September 24, 2014

Teachers

Teachers Teachers

Pivotal Elements

Pivotal Elements Pivotal Elements

A Matter of Scale

A Matter of Scale A Matter of Scale

Utilitarian Aesthetics

Utilitarian Aesthetics Utilitarian Aesthetics

Why So Few?

Why So Few? Why So Few?

The Practice

The Practice The Practice

Simplicity

Simplicity Simplicity

This Mortal Canvas

This Mortal Canvas This Mortal Canvas
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Teachers

There’s this adage: “Those who can’t do teach.” Some ascribe it to George Bernard Shaw. I can see that, it’s very Shaw-ish. Woody Allen later added an Allen spin to it: “Those who can’t teach, teach gym.” Someone else added, not joking this time, “Those who can’t teach, teach teachers.” The core of this message seems to be that those who can: do. When it comes to meditation, there is no shortage of teachers. Frankly, they seem to exude from the proverbial … [Read More]

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Pivotal Elements

In this morning’s meditative sitting my attention rested quite stably on the breath and I felt still and calm, breathing in and breathing out. Then, just with a sliver of attention, I briefly mused whether I had ever had the urge to meditate as a child—thinking, perhaps, that I had been a Buddhist practitioner in the life previous. Just a notion of a question: an image of me as perhaps 9 or 10 in our little cottage in Northern Sweden. Next I know (10 or 20 seconds later, … [Read More]

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A Matter of Scale

You look up at night and you see a universe that, for all practical purposes, is infinite. If you look inside your body you find that the number of cells and microbes and bacteria within your skin almost border on the infinite as well—in the trillions to be somewhat factual. Then, looking smaller still: how large is a water molecule? I read somewhere that so many water molecules fit in a glass of water that if you could (by some magical means) mark each water molecule and … [Read More]

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Utilitarian Aesthetics

Here’s one minimalist’s view on aesthetics: any one thing has to serve at least two purposes. No trinket shall ever serve one purpose only, i.e., adornment. In my view each thing shall also beautifully/aesthetically serve a useful purpose. I have a perfect box for my fingerpicks, nicely crafted, artfully placed. My food measuring scoops are geometrically hung on my galley wall (yes, geometry, in my view, is beautiful; and yes, my kitchen is a galley), adorning it with both … [Read More]

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Why So Few?

A question that recurs for me almost daily—for it has yet to meet with a satisfactory answer—is why so few on this planet are following a spiritual path. For we do know, at least on some (though still accessible) level that this cannot possibly be all there is to life: you get born, you survive a while, you die. For what would be the point? Or whose cynical game would we be nothing but pawns in? Mystics I believe that all mystics—both past and present—have realized this … [Read More]

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The Practice

I believe it was Herman Hesse who said that we can walk hand in hand up to that final gate, but through it we must walk individually. No one can do that final walking for us. Actually, no one can do any walking for us. At one point in my life I believed that I could hitch a ride on someone else’s walking, that I could read my way to liberation. I believed that someone else, who himself or herself had done the walking—and had documented it so well—had in some … [Read More]

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Simplicity

During the cold Swedish winter of 1968-69 I cast about for spiritual simplicity. Convinced by my cosmic experience the preceding fall that the earthly life was but an illusion—a complex, self-sustaining and self-gratifying illusion, but illusion nonetheless—I longed for, and sought a simpler life, a life stripped of all things extraneous, a life bare enough to see things as they truly are. A life true to a higher truth. Scanning my daybook from that winter, I found the … [Read More]

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This Mortal Canvas

The premise was this (and I am not sure where it came from, or how it arrived, but arrive it did, and there it was): Truth, the Ultimate Truth, is that which is proven by everything—that which is proven by every single thing that exists, small or large, beautiful or ugly. That which is proven by the extinct trilobites (roaming the ocean floor in prey-seeking herds), by the refusing to die no matter what the environment water bears (aka tardigrades), by a grain of sand, by … [Read More]