True dharma practice is a revolutionary activity, and you can’t do it in a comfortable way. You really have to challenge the whole identity of your life. But the strength that’s asked for is not necessarily the strength of eliminating the impurities of body and mind, or fighting against the defilements of greed, hatred, and delusion, the inner corruptions, though this language is very common in Theravadin, Tibetan, and Zen Buddhism. The strength that’s needed is the courage of heart to remain undefended and open, a willingness to touch the ten-thousand joys and the ten-thousand sorrows from our compassion, the deepest place of our being. This is a different kind of fearlessness, which requires as much or more passion and fire.
Direct your eye right inward, and you’ll find a thousand regions in your mind yet undiscovered. Travel them and be expert in home-cosmography.
Ballet Dancers, California
Photograph by James L. Amos, National Geographic:
Like nodding flowers, these ballerinas flow together as much for the palette of their costumes as for the choreography of the dance. Photographer James L. Blair has wisely photographed from above, allowing the soft pastels of the tutus to seem suspended against the simple dark background of the floor. —Annie Griffiths
How sad they are,
the promises we never return to.
They stay in our mouths,
roughen the tongue, lead lives of their own.
Houses built and unwittingly lived in;
a succession of milk bottles brought to the door
every morning and taken inside.
And which one is real?
The music in the composer’s ear
or the lapsed piece the orchestra plays?
The world is a blurred version of itself —
marred, lovely, and flawed.
It is enough.
~ Jane Hirshfield from Of Gravity & Angels.
Thank you to, The Beauty We Love