Oh no not I!

“Laughter is the evidence we are still here, the proof that our tragedies will not define us forever. Laughter is the language of the survivor.” ~John Riebock

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Dawn

 

Death is not extinguishing the light
It is simply putting out the lamp
Because the dawn has come.

~Rabindranth Tagore

What do we really trust?

“We talk about blind faith in religion, but actual blind faith exists in our everyday world. What do we really trust? We trust our senses, our perceptions, our culture, our thoughts ― completely, one-pointedly, and blindly. We trust these more than we trust religion.

“The idea of having blind faith in religion is totally a myth. The real blind faith exists in our worldly existence. We trust anything that is within the range of experiences of our mind, whether they are perceptual or conceptual.”  ~Ponlop Rinpoche (source)

Pretty Pictures on the Prison Walls

When I was younger, I would never have understood the two quotes below by Buddhist monk Tenzin Palmo. The idea of life as anything other than ever-expanding freedom would have been completely alien to me.

But now I get it.

 

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.


Everything which we see and everyone we relate to, we relate to from this tight box of our very limited judgements, prejudices, ideas, conceptions. It’s like we’re in a very small prison cell, dungeon really. And so we begin to start a new kind of direction in our lives … but the important thing is not to end up going from one prison cell into another prison cell. Even if the new prison cell has nice decoration on the wall and burns incense. It’s still a prison cell. And always the question is how to go beyond the prison, how to get out, how to be liberated.

Nothing Unchanging

“If our body really belonged to us, it would obey our commands. If we say, ‘Don’t get old,’ or ‘I forbid you to get sick’ does it obey us?  No!  It takes no notice.  We only rent this ‘house,’ not own it.  If we think it does belong to us, we will suffer when we have to leave it.  But in reality, there is no such thing as a permanent self, nothing unchanging or solid that we can hold on to.”  ~Ajahn Chah (source)