The counsels of Maximus taught me to command myself, to judge clearly, to be of good courage in sickness and other misfortunes, to be moderate, gentle, yet serious in disposition, and to accomplish my appointed task without repining. All men believed that Maximus spoke as he thought; and whatever he did, they knew it was done with good intent. I never found him surprised or astonished at anything. He was never in a hurry, never shrank from his purpose, was never at a loss or dejected. He was no facile smiler, but neither was he passionate or suspicious. He was ready to do good, to forgive, and to speak the truth, and gave the impression of possessing a modest natural righteousness rather than having been of a reformed character. No man could ever think himself despised by Maximus, and no one ever ventured to think himself his superior. He had also a good gift of humour. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.
Sunday, December 30, 2018
Saturday, December 29, 2018
Friday, December 28, 2018
Thursday, December 27, 2018
He looked around him as if seeing the world for the first time. The world was beautiful, strange and mysterious. Here was blue, here was yellow, here was green, sky and river, woods and mountains, all beautiful, all mysterious and enchanting, and in the midst of it, he, Siddhartha, the awakened one, on the way to himself. Herman Hesse, Siddhartha.
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Tuesday, December 25, 2018
Perform each action as if it were your last, without willfulness, or any passionate aversion to what reason approves, without hypocrisy or selfishness, or discontent with the decrees of Providence. You will then see how few things are necessary to master a smooth-flowing life. Marcus Aurelius.
Monday, December 24, 2018
Sunday, December 23, 2018
Build therefore, your own world. As fast as you conform your life to the pure idea in your mind, it will unfold in all of its great proportions. A correspondent revolution in things will attend the influx of the spirit. From Emerson, Nature.
Saturday, December 22, 2018
It is almost as hard for friends to meet As for the morning and evening stars. Tonight then is a rare event, Joining in the candlelight Two men who were young not long ago But now are turning grey at the temples. To find that half our friends are dead Shocks us, burns our hearts with grief. We little guessed it would be twenty years Before we could meet again. When I went away, you were still unmarried, But now these boys and girls in a row Are very kind to their father's old friend. by Du Fu, from 300 Tang Poems.
Friday, December 21, 2018
When we see a beautiful machine, we say that there is a good engineer, and that this engineer has excellent judgment. The world is assuredly an admirable machine. Therefore there is in the world an admirable intelligence, wherever it may be. Yes. This argument is old, but none the worse for that. from Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary.
Thursday, December 20, 2018
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
There is no such person as Buddha. Buddha is simply a Sanskrit word meaning initiate. The Absolute is immanent in every man’s heart. This treasure of the heart is the only Buddha that exists. It is no use seeking Buddha outside your own nature. Prayer, scripture-reading, fasting, the observance of monastic rules all are useless. Those who seek Buddha that way do not find him. One thing alone avails, to discover the Absolute which is at the root of one’s own nature. Bodhidharma From Zen and Art, by Arthur Waley.
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Monday, December 17, 2018
Buddhist and non-Buddhist religions, lay stress on scriptural authority, that is holy books, writings, and doctrine. But Zen denounces all this on the grounds that words or characters can never adequately express religious truth, which can only be realized from within. Consequently Zen claims that the Enlightenment of Buddha has been handed down neither by word of mouth, nor by the letters of scriptures, but from teacher's heart to disciple's heart, through a line of personal transmission until the present day. Zen is an isolated instance of this heart-to-heart transmission in the whole history of the worlds religions. by Kaiten Nukariya, The Religion of the Samurai.
Sunday, December 16, 2018
Length and shortness create each other, from each other. The ideas of height and lowness arise from a contrast between the two. The musical notes of the scale become harmonious melodies and chords through the relation of one with another, and the spaces in between. Anything which is in front of, has something behind it. Therefore, the sage manages affairs without doing anything, and conveys his ideas and instructions without the use of speech. The Tao te Ching.
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Whatever is beautiful at all is beautiful in itself. Its beauty ends there, and praise has no part in it. Nothing is the better or the worse for being praised. Thus true beauty needs nothing beyond itself, any more than law, or truth, or kindness, or honor. For none of these gets a single grace from praise or one blot from censure. Does the emerald lose its virtue if one praise it not? Can one, by withholding praise depreciate gold, ivory, or purple, a lyre or a dagger, a flower or a shrub? Marcus Aurelius.
Friday, December 14, 2018
Thursday, December 13, 2018
The dewy morning, the rainbow, mountains, orchards in blossom, stars, moonlight, shadows in still water and the like, if too eagerly hunted, become merely shows and mock us with their unreality. Go out of the house to see the moon, and it is mere tinsel. It will not please us as much as when its light shines upon your necessary journey. The beauty that shimmers in the yellow afternoons of October, who ever could clutch it? Yet if you go forth to find it, it is gone. Everything is only a mirage if you look from the windows of diligence and pre-conceived thought. From Emerson, Nature.
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
The moon encouraged me. I danced. My shadow tumbled after me. As far as I could tell, we were good companions. And then I was drunk, and the moon set, and we lost one another, my shadow and me. Shall anything ever be secure? All I can do is watch the long road of the River of Stars. Li Bai, from 300 Tang Poems.
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
The Buddha-nature is not only a potential in Man, but in everything that exists. Stone, river and tree are all parts of the great hidden Unity. Thus Man, through his Buddha-nature or universalised consciousness, possesses an intimate means of contact with all of Nature. The songs of birds, the noise of waterfalls, the rolling of thunder, the whispering of wind in the pine-trees, all these are utterances of the Absolute. From Zen and Art, by Arthur Waley.
Monday, December 10, 2018
Sunday, December 9, 2018
Saturday, December 8, 2018
Friday, December 7, 2018
Thursday, December 6, 2018
Many assert that every minor piece must end in the minor. Not so! On the contrary I find that in the soft scales the major third at the close has a glorious and uncommonly quieting effect. Joy follows sorrow, sunshine, rain. It affects me as if I were looking up to the silvery glistening of the evening star. Beethoven, the Man and the Artist As Revealed in his own Words.
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
There is a rare emotion familiar to every intelligent traveler, in which the mind seems to swallow the sum total of its impressions at a gulp. You take in the whole place, whatever it be. You feel England, you feel Italy, and the sensation involves for the moment, a kind of thrill. Henry James, A Passionate Pilgrim
Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Monday, December 3, 2018
Sunday, December 2, 2018
The method of teaching by symbolic acts, such as the plucking of a flower, was extensively used by the Zen masters. For example, when a disciple asked Enkwan a question about the nature of Buddha, he answered, Bring me a clean bowl. When the priest brought the bowl, the master said, Now put it back where you found it. He signified that the priest’s questionings must return to their proper place, the questioner’s heart, from which alone spiritual knowledge can be obtained. Dai Ketsugi Kyoh.