Some contemplations.... - via E. R. Blomgren, PhD         aka
Recent thoughtful words discovered in my readings and travels ~
[See also this page  for quotes I've carried for years]
Language is often regarded as something you use to get by in your life. But language should fulfill your individual existence as a wholesome human being who knows how to speak as well as how to communicate with others. I think we have to draw a line between these two approaches: either you use words just to jumble things together or you speak so that you declare yourself as an individual. Language should be more than just getting by. ~Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
Our problems can’t be solved by eliminating each and every outer cause. Nevertheless, people everywhere take this approach: “It’s the world’s fault; it’s too rough, too sharp, too alien. If I could get rid of these outer woes, I’d be happy.” Shantideva says: If you want to protect your feet, wear shoes; and if you want to protect yourself from the world’s provocations, tame your mind. The antidote to misery is to stay present.  ~Pema Chodron
  • "There are periods of history when the visions of madmen and dope fiends are a better guide to reality than the common-sense interpretation of data available to the so-called normal mind. This is one such period, if you haven't noticed already."
  • "Every war results from the struggle for markets and spheres of influence, and every war is sold to the public by professional liars and totally sincere religious maniacs, as a Holy Crusade to save God and Goodness from Satan and Evil." 
  • "The worst that can happen under monarchy is rule by a single imbecile, but democracy often means the rule by an assembly of three or four hundred imbeciles."
  • "Everybody who has ever worked for a corporation knows that corporations conspire all the time. Politicians conspire all the time, pot-dealers conspire not to get caught by the narcs, the world is full of conspiracies. Conspiracy is natural primate behavior." 
          ~Robert Anton Wilson
“There's a tribe in West Africa whose members count the birthday of a child from the day the child is first a thought in its mother's mind. On that day, a woman goes out and sits under a tree and quietly listens and waits until she can hear the song of her child. When she has heard the song, she returns to her village and teaches it to the man whom [is] the child's father so that he can sing the song when they make love, inviting their child to join them. The expectant mother then sings this song to the child in her womb and teaches it to the midwives, who sing it when the child is born. And the villagers all learn the child's song, so that whenever the child cries or hurts itself, they pick it up, hold it in their arms, and sing the song. The song is also sung when the young man or woman goes through a rite of passage, or when he or she marries, and then, for the last time, when he or she is about to die. What a beautiful way for humans to listen to and comfort other human beings." ~Jack Kornfield
The church says: The body is a sin.
Science says: The body is a machine.
Adverstising says: The body is a business.
The Body says: I am a fiesta.
~ Eduardo Galeano
“What made me run away was doubtless not so much the fear of settling down, but of settling down permanently in something ugly.”
~ Albert Camus
“What I'm sure of is that you can't be happy without money. That's all. I don't like superficiality and I don't like romanticism. I like to be conscious. And what I've noticed is that there's a kind of spiritual snobbism in certain 'superior beings' who think that money isn't necessary for happiness. Which is stupid, which is false, and to a certain degree cowardly.... For a man who is well born, being happy is never complicated... Only it takes time to be happy. A lot of time. Happiness, too, is a long patience. And in almost every case, we use up our lives making money, when we should be using our money to gain time. That's the only problem that's ever interested me.... To have money is to have time. That's my main point. Time can be bought. Everything can be bought. To be or to become rich is to have time to be happy, if you deserve it.... Everything for happiness, against the world which surrounds us with its violence and its stupidity.... All the cruelty of our civilization can be measured by this one axiom: happy nations have no history.”
~ Camus
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous,
leading to the most amazing view.
~ this first line of Edward Abbey's poem "Benedicto"
"At least once a year, I imagine that I am about to die. Looking back as truthfully as I can at my entire life, I give full attention to the things I wish hadn’t occurred. Recognizing these mistakes honestly but without self-recrimination, I try to rejoice in the innate wisdom that allows me to see so bravely, and I feel compassion for how I so frequently messed up. Then I can go forward. The future is wide open, and what I do with it is up to me."   ~Pema Chodron
"Students used to ask Tibetan master Kalu Rinpoche, 'At what stage should we start to teach our children meditation and spiritual practice?' He said, 'How do you know that you should teach it to them at all? Don't bother doing that. What your children need to learn is what you communicate from how you are. What matters is not that you give them any spiritual practice but that you do your own.'"
     ~Jack Kornfield
"In your cocoon, occasionally you shout complaints, such as: “Leave me alone!” “Bug off.” “I want to be who I am.” Your cocoon is fabricated out of tremendous aggression, which comes from fighting against your environment, your parental or educational upbringing, your upbringing of all kinds. You don’t really have to fight with your cocoon. You can raise your head and just take a little peek out of the cocoon.
     When you first peek out, you may find the air a bit too fresh and cold. But it is the best fresh air of spring or autumn or, for that matter, the fresh air of winter or summer. It’s delightful. Then, having peeked, you become brave enough to climb out of the cocoon. You sit on your cocoon and look around. You stretch your arms and begin to develop dignity in your posture. The environment is friendly. It is called “Planet Earth.” Or it is called “Boston,” or “New York City.” It is your world."
~Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
A Chinese fable tells of a young man observing a sage at the village well. The old man was lowering a wooden bucket on a rope and pulling the water up slowly, hand over hand. The youth disappeared and returned with a pulley. He approached the old man and showed him how the device worked. "See, you put your rope around the wheel and draw up the water by cranking the handle." The old man resisted. "If I use a device like this, my mind will think itself clever. With a cunning mind I will no longer put my heart into what I am doing. Soon my wrists alone will do the work. If my heart and whole body are not in my work, my work will become joyless. When my work is joyless, how do you think the water will taste?"
The meditator develops new depths of insight through direct communication with the reality of the phenomenal world. He or she is able to see not only the absence of complexity, the absence of duality, but the stoneness of stone and the waterness of water. One sees things precisely as they are, not merely in the physical sense, but with awareness of their spiritual significance. Everything one sees is an expression of spiritual discovery. There is a vast understanding of symbolism and a vast understanding of energy. ~Pema Chodron
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