Perception

Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh spoke of perceptions when I went to listen to him in London on my birthday in October 2000, and what he had to say has stuck with me all of these years. He said that we see everything through our perceptions, and they are nearly always wrong.  This was brought home to me again  when reading Byron Katie’s work. The first question she says to ask about anything we are facing is ‘is that true?’ It is amazing how many thoughts can float through our minds each day, and when the question ‘is that true?’ is asked, the answer is ‘no’.

~ gill

The following is from The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching
by Thich Nhat Hanh

Our perceptions are conditioned by the many afflictions that are present in us: ignorance, craving, hatred, anger, jealousy, fear, habit energies, etc. We perceive phenomena on the basis of our lack of insight into the nature of impermanence and interbeing. Practicing mindfulness, concentration, and deep looking, we can discover the errors of our perceptions and free ourselves from fear and clinging. All suffering is born from wrong perceptions. Understanding, the fruit of meditation, can dissolve our wrong perceptions and liberate us. We have to be alert always and never seek refuge in our perceptions.

 

Sure Heart’s Release

From After the Ecstasy, the Laundry:
How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path

by Jack Kornfield

For almost everyone who practices, cycles of awakening and
openness are followed by periods of fear and contraction.
Times of profound peace