burn up & cool into ashes

muhammad ali portrait - Version 2

on this day a king was born

 

It’s simple 

to become a sage: all

that’s required is to burn up,

 die, and cool into

ashes.

 

Rise early, 

then, and set fire to

all you think and feel and 

believe. Look beyond the smoke 

of that pit into what is left: 

emptiness filled with 

emptiness. 

 

Breathe it in. 

Pour it out. Circulating 

the Oneness without stopping, 

endlessly renewing your determination, 

working steadily day after day and

year upon year, you’ll find 

yourself alert, rested, 

illuminated.

 

Wei wu Wei Ching, Chapter 18

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concentrate

2012-tawny-eagle-0
 
The essential thing in studying the Way is to make the roots deep and the stem strong. Be aware of where you really are twenty-four hours a day. You must be most attentive. When nothing at all gets on your mind, it all merges harmoniously, without boundaries — the whole thing is empty and still, and there is no more doubt or hesitation in anything you do. This is called the fundamental matter appearing ready-made.
 
As soon as you give rise to the slightest bit of dualistic perception or arbitrary understanding and you want to take charge of this fundamental matter and act the master, then you immediately fall into the realm of the clusters of form, sensation, conception, value synthesis, and consciousness. You are entrapped by seeing, hearing, feeling, and knowing, by gain and loss and right and wrong. You are half drunk and half sober and unable to clean all this up.
 
Frankly speaking, you simply must manage to keep concentrating even in the midst of clamor and tumult, acting as though there were not a single thing happening, penetrating all the way through from the heights to the depths. You must become perfectly complete, without any shapes or forms at all, without wasting effort, yet not inhibited from acting. Whether you speak or stay silent, whether you get up or lie down, it is never anyone else.
 
If you become aware of getting at all stuck or blocked, this is all false thought at work. Make yourself completely untrammeled, like empty space, like a clear mirror on its stand, like the rising sun lighting up the sky. Moving or still, going or coming, it doesn’t come from the outside. Let go and make yourself independent and free, not being bound by things and not seeking to escape from things. From beginning to end, fuse everything into one whole. Where has there ever been any separate worldly phenomenon apart from the buddhadharma, or any separate buddhadharma apart from worldly phenomena?
 
Yuanwu
 

stay centered in the tao

brian browne walker meditation

 

Stay

centered in the Tao

and the world comes to you: 

comes, and isn’t harmed; 

comes, and finds

contentment. 

 

Most

travelers are drawn

to music and good food. 

When Tao is talked about, the words

can seem bland and flavorless. Looked at,

it may not catch the eye. Listened to,

it might not seduce the ear. 

Used, it can never be

exhausted.

 

from The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu,

Chapter 35


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the grounds for hope are in the shadows

atmosphere from ISS
 

The grounds

for hope are in the shadows,

in the people who are inventing the world

while no one looks, who themselves don’t know yet

whether they will have any effect, in the people you have

not yet heard of who will be the next Cesar Chavez, the next

Noam Chomsky, the next Cindy Sheehan, or become something

you cannot yet imagine. In this epic struggle between light and dark,

it’s the dark side — that of the anonymous, the unseen, the officially

powerless, the visionaries and subversives in the shadows —

that we must hope for. For those onstage, we can just

hope the curtain comes down soon and the

next act is better, that it comes more

directly from the populist

shadows.

 

Rebecca Solnit