A personal blog by a graying (mostly Anglo with light African-American roots) gay leftist leaning liberal progressive fit married college-educated former Baha'i NPR-listening Professor Emeritus now following the Dharma from California to Minas Gerais, Brasil.
Our prayers and aspirations can reach far. We can see the light of stars that are thousands of light years away. Those stars may not even exist any longer, but the light they sent out can still travel and reach us here. The mind can travel even farther. There is no limit to where our aspirations can reach.
from the book “The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out”
Compassion is not hard to come by when the heart is not filled with the cunning things of the mind. It is the mind with its demands and fears, its attachments and denials, its determinations and urges, that destroys love. And how difficult it is to be simple about all this!
You don't need philosophies and doctrines to be gentle and kind. The efficient and the powerful of the land will organize to feed and clothe the people, to provide them with shelter and medical care.
This is inevitable with the rapid increase of production; it is the function of well-organized government and a balanced society. But organization does not give the generosity of the heart and hand.
Generosity comes from quite a different source, a source beyond all measure. Ambition and envy destroy it as surely as fire burns. This source must be touched, but one must come to it empty-handed, without prayer, without sacrifice. Books cannot teach, nor can any guru lead to, this source. It cannot be reached through the cultivation of virtue, though virtue is necessary, nor through capacity and obedience. When the mind is serene, without any movement, it is there. Serenity is without motive, without the urge for the more.
in precisely those moments when we experience how crowded our minds are
that we have the chance of letting go and experiencing just how light
we can be. What a joy to simply bow and light a stick of incense.