Friday, March 30, 2007

pondering potatoes

One of my teachers had each of us bring a clear plastic bag and a sack of potatoes. For every person in our life that we refuse to forgive, we chose a potato, wrote on it the name and date, and put it in the plastic bag. Some of our bags were quite heavy.

We were then told to carry this bag with us everywhere we went for one week – we had to put it beside our bed at night, on the car seat when driving, next to our desk at work, and so on. The hassle of lugging this bag of potatoes around made it clear what a weight we were carrying spiritually (and emotionally).

Naturally, the condition of the potatoes deteriorated to a nasty slime. This was a great metaphor for the price we pay for keeping our pain and heavy negativity! Too often we think of forgiveness as a gift to the other person, when clearly it is a gift for ourselves...

From an unsigned posting on a web discussion group,
Published in The New York Kokoro Newsletter Oct 2006

our mind

A Grade-One teacher once asked her class "What is the biggest thing in the world?" One little girl answered "My daddy". A little boy said "An elephant", since he'd recently been to the zoo. Another girl suggested "A mountain".

The six-year-old daughter of a close friend of mine replied, "My eye is the biggest thing in the world"! The class stopped. Even the teacher didn't understand her answer. So the little philosopher explained "Well, my eye can see her daddy, an elephant, and a mountain too. It can also see so much else. If all of that can fit into my eye, then my eye must be the biggest thing in the world." Brilliant!

However, she was not quite right. The mind can see everything that one's eye can see, and it can also imagine so much more. It can also hear, smell, taste and touch, as well as think. In fact, everything that can be known can fit into the mind. Therefore, the mind must be the biggest thing in the world. Science's mistake is obvious now. The mind is not in the brain, nor in the body. The brain, the body and the rest of the world, are in the mind!

Monday, March 26, 2007

ashes of the dead

"Uncalled he hither came, unbidden soon to go;
Even as he came, he went. What cause is here for woe?
No friend's lament can touch the ashes of the dead:
He fares the way he had to tread."

The Jataka

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Ever Tractatus

We often speak with fear of not being understood, and just as often we refrain from speaking out of the same fear.
What is more touching, for example, more desperate and fragile than a declaration of love? When I say that I love you, I am reaching across an unbridgeable abyss. You have no means to compare the content of this statement to the real state of affairs in my head and heart, nor can I be sure that what you understood me to say is just what I meant by it. In fact, I cannot control the meaning of this phrase even for myself. But for as long as we live, we find ourselves wondering, sometimes doubting what these words refer to in ourselves and in the other, whether, for instance, they could be a conventional reflex that does not necessarily correspond to an authentic feeling.

Alfred Nordmann in Wittgenstein's Tractatus

Sunday, March 04, 2007

We must walk a fine line between
surender and engagement.

Rob Preece