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    A Fool's Bargain Paid Member

    BEING A FOOL lets the cat out of my bag, the wind out of my sails. The word comes from the Latin follies, meaning “windbag, a pair of bellows.” The pleasure of being foolish lies precisely in the freedom it gives from self-importance and social expectations; the freedom from striving, from the pressure to impress others, to do things the way others do them. A fool is simply not responsible in the way most people are. He knows he is ultimately not responsible for the way things turn out. He isn’t weighed down by the weight of the world. He knows the world won’t descend into chaos if he takes a nap for half an hour. More »
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    Suffering, Indexed Paid Member

    Selections from the index to Daily Afflictions: The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe by ANDREW BOYD, a collection of the wisdom of the apocryphal Brother Void More »
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    Grinding Up Consciousness Paid Member

    We are not conscious of our breathing. I don’t think there is anyone here who is consciously exhaling and inhaling. However, in Zen practice, you are asked to be aware of your breathing. This is something that is unavoidable, even though it would be better not to have to do such an inconvenient thing as to be conscious of breathing. In any case, I would like you to concentrate on your breathing: inhaling, exhaling, inhaling, exhaling—one breath at a time, gently, carefully, sincerely. By concentrating on the breath you can gradually enter a samadhi (concentration) of breathing, a samadhi of awareness. More »
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    The Light and the Dark Paid Member

    I love Toni Packer, though I haven’t seen her for twenty years. As a teacher, she is earthquakes, thunder, and the Northern Lights—or a still small voice. In her clarity of thought and subtlety of expression (the daughter of scientists) she evokes a sensation of profound intimacy.After five years raging and thumping and squeezing and soldiering with her teacher and mine, Philip Kapleau, I got through the Mu koan during my first sesshin with Toni—make of that what you will. I must have been staring at her like an idiot in that little upstairs room at the Rochester Zen Center.She said, “Do you understand?”I said, “Understand what?”She said, “What’s to understand?” and rang me out of there. More »
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    Surya Says Paid Member

    Truth telling is a rigorous spiritual practice.Buddha's not pretending.We can't just believe whatever we think. We think, therefore, we err.That which we call "I" is just impermanent, ownerless karma rolling along. Don't take it personally. Everyone is a little crazy. Remembering this helps us lighten up.We need a spiritual life, not just special experiences. Grasping fleeting things too tightly gives us rope burn.Awareness practice helps us become more transparent to ourselves.Resistance is another form of clinging.Practice being there while getting there.From Words of Wisdom, © 2008 by Lama Surya Das. Reprinted with the permission of Koa Books, koabooks.comImage: © James A. Menges, More »
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    Haikerouac Paid Member

    In a little-known manuscript, as well as in his published works, Jack Kerouac imbued the haiku poem with his Beat ethic, yielding poems that he called “pops.” In true Kerouacian spirit, “pops” both embrace and reject the classical haiku form as they capture the fleeting everyday moments of American life. Barefoot by the seastopping to scratch one ankleWith one toe Drunk as a hoot owlwriting lettersBy thunderstorm Neons, Chinese restaurantscoming on—Girls come by shades I don’t carethe low yellowMoon loves me More »