keep yourself alive, and look after your parents, and enjoy the years left to you.
Chuang Tzu, The Book of Chuang Tzu
The soul gathers the powers of life to itself, and descends with them into the heart. As life leaves the eye, and returns to its source within the soul, the eye no longer sees... As life leaves the mind, and returns to its source within the soul, the mind no longer thinks. As life leaves the skin, and returns to its source within the soul, the sense of touch is lost. 'By the light of the heart the soul leaves the body; and as the soul leaves, the powers of life follow. Since the soul is consciousness, the body loses consciousness as the soul departs; and the soul carries the spiritual effects of all that the person has done, experienced and known.'
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4:1-2
People reach greater maturity as they find
the freedom to be themselves
and to claim, accept and love their own personal story,
with all its brokenness and its beauty.
So, too, Christians reach greater maturity in Jesus
and advance into the new
as they claim, accept, love, honour and forgive
all that is beautiful and all that is broken in their heritage.
Their heritage is their Jewish origins.
It is also the evolving history of Christianity and of the Church,
with all that was and is broken and beautiful in it.
Jean Vanier, Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John
Let me hear what God, the Lord, will speak;
He will promise well-being to His people, His faithful ones;
may they not turn to folly.
His help is very near those who fear Him,
to make His glory dwell in our land.
Faithfulness and truth meet;
justice and well-being kiss.
Truth springs up from the earth;
justice looks down from heaven.
The Lord also bestows His bounty;
our land yields its produce.
Justice goes before Him
as He sets out on His way.
Psalm 85:9 - 14
Paper Cranes
(The Hibakusha come to Gethsemani)

"How can we tell a paper bird
Is stronger than a hawk
When it has no metal for talons?
It needs no power to kill
Because it is not hungry.

Wilder and wiser than eagles
It ranges around the world
Without enemies
And free of cravings.

The child's hand
Folding these wings
Wins no wars and ends them all.

Thoughts of a child's heart
Without care, without weapons!
So the child's eye
Gives life to what it loves
Kind as the innocent sun
And lovelier than all dragons!"

The Collected Poems of Thomas Merton