we were made for these times

time robert mueller
 
My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.

I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.

Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.

In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.

We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn’t you say you were a believer? Didn’t you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn’t you ask for grace? Don’t you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.

What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.

Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.

There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.

The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.
 
Clarissa Pinkola Estes
 

we’re not so concerned about deep understanding

1qr9

If you

are trying to attain

enlightenment, you are creating

and being driven by karma, and you are

wasting your time on your black cushion.

The most important things in our practice are

our physical posture and our way of breathing.

We are not so concerned about a deep understanding

of Buddhism. As a philosophy, Buddhism is a very deep,

wide, and firm system of thought, but zen is not concerned

about philosophical understanding. We emphasize practice.

We should understand why our physical posture and

breathing exercise are so important. Instead of

having a deep understanding of the teaching,

we need a strong confidence in our

teaching, which says that

originally we have

Buddha nature.

Our practice is

based on this

faith.

 

Shunryu Suzuki

 

Hexagram 55: FÊNG /

ABUNDANCE

 

In

the search 

for enlightenment, 

there is an ever-present 

certainty that there is more to do, 

someone else who holds the 

secret, another state to 

attain.

 

In the 

finding of it, 

there is the comical

revelation that not one

of those things was 

ever true.

 

小畜

Hexagram 9: HSIAO CH’U /

THE TAMING POWER OF THE SMALL

 

The

best effort 

one can make is the 

gentlest effort: wei wu wei. 

Quietly, persistently direct the 

mind toward emptiness. When 

all thoughts and ideas have 

dissipated, then make no 

further effort. Just 

breathe. 

 

This

is the only

practice required of a 

human, the best one, the one 

that perfectly purifies

our lives.

 

Wei wu Wei Ching

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make a oneness of the world

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Once 

you’ve begun 

to understand the Way, 

concentrate upon it without 

pause. This is the sunlight 

that matures the fruit 

of your realization. 

 

Maintaining 

your insight through 

whatever comes, you make 

a Oneness of the world, and

conditions such as “good”

and “bad” drop 

away.

 

Wei wu Wei Ching, Chapter 40

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storm gon’ come

happy birthday donald trump

 

Thus 

the superior warrior 

lures and deceives, falls back 

and then surges, drawing the opponent 

this way and that into the path of his strikes.  

His emphasis is not on the effect of 

one movement, but rather

the weight of his

combinations.

 

He 

uses his soldiers 

like a multitude of arrows and stones, 

sometimes keeping them still, sometimes releasing 

them in a terrible storm, like boulders

hurtling down a steep mountain.  

This is the way to 

shape energy 

in war.

 

from The Art of War, Chapter V

 

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listen with your primal spirit

Ignored Tags: $0152
 

Center

your attention. Stop

listening with your ears and listen with

your mind. Then stop listening with your mind and

listen with your primal spirit. Hearing is limited to the

ear. Mind is limited to tallying things up. But

the primal spirit is empty: it’s simply

that which awaits

things.