Life Is Not Bad!

This is the story of Tae Ho: The boy who will not give up and the boy who will not stop smiling. He was abandoned at birth as has 8 severe disabilities including missing arms. Tao is a shining example of the can-do human spirit that shines brightly through him and does not allow him to feel sorry for himself or be overwhelmed by the impossible odds he faces. Tae’s story indicates to us that there is no reason to feel daunted or sorry for ourselves in any way. Please pass it on by liking or sharing!

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Radical Change

Autumn Tree Shedding Leaves
Yesterday, Chris was talking about someone in his life who he knew only in the “after” of a “before and after.” Before, the man was in medical school and led a stable life. The after came after the Vietnam War, where the man was a medic and had suffered greatly physically and mentally. After the war, he became addicted to different substances and struggled with homelessness.

It reminded me of a different conversation I had, about a woman who was seriously obese and then woke up one morning and said “Not anymore.” Now, she is physically unrecognizable from her “before,” and I wonder if she is mentally unrecognizable, too.

All this makes me think about huge shifts which leave us, in different ways, unrecognizable to our former selves. It makes me wonder what it would look like if I experienced a radical shift. What would a radical shift, in me, look like toward the story of the man (negative)? What would a radical shift look like toward the story of the woman (positive)? It’s easier to imagine what it would look like for me to have a backward slide, but, for whatever reason, it is very hard for me to conceptualize what an upward climb would look like.

After a very long day, sometimes I will think of the day as if it were multiple days. As in “in the morning, when I took a long hike, that was one day” and “in the afternoon, when I made large quantities of apple sauce, that was another day.” I’m starting to think about my life in terms of a really, really long day; there is the possibility of doing one thing the whole day or having one part of the day be entirely encapsulated from another.

It wouldn’t take a psychologist or someone who has known me forever to sense that I am feeling the need for a new part of my day. A radical change, where maybe I become unrecognizable to myself and others in some way. It will not be a giving up or a quick, dark destruction. I’m going the other way, but I don’t know what that looks like.

It doesn’t take a war for a radical change. What would a radical change look like in you?

Emma Silverman is a yoga teacher and a blogger. She recently moved to Ithaca from Madison. She primarily teaches in the Kripalu style currently. She started with Iyengar and has gone through many different styles of yoga including Bikram, Ashtanga, Kundalini, and Viniyasa flow. This has been reposted with permission. You can find the original post here.

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Not Far From Buddhahood

Wasan Zen MasterA university student while visiting Gasan asked him: “Have you ever read the Christian Bible?”

“No, read it to me,” said Gasan.

The student opened the Bible and read from St. Matthew: “And why take ye thought for rainment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these… Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.”

Gasan said: “Whoever uttered those words I consider an enlightened man.”

The student continued reading: “Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.”

Gasan remarked: “That is excellent. Whoever said that is not far from Buddhahood.”

You can find this and other Zen Koans here.

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It All Goes Back In The Box

“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.” Albert Pine.

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A King’s Request

A King And A Sage
A sage was approached by a king, “Please tell me what God is like?”

The sage was unmoved and silent.

After a few minutes the king repeated his request but got no response.

The king now lost his patience and forcefully asked the sage, “Please tell me! What is He like? What is He like?”

The sage finally replied, “All this time I was telling you, O king! For silence is His name!”

That which is beyond space and time cannot be captured or understood by words and logic. The only approach to God is in silence. The silence from thought. The silence from form. The silence from expectations. And the silence from words and action.

This story has been mentioned in “The master as I saw him” by Sister Nivedita.

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