Language is the metaphor we use to communicate our deepest feelings. A couple’s sexuality is the most profound vehicle of communication available. The words we use and our physical language of love define our love experience.
Penetration is the word often used to describe the culminating act of sex. It’s a word I often use when describing the best use of a good lubricant. But it was just this week after using the word in conjunction with the act that I wondered what I was saying. The verb to penetrate has six different definitions in the dictionary and as in the power of any metaphor, the meaning one attaches to the term may deeply influence our relationship to the act.
“The verb to penetrate has six different definitions in the dictionary and as in the power of any metaphor, the meaning one attaches to the term may deeply influence our relationship to the act.”—Wendy Strgar
A delightful conversation with Kamalashila, one of the most experienced meditation teachers in the Triratna Buddhist Order. This first interview of a proposed quarterly series was recorded in summer 2012 and affords some lovely insights into Kamalashila’s own history of practice as it interweaves with that of the Triratna Community since the early 1970s. A thought-provoking look back at the roots of that community, and an optimistic look forward in the light of many changes and new kinds of realities…
“How boundless and free is the sky of Awareness! How bright the full moon of wisdom! Truly, is anything missing now? Nirvana is right here, before our eyes; this very place is the Lotus Land; this very body, the Buddha.”—Hakuin Zenji, Song of Zazen (via grvt)
“Even though we may recognize at times that the basic ground of our existence is fundamentally open and fresh, like a crisp blue sky on a winter’s day, still we seem to get stuck in patterns of “bad weather” in which we feel stuck, un-loved, un-loving, unappreciated, pissed off, grouchy and resentful. It’s important to keep in mind that no weather is ever permanent.”—David Nichtern (via cazham)
“We must face the fact that fear is lurking in our lives, always, in everything we do. On the other hand, acknowledging fear is not a cause for depression or discouragement. Because we possess such fear, we also are potentially entitled to experience fearlessness. True fearlessness is not the reduction of fear, but going beyond fear.”—Chögyam Trungpa (via darkinterludes)
“The religious demand is a great and unavoidable demand; it is a solemn demand of the will. Religion is a human being’s goal, not a means to something else.”—Kitaro Nishida - An Inquiry into the Good, ch. 28 (via meltyrbrain)
“Our mind and our delusions are formless and colorless. However, our ignorance believing in true existence is harder than a rocky mountain. Our delusions are harder than steel.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche”—(via thetaooflife)
“Do you see this glass? I love this glass. It holds the water admirably. When the sun shines on it, it reflects the light beautifully. When I tap it, it has a lovely ring. Yet for me, this glass is already broken. When the wind knocks it over or my elbow knocks it off the shelf and it falls to the ground and shatters, I say, ‘Of course.’ But when I understand that this glass is already broken, every minute with it is precious.”—Ajahn Chah (via iklunk)
THERE are signs of accomplishment such as having good health and long life or becoming famous and influential, but these belong to the superficial type of accomplishment. The true, unmistaken signs of accomplishment as established by the masters of the lineage, are to possess compassion, devotion and an acute sense of impermanence.
What is our life but this dance of transient forms? Isn’t everything always changing: the leaves on the trees in the park, the light in your room as you read this, the seasons, the weather, the time of day, the people passing you in the street? And what about us? Doesn’t everything we have done in the past seem like a dream now? The friends we grew up with, the childhood haunts, those views and opinions we once held with such single-minded passion: We have left them all behind. Now, at this moment, reading this book seems vividly real to you. Even this page will soon be only a memory.
The cells of our body are dying, the neurons in our brain are decaying, even the expression on our face is always changing, depending on our mood. What we call our basic character is only a “mindstream,” nothing more. Today we feel good because things are going well; tomorrow we feel the opposite. Where did that good feeling go? New influences took us over as circumstances changed: We are impermanent, the influences are impermanent, and there is nothing solid or lasting anywhere that we can point to.
What could be more unpredictable than our thoughts and emotions: do you have any idea what you are going to think or feel next? Our mind, in fact, is as empty, as impermanent, and as transient as a dream. Look at a thought: It comes, it stays, and it goes. The past is past, the future not yet risen, and even the present thought, as we experience it, becomes the past.
The only thing we really have is nowness, is now.
