Tuesday, April 20, 2010

the spiritual in art

"Every work of art is the child of his age, and in many cases, the mother of our emotions."

Wassily Kandinsky

Monday, April 19, 2010

art and spirituality

The Spiritual in Twentieth Century Art by Roger Lipsey

Images, like words, are vehicles of consciousness; they allow us to think silently."

Roger Lipsey

Preview at Google Books

Thursday, April 15, 2010

opposite of

The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.

Elie Wiesel


To conquer oneself is a greater task than conquering others.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Originally uploaded by madsolitaire
Why seek without when everything you need is within?

Picture: All Rights Reserved ® aml.2010

Monday, April 12, 2010


Loneliness does not come from having no people about one,
but from being unable to communicate the things that seem
important to oneself, or from holding certain views
which others find inadmissible.

Carl Jung

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Buddhism - religion? Or not

If we want to be free of the pain we inflict on ourselves and each other -- in other words, if we want to be happy -- then we have to learn to think for ourselves.

Although he was a prince born into a wealthy and powerful family, the young Siddhartha often just wanted to get away from it all. He wanted the space to think independently about who he was and what the spiritual path was about. Such freethinking was important to the Buddha's search for inner truth and his ultimate realization of enlightenment. These days more and more people in the West are following the teachings and example of the Buddha. But what are these teachings about? What is Buddhism? It looks like a religion, but is it?

Those teachings today still describe a deeply personal inner journey that's spiritual, yes, but not religious. The Buddha wasn't a god -- he wasn't even a Buddhist. You're not required to have more faith in the Buddha than you do in yourself. His power lies in his teachings, which show us how to work with our minds to realize our full capacity for wakefulness and happiness. These teachings can help us satisfy our search for the truth -- our need to know who and what we really are.

Where do we find this truth? Although we can rely to some degree on the wisdom we find in books and on the advice of respected spiritual authorities, that's only the beginning. The journey to genuine truth begins when you discover a true question -- one that comes from the heart -- from your own life and experience. That question will lead to an answer that will lead to another question, and so on. That's how it goes on the spiritual path.

We start by bringing an open, inquisitive, and skeptical mind to whatever we hear, read, or see that presents itself as the truth. We examine it with reason and we put it to the test in meditation and in our lives. As we gain insight into the workings of the mind, we learn how to recognize and deal with our day-to-day experiences of thoughts and emotions. We uncover inaccurate and unhelpful habits of thinking and begin to correct them. Eventually we're able to overcome the confusion that makes it so hard to see the mind's naturally brilliant awareness. In this sense, the Buddha's teachings are a method of investigation, or a science of mind.

Religion, on the other hand, often provides us with answers to life's big questions from the start. We don't have to think about it too much. We learn what to think and believe and our job is to live up to that, not to question it. If we relate to the Buddha's teachings as final answers that don't need to be examined, then we're practicing Buddhism as a religion.

Full article by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche at Buddhist Channel

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

qualities of the mind

Throughout its history, Buddhism has worked as a civilizing force. Its teachings on karma, for instance — the principle that all intentional actions have consequences — have taught morality and compassion to many societies. But on a deeper level, Buddhism has always straddled the line between civilization and wilderness. The Buddha himself gained Awakening in a forest, gave his first sermon in a forest, and passed away in a forest. The qualities of mind he needed in order to survive physically and mentally as he went, unarmed, into the wilds, were key to his discovery of the Dhamma. They included resilience, resolve, and alertness; self-honesty and circumspection; steadfastness in the face of loneliness; courage and ingenuity in the face of external dangers; compassion and respect for the other inhabitants of the forest. These qualities formed the "home culture" of the Dhamma.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

The Customs of the Noble Ones

Monday, April 05, 2010

going forth - Pabbajja

True holiness is never born without solitude;
never is it perfected without struggle with the passions within.

Going Forth - A call to Buddhist monkhood by Sumana Samanera

Picture: All Rights Reserved ® aml.2009


"I know not, Ananda, even of a single form whereby pleasure and satisfaction in form does not pass into sorrow and lamentation, pain, grief, despair, since it is transient and changeable. This world, however, seeks pleasure, loves pleasure, prizes pleasure. Only a few beings are stirred by things that are truly stirring, in comparison with the greater number who remain unstirred by truly stirring things. And again, there are only a few who, being stirred, earnestly strive, in comparison with the greater number who, being stirred, yet do not earnestly strive."


Picture: All Rights Reserved ® aml.2010