Prayer Wheels

Prayer Wheels ~ Labrangsi, XIahe, China

Prayer Wheels ~ Labrangsi, XIahe, China

I want to tell you a story about one of the way-points along the path of my gradual awakening. But I recall, that story has already been told.
What follows is a prose poem written while visiting Labrangsi monastery, in the town of Xiahe, China. It’s a Yellow Hat sect, but the monastery is in Gansu Province, outside of Tibet. I’ve kept the posting in its format when originally published in 1998 on my online travelogue, The eJournal, as The Nomadic Spirit was then named.
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Reverence, Awe and the Divine Language of Science

When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky. ~ NOT a Buddha quote

Laughing Buddha

I follow a facebook page called Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity. The page’s owner is a pretty spry thinker, as are many Christians — which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. There’s evidence enough in the discussions which accompany his posts. Kissing Fish posts frequently, and most are thought provoking. Like this quote from an article he linked to.

Our biggest problem is not that the church’s theology is irrelevant but that we have forgotten how to use theology appropriately. What was and is intended to create a framework that gives us language to talk communally about the mysterious, consistent, and transformative interactions we have with the Divine and with one another and all of creation has become, in too many cases, a set of rules.

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Happiness and Unhappiness: Mind Games

The mind is the source of happiness and unhappiness. ~ The Buddha
Laugh at the Sky ~ by Megan @ DeviantArt

Tilt Your Head Back
and Laugh at the Sky

Mmmmm…. Buddha. Buddha quotes and their subtleties.

Some might believe from this quote that being a happy person is a matter of thinking happy thoughts, of believing in being happy. However, Buddha also said happiness of the mind is nice for the moment, but such happiness is impermanent… it’s still Dukkha — Suffering. As quickly as I can convince my mind that I’m happy, something else can come along and convince it I’m not.

To put it more bluntly, thinking I’m happy is unhappiness. Thinking I’m happy is a tabulation of objects and conditions that make me happy. But happiness isn’t a set of conditions or a state of mind. In Buddha’s teachings, complete happiness, Nibhanna, is experienced only by the enlightened. Everyone else suffers, at least a little.
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Silent Rage ~ Bullet with Butterfly Wings

The comment stream on Youtube for Frida Snell’s cover of the Smashing Pumpkins’ Bullet With Butterfly Wings is a bit of a battleground. Snell’s flat, seemingly emotionless delivery and the arrangement’s strained lethargy is a rather complete juxtaposition to the Pumpkins’ metallic growl of anger.

People often get verbally violent when cherished songs are re-interpreted this way. A frequent curse in the comment stream goes something like,

“The song’s about RAGE! Where is the RAGE?!?!”

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Until the Rage Released

Until the rage found its release

Until the rage found its release

She came in darkness and pain
To find the light of compassion
But with her came the darkness
And his rage
The light was stronger
In time, compassion prevailed
She was freed
The rage lingered
And malingered
Until that too found its release

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Truth Truly Tao

The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.

The Tao

There is but one Truth.
Though there are many ways
To speak of it truly,
None of these
Are the Truth.
Those who claim the Truth
Do not know it.
Those who know the Truth
Do no speak it.
They speak about it,
We call it the Truth.
The ancients called it the Tao.
It is The Way,
The unspeakable Way.
The way that can be trodden,
But never spoken.

Suffering & Compassion

When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That's the message he is sending. ~ Thich Nhat Hahn


yep. I love this guy.

Well, I try to love everybody. But I love the way Thich Nhat Hanh thinks and speaks and acts, and that makes loving easier.

Most of what you perceive other people are doing to you isn’t about you. It’s about them. Their pain. Their suffering.

In that sense, while other people can create conditions painful for you, suffering is something we cause in ourselves.
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Love? The New Season of Bah! Humbug!

Love? Bah. Humbug!

Love? Bah. Humbug!

OK. So. We set aside one day a year to celebrate that most beautiful of human experiences, that most exquisite gift, that sweetest of emotions: love.

I gotta tell ya, people, this year I’m a bit disappointed. Not because I’m once again single on the biggest romantic event of the year. No.

It’s the Bah! Humbug! All the Scrooge McLove I’m hearing.
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