the pearl of my mind

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pearl

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“Contemplation is any way you have of penetrating illusion and touching reality.”

Parker Palmer

Parker goes on to say that you don’t have to sit cross-legged or chant a mantra and that one of the most contemplative people he knows is a woman who cares for her severely developmentally disabled child. She has to live her own life and be so deeply connected to her child that she has penetrated all of the illusions that modern society suggests make a person valuable. In this way she touches reality.  (source)

A man from times past is the hermit-sage Han Shan, also known as the poet from Cold Mountain. He spent much of his life wandering freely through the T’ien-t’ai Mountains of Chekiang Province in China, living off what he could forage. This was his way of penetrating illusion and touching reality. At one point he expressed this ‘touching reality’ in this way: Continue reading

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I’ve retired

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Related image

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Han Shan # 175

 

the place where I’ve retired

the mysteries are hard to explain

without any wind the vines all sway

despite no fog the bamboo stays dark

why do the mountain streams cry

or clouds suddenly gather on the ridge

why am I in my hut at noon

when I first feel the sun’s heat

source

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more on Han Shan here

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free and vast

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Image result for full moon rising

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On plants and stones it is to lay,
My minds nature is free and vast,
White clouds are with me, day by day!
My path is not open to the world.
My heart is void unable to say!
On the stone bed I sit alone,
The white moon rises up round and gay!
My mind is like the white moon,
Clean and clear as the mirror,
Nothing can compare with it,
How could I make metaphor?

source: Han Shan

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freedom

Image result for in a meadow on your back

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Yes, the 4th of July in the USA is usually associated with freedom. Today I am celebrating the sense of freedom that comes from freedom from all concepts. To be without attachment to any concept of how life should play out is amazing. There is no more pressure to be a certain way, to do a certain thing or to expect a certain outcome of any situation. What relief! Truly all seems to be – in a certain sense – merely entertainment. This is how we pass our days that have been given to us on the earth. Continue reading

great equanimity

Emily-s calming picture

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Mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation is what the dictionary says. Similar words are composurecalm, level-headedness, self-possessioncoolheadedness and presence of mind. Han Shan, the poet-hermit from Cold Mountain, says:

If heaven and earth shift, let them shift.

I shall be sitting happy among the rocks.

Continue reading

The belief that the world is real

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What inspired me today:

… unless the belief that the world is real is removed…

Nan Yar Verse 6

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“The mind,” I said, “is moon-clear, the world and its thousand shapes but dreams to shine upon.” Han Shan, Poet of Cold Mountain

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Ramana Talks – Talk 41:

“We are in our Self. We are not in the world. … You carry heaven and hell with you. Your lust, anger, etc., produce these regions. They are like dreams. Continue reading

is there any survival after death?

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I know that it is nowadays a lot to ask you to listen carefully, watching the face and the expression in the eyes when you listen to someone talking. Please give it one more try – listen to this sweet old man, full of love and understanding as he talks about us, you and me, and the ‘book of life’ that each of us is. Enjoy! Continue reading