Sometimes when I teach these things, a person will come up to me afterward and say: “All this seems obvious! I’ve always known it. Tell me something new.” I say to him or her: “Have you actually understood, and realized, the truth of impermanence? Have you so integrated it with your every thought, breath, and movement that your life has been transformed? Ask yourself these two questions: Do I remember at every moment that I am dying, and everyone and everything else is, and so treat all beings at all times with compassion? Has my understanding of death and impermanence become so keen and so urgent that I am devoting every second to the pursuit of enlightenment? If you can answer ‘yes’ to both of these, then you have really understood impermanence.
“Millions of people have decided not to be sensitive. They have grown thick skins around themselves just to avoid being hurt by anybody. But it is at great cost. Nobody can hurt them, but nobody can make them happy either.”—Osho (via nuclearharvest)
I’m a “yes, but” kind of guy. No matter how great an idea is I will find the downside to it pretty quickly, especially if there is a good chance that I may possess a talent or some experience that would lend well to it.
Todd, have you ever thought of being a professional writer?
“All your seriousness is about sandcastles. And you yourself will leave them one day, trampling them down, and you will not look back. The people who take it seriously miss the beauty of playfulness.”—Osho (via lazyyogi)
I've been reading your posts and really enjoying them, they're all so insightful :) Why did you start practicing yoga and what got you hooked?
If you’re referring to physical yoga, I started last August. Between being unemployed, directionless, and split from my ex, I was in a pretty rough place back then. Going to yoga every other day helped me to release some of the emotional tension built up in my body.
It proved to be a useful space both physically and mentally in which to keep things in perspective. It also started helping me feel better about myself, gaining a trusting relationship with my body and appreciating the way it changed shape with the regularity of my practice.
As for meditation and spirituality in general, I started getting into them with real sincerity in college. My father died the summer before my senior year in high school, then one of my best friends took his own life a few years later. The reality and finality of death was something I couldn’t sanely accept without further investigation. So I investigated.
Because I wanted insight as opposed to answers, religion wasn’t enough for me. I needed my own understanding. Eventually this led me to meditation. The right circumstances met with the right teachers and soon I was meditating daily.
I’m hooked for the simple reason that sanity is tasty.
“If we can be present exactly in the moment we are living, we can step outside of time altogether. We live immersed in that eternity, after all — we just forget, until something like starlight wakes us up to it again.”—Kathleen McTigue (Unitarian Universalist, clergy) Shine and Shadow: Meditations (via uuquotes)
“The universe contracts, the sun, moon, and stars go black; even if blows of the cane shower like rain, and shouts thunder, this still does not measure up to the business of the transcendent methodology of Zen. Even the Buddhas of past, present, and future can only know for themselves; even the Zen masters through the ages have been unable to bring it up entirely. The entire Buddhist canon cannot explain it thoroughly; even Zennists with clear eyes cannot save themselves completely. When you get to this point, how do you ask for instruction? Even to speak the word Buddha is dragging in the mud soaking wet; even to say the word Zen is a total embarrassment. More-developed people who have studied for a long time do not need to wait for it to be said; as for younger students who are just beginning, they should investigate thoroughly.”—Secrets of the Blue Cliff Record: Zen Comments by Hakuin and Tenkei translated by Thomas Cleary, page 6. (via dharmasimulation)
“When we try to calm our mind, we almost create more trouble for ourselves than we already had. We might do all kinds of spiritual practice, hold our breath, close our eyes, pinch our nose, and stand upside down. We think - what can we do? But if we leave some space for not-doing the mind will settle on its own, just like a glass of water will settle if we stop shaking it.”—David Nichtern (via cazham)
“I am of the nature to grow sick, I cannot escape sickness.
I am of the nature to grow old, I cannot escape old age.
I am of the nature to die, and I cannot escape death.
Everyone I know and love is of the nature to change, I cannot avoid separation from them.
My actions are my only true belongings and I cannot escape their consequences.”—Thich Nhat Hanh (via chaosintheaisles)
“Where does rain come from? It
comes from all the dirty water
that evaporates from the earth,
like urine and the water you
throw out after washing your
feet. Isn’t it wonderful how the
sky can take that dirty water and
change it into pure, clean water?
Your mind can do the same with
your defilements if you let it.”—