A hermit, who lived in the forest close to a village, was one day confronted by an angry crowd of villagers, who accused him of having made a young girl pregnant.
“Is that so?” was all he said.
He took the young girl in and looked after her. After some time had passed the young girl went back to the village and confessed to her parents that she had lied; the son of their neighbour, whom she loved, was the father.
The villagers went back to the hermit, apologized profusely, telling him the story.
All he said was: “Is that so?”
~~ O ~~
Like the monk in the story our strongest habitual responses are often anger or the other side of the same coin – depression. This is reflected in the detailed teaching from the Desert Tradition about the ‘Demon of Anger’. The Desert hermits considered that one way of dealing with the automatic angry response to the insults of others was the virtue of humility.
This is a photo of a quote taped on a friend’s favorite spot, her desk.
We read it so many times, make up meanings and meanings change depending in our moods. For most time we make fun out of it.
An ant goes round and round without
Like all beings in the six realms of
Born here and dying there without
Now becoming a hungry ghost, then
If you are searching for freedom from
You must hear the sound of one hand.
These are still resonant words.
Take a break from the clamorous rat
race of modern life.
She was searching for freedom from suffering is the focal point of this quote. Freedom means death. And we both just listened for it to come. And it did come for her and I did not hear it coming.
What is the sound of one hand clapping? Well, it’s actually a sign for the deaf. You raise your hand or hands and start shaking them up in the air. This is how the deaf clap their hands. No sound.
What does an Atheist and a Zen have in common? They are both have a column in Common Ground magazine.
David Suzuki writes an article about Science Matters. He is an atheist. He denies the existence of God but his work, in my opinion, is about godly matters such as the Nature of Things. His mind is fascinating and captivating. He was born in Vancouver, Canada. I have attended his lectures. David wrote the book The Sacred Balance.Eckhart Tolle writes an article about Finding Zen. He is the author of the Power of Now and his latest book, A New Earth. A spiritual teacher, born in Germany and took residence in Vancouver. I have never seen him nor read any of his books.Common Ground has articles about Sufism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sahaja Yoga, and Inter-Faith, to name a few. However, I still have yet to see an article about Catholicism.Reading this magazine expands my curiosity about other belief systems. The more I understand the more I become in tune with my own personal faith as a Catholic. Catholic means “universal”.Excerpt from Suzuki: Science of Breathing:
“Your next breath will contain more than 400,000 of the argon atoms that Gandhi breathed in his long life. Argon atoms are here from the conversations at the Last Supper, from the arguments of diplomats at Yalta, and from the recitations of the classic poets. We have argon from the sighs and pledges of ancient lovers, from the battle cries at Waterloo, even from last year’s argonic output by the writer of these lines, who personally has had already more than 300 million breathing experiences.”
About.com excerpt from New Earth:
“People believe themselves to be dependent on what happens for their happiness, that is to say, dependent on form. They don’t realize that what happens is the most unstable thing in the universe. It changes constantly. They look at the present moment as either marred by something that has happened and shouldn’t have or as deficient because of something that has not happened but should have. And so they miss the deeper perfection that is inherent in life itself, a perfection that is always already here, that lies beyond what is happening or not happening, beyond form.”
QUOTE – Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard: Life must be lived forward, but can only be understood backward.Keeping this quote in mind, I don’t believe in the Power of Now. However, I know what awareness, mindfulness and what is. At least with the Science of Breathing, I learned about science as well as part of my faith, knowing that I am breathing in the argon of those people at the Last Supper.
For Catholics, today is Ash Wednesday, first day of Lent. It is a period of reflection living Lent. It is a time of prayer. It’s about dying to our self, all that negative attitude and thoughts.In one of my retreats, Lent was defined as: L – Lets E – Eliminate N – Negative T – ThoughtsHaving said that, I learned to use soft words, less on exclamation point to make a point, bite my tongue. For those who are familiar with cognitive behaviour, this is what they teaches in the course. It all makes sense to me.This period is not all about me; it’s all about God whoever you conceive him to be, from Abba to Zen. They said God lives in us. Can you see the reflection of God in another person? Or let’s not even mention God. Can you see the goodness of a person?You see, I believe that we are all inherently good.Since you told me in my post Tell me and I will tell you mine, I will tell you the title of this list: Fasting and Feasting. I choose Feasting. Instead of giving up, I will give in and listen to the prompting of God.I will leave you with something to think about, a poem:“I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. “ Etienne de Grellet (1773-1855); Quaker missionarySomething to read: We can make a difference right now A Genie in a bottle or 12 steps program Kindness of a stranger