It is better to perform one’s own duties imperfectly than to master the duties of another. By fulfilling the obligations he is born with, a person never comes to grief. No one should abandon duties because he sees defects in them. Every action, every activity, is surrounded by defects as a fire is surrounded by smoke.
– Bhagavad Gita 18:47-48
Knowledge is light; avarice ice. Knowledge is water; this world dirt. A trickle of wisdom appears from beyond to check the vices of this world. Should the trickle become abundant, none would endure, be it virtue or vice.
– Rumi, "Mathnawi"
In meditation, don’t expect anything. Just sit back and see what happens. Treat the whole thing as an experiment. Take an active interest in the test itself, but don’t get distracted by your expectations about the results. For that matter, don’t be anxious for any result whatsoever.
– Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, "Mindfulness in Plain English"
Arjuna: O Krishna, you have said that knowledge is greater than action; why then do you ask me to wage this terrible war? Your advice seems inconsistent. Give me one path to follow to the supreme god.
Sri Krishna: At the beginning of time I declared two paths for the pure heart; jnana yoga, the contemplative path of spiritual wisdom, and karma yoga, the active path of selfless service.
– Bhagavad Gita 3:1-3
Who runs after honor comes behind him who flees from it.
– Talmud Jerushalmi: Aboda Zara, 3:1
You touch in me that chord
Of music unplayed by hands
Music as of gilded harp that
By open window stands
Caressed by unseen breeze
Silent strings quiver with noise –
Mere thought of your breath thereon
Strikes dumb all earthly voice.
December 8, 1988
For a time my love
Is beyond your reach
No longer manifest save
In the late afternoon
Insistent ringing cutting
Through empty space departed
When the door opens
And billows dust about
Air stirs around you
As your fingers touch the phone
Do you feel the love echoing
In Touchtones from your walls?
November 17, 1981
It’s been years since I wrote any. I just now finished going through the folder containing what’s left of my old stuff. It’s not much, maybe 30+ poems. I’ve decided, for some unfathomable reason, to inflict my poetic madness on the world at large.
Not all of it. Not yet.
For example, I don’t know if I’m ready to show you the overly flowery, pseudo-goth piece I wrote in high school. It’s kind of embarrassing and drama-queenish.
However, there are a few that make me feel almost like a fer-real poet and stuff when I read them. I hope you feel the same when you read them, but if you don’t, that’s okay too. At the very least, it’ll give you something to make fun of 🙂
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It is crucial for you to understand what meditation is. It is not some special posture, and it’s not just a set of mental exercises. Meditation is the cultivation of mindfulness and the application of that mindfulness once cultivated. You do not have to sit to meditate. You can meditate while washing the dishes. You can meditate in the shower, or roller skating, or typing letters. Meditation is awareness, and it must be applied to each and every activity of one’s life. This isn’t easy.
– Henepola Gunaratana, "Mindfulness in Plain English"
Those who follow the path of service, who have completely purified themselves and conquered their senses and self-will, see the Self in all creatures and are untouched by any activity they perform.
– Bhagavad Gita 5:7
The awakened sages call a person wise when all his undertakings are free from anxiety about results; all his selfish desires have been consumed in the fire of knowledge. The wise, ever satisfied, have abandoned external supports.
– Bhagavad Gita
If you seek after truth, you should investigate things in such a way that your consciousness as you investigate is not distracted by what you find, or diffused and scattered; neither is it fixed and set. For the one who is not swayed, there will be a transcending of birth, death, and time. Whether you walk or stand or lie down, Stretch your limbs or draw them in again, Let you do all these things attentively, Above, across, and back again. Whatever your place in the world, Let you be the one who views the movement Of all compounded things with attention.
– Itivuttaka Sutta