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Archive for the ‘silence’ Category

By Ross Bolleter Roshi

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” When Michal, my composer friend from Slovakia, was driving me out from Bratislava to show me the eastern regions of this country, especially his birthplace Lengow, in the foothills of the High Tatras, he asked me a lot of questions about Zen and how to live it. I found his questions challenging – such questions always are – but their radical simplicity was far more confronting because I spoke no Slovak and he spoke just enough English for us to deal with practical matters and in a vague way to feel out the contours of each other’s lives.

Once he asked me, ‘What is Zen?’ and I replied that ‘the countryside looked splendid now that the sun had come up.’ As always after my responses to his questions he would remain thoughtfully silent, however, as we neared his home village he said, ‘I like the jokes in your religion, but I don’t think I would do the meditation.’ Sensing my disappointment, he went on, ‘But I would do Great Aunt Meditation’. ‘Well, what would that be?’ I asked doubtfully. ‘Great Aunt Meditation is chicken meditation. My great Aunt spends all afternoon in front of her fire. For hour after hour there she is in her chair, looking like she is asleep. But she knows where very chicken is and which way the wind is blowing and what loaf of rye bread the pantry mouse is munching.’ When we meditate we let the world be as it is; we let our heart just be. Then what is there can be, as W.A. Mathieu describes sounds as nourishment, holy food, and best friend. The plane roars through opening up your heart; you hum that old love song as you move from paying bills, to shopping to writing a difficult letter and the humming confirms it.

There is an old Taoist saying, ‘The hen can hatch her eggs because her heart is always listening.’ When we listen to hear another’s pain in their critical words, when we listen to our own pain when we are criticized, the depth of and warmth of our attending opens up the way for life to appear.

Later, in Lengow, I met Michal’s Great Aunt. She was frail, almost totally blind. Michal talked family with her in Slovak. She responded in rivers of Ruthenian. I listened in English. She plied me with Polish vodka. If you can’t understand at least you can drink! Michal asked me to explain Zen to her. I said, ‘Ask her if the birds are singing in her heart!’ Maybe he did, but she just poured me another vodka. As she laboured to get another log on the fire, Michal told me that it took her an-hour-and- a- half to get to church. ‘How far is the church?’ I asked for the village was tiny. ‘Oh about a hundred metres’, he said. ‘Is that because she is blind, because she can barely walk?’ ‘Yes. But mostly because she keeps stopping to enjoy what she can make out of the shadow and light. She picks up rocks and pebbles so she can feel them, talks to the dogs and cats, and to anyone she meet. It’s a long journey.


Ross Bolleter


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silence

Silence is a great help to a seeker after truth. In the attitude
of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light and what is
elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our
life is a long and arduous quest after Truth, and the
soul requires inward restfulness to attain its full height.
~Mohandas K Gandhi

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one day the heart was heavy. . . . the chambers constricted. . . .beating like
a swan running on tangled sod. . . . concerned about some unborn thing. . .
. a constriction of the knotted heart with no thoughts of flight. . . the noise of the mind
entangled and blocked by weeds. . . . till there was no room to move . . . i fluttered
without gracefulness to the center of the lake, which humans call silence. . . . then. . . .
peace  found  in the underside of tired wings that rested on the lake. . . . while the heart
in it’s feathers pounded softer and softer. . . . and i surrendered into the One that is
always present and able to bear the totality of all heaviness and all heaven. . . . .
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Fear not what is not real, never was and never will be . What is real, always was and cannot be destroyed. Bhagavad Gita.

in the process. . . ” This then is the human problem, there is a price to be paid for every increase in consciousness. We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain.”
Alan Watts

Look within

There is no difference

between yourself, Self, and Guru

You are always Free,

There is no teacher,

there is no student,

there is no teaching.

Papaji

As the rivers flowing East and West merge in the sea, become one with it. Forgetting they were ever separate rivers. So do all creatures lose their separateness when they merge at last into pure Being.

Chandogyo Upanishad

When you don’t require anything from the world and nothing from God. When you don’t desire anything, when you don’t strive for anything, don’t expect anything, the divine will enter you, unasked and unexpected

.Nisargadatta.

Separate yourself of all “twoness”. Be one in one, one on one, one with one.

Meister Eckhart

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You are the Unchangeable Awareness in which All activity takes place.
Always Rest in Peace.
You are Eternal Being, Unbounded and Undivided.
Just Keep Quite.
All is well.
Keep Quiet Here and Now.
You are Happiness.
You are Peace.
You are Freedom.
Do not entertain any notions that you are in trouble.
Be Kind to Yourself.
Open to your Heart and Simply Be.

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Papaji

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what is the shape of love?

what we see is not the most important
could dust rise without the invisible
hands of the wind?

tell me
what is the shape of love?
how much does it weight
when held in the palm of your hands?
can you catch the spirit of life
in a jar?

all things seen depend
upon the Unseen
all sounds depend upon Silence
all things felt depend
upon what is not felt.
Adyashanti

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Join me here Now
where there are no points of view.
Slip under good and bad
right and wrong
worthy and unworthy
sinner and saint.
Meet me here

where everything is unframed
before understanding
and not understanding.
Meet me here

where silence roars
where stillness is dancing
where the eternal is living and dying.
Meet me here

where you are not you
where you are it
and It is unspeakable.
Meet me here

where all points of vies
merge into a single point
that then disappears.
Meet me here

before there ever was something
before there was nothing.
Meet me here

where everything speaks of this
where everything has
always spoken this
where nothing is ever lost and found.
Meet me here.

Adyashanti

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