“One of the extraordinary things about liberation is that you do not feel the need to control things when you’re free, because the illusory nature of control becomes clear to you.”
Sometimes it is hard to write in English when you’ve been talking to your great-grandmother on the phone but she is also your niece, and in her language there are no separate words for time and space. In her kinship system every three generations there is a reset in which your grandparents’ parents are classified as your children, an eternal cycle of renewal. In her traditional language she asks you something that translates directly into English as ‘what place’ but actually means ‘what time’, and you reluctantly shift yourself into that paradigm, because you know it will be hard as hell to shift back out of it again when you go back to work. Kinship moves in cycles, the land moves in seasonal cycles, the sky moves in stellar cycles and time is so bound up in those things that it is not even a separate concept from space. We experience time in a very different way from people immersed in flat schedules and story-less surfaces. In our spheres of existence, time does not go in a straight line, and it is as tangible as the ground we stand on.
Tyson Yunkaporta, Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke
“In early June 2020 I made my first pilgrimage by subway to the Brooklyn disaster morgue perimeter. I have returned every 10 to 25 days since then, on behalf of all our vigil-keepers across the country.
Standing quietly outside the chain-link fence, walking slowly from one
vantage point to another around the end of the pier, I bear witness to
the morgue trailers surrounded by abandoned warehouses and dilapidated hangars, cracked asphalt and roaring motors…
At one angle I can glimpse the Statue of Liberty out in the harbor beyond, her torch raised over the morgue trucks even during the hours that remain uncovered by our human vigil.”
More at Lion’s Roar
“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I
think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air,
but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we
don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black,
curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”
“You pick up a seashell not just because it is pretty, but because its twirled perfection and the way the light through its walls remind you of the most important thing you have ever forgotten.”
“For Zen students the most important thing is not to be dualistic. Our ‘original mind’ includes everything within itself. You should not lose your self-sufficient state of mind. This does not mean a closed mind, but actually an empty mind and a ready mind. If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few. If you discriminate too much, you limit yourself. If you are too demanding or too greedy, your mind is not rich and self-sufficient.…In the beginner’s mind there is no thought, ‘I have attained something.’ All self-centered thoughts limit our vast mind.
When we have no thought of achievement, no thought of self, we are true beginners. Then we can really learn something. The beginner’s mind is the mind of compassion. When our mind is compassionate, it is boundless.
Dogen-zenji, the founder of our school, always emphasized how important it is to resume our original mind. Then we are always true to ourselves, in sympathy with all beings, and can actually practice.”