“Most people feel cozy enough in samsara. They do not really have the genuine aspiration to go beyond samsara; they just want samsara to be a little bit better. It is quite interesting that “samsara” became the name of a perfume. And it is like that. It seduces us into thinking that it is okay: samsara is not so bad; it smells nice! The underlying motivation to go beyond samsara is very rare, even for people who go to Dharma centers. There are many people who learn to meditate and so forth, but with the underlying motive that they hope to make themselves feel better. And if it ends up making them feel worse, instead of realizing that this may be a good sign, they think there is something wrong with Dharma. We are always looking to make ourselves comfortable in the prison house. We might think that if we get the cell wall painted a pretty shade of pale green, and put in a few pictures, it won’t be a prison any more.” ~Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo

“I ask you though, Harold, is it enough?”  ~Maude


Safe With Ourselves

“These basic rules of conduct: not killing, not stealing, being very careful and responsible in our sexual conduct, having ethical speech and not destroying our minds through drugs and alcohol – these are eternal rules of conduct… it’s like a cup: if we want to pour in the elixir of the dharma, we have to have something to support it, we have to have something to contain it…so, it doesn’t just run everywhere and get wasted. It holds it, it contains it. So, likewise, for our spiritual cultivation we need a container. And this is our basic ethical conduct, that we live in this world in a way, that any being, who comes in our presence, knows, they have nothing to fear from us, because we are not going to hurt them, we are not going to steal from them, we are not going to misuse them, we are not going to cheat them… they are safe with us and we are also safe with ourselves, because we know, we are not going to do these things, because we have promised ourselves and the Buddhas not to do that.” ~Tenzin Palmo (via)

I Have Learned

“I have found that to be here and not anywhere else is the key to total concentration. By living in the present, I am in full contact with myself and my environment; my energy is not dissipated and is always available. In the present there are no regrets, as there must be when thinking of the past, and worrying about the future only dilutes our awareness of the present. I have learned to focus all of my concentration on each individual moment, whether it’s a voice on the other end of a phone line, a face looking at me from across a desk, that single eye of a camera, or that rose garden. There is only now, only this moment. There is nothing else. Nothing.”  ~Chuck Norris, from The Secret Power Within © 1996

I had mentioned to Mona that I liked Chuck Connors– The Rifleman, Branded— and she got her Chucks confused and got me a couple of books by Chuck Norris, the martial artist.

It was a happy accident.  Because of it, I’ve read his autobiography, Against All Odds, and the book I excerpted above, and enjoyed them both.

Even though we are at opposite ends of the political spectrum, I think Chuck and I would get along fine if we ever meet.

Within and Around

“The quicker you are in attaching verbal or mental labels to things, people, or situations, the more shallow and lifeless your reality becomes, and the more deadened you become to reality, to the miracle of life that continuously unfolds within and around you. In this way, cleverness may be gained, but wisdom is lost, and so are joy, love, creativity, and aliveness.”  ~Eckhart Tolle

If you liked that quote, you might like this post:  LINK