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Folk musician
in Nashville by way of Brooklyn and Massachusetts and California and Arkansas.

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Posts tagged zen

Oct 10
“If you were to be baptized in the early centuries, you had to make a commitment not to kill anybody, period,” says Forest. “How did we lose that? Merton and Dorothy were two of the people in the 20th century who helped to unpack those boxes that had been pushed up into the attic.” Jim Forest
On Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton

Sep 30
“The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.”

Atisha

Perhaps selfishness and selfish acts are what cause the world’s misery. Perhaps selflessness will heal it.


“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone-we find it with another.” Thomas Merton

Sep 28
“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.” Thomas Merton

Apr 20

PBS.org: On Gratitude by Brother David Steindl-Rast (Catholic-Zen monk)

We cannot be grateful for war. That’s an unmitigated evil. We cannot be grateful for exploitation, for untimely death. But we can be grateful in every situation. The key word is “opportunity.” If you catch onto that, then if we are in practice, when something comes along for which we cannot be grateful, spontaneously we will—our mind will say, “Well, what’s this the opportunity for now?” And there’s always an opportunity for something positive, usually the opportunity to learn something new, even in the worst situations, or for the opportunity to do something. If we learn of an injustice we have the opportunity to stand up and to speak up and to do something.
and on faith:
BROTHER DAVID: Deep down there is only one faith that all human beings have, and that is that deep trust in life. Even our body expresses that trust in life by always taking another breath. We can’t even stop it. We can’t stop breathing. So that deep trust in life—that is what all humans share, and that expresses itself, then, in a Buddhist way, in a Christian way, and even in ways that we don’t recognize as explicitly religious. Many atheists have a deep faith. They all have that deep faith, but they express it very differently.

NARRATOR: Beliefs are not faith, he says. Faith is deep trust. And the opposite of faith is not doubt, but fear.

BROTHER DAVID: The one most frequently repeated command in the Bible is not “love your neighbor,” but “fear not.” And if there is one thing that we need in our world, if there’s one thing that we should write on our mirror and see every morning when we look into the mirror, it’s “fear not.” If we went into the day with that command deeply tattooed on our heart, “fear not,” we’d be completely different people and create a completely different world—a world of faith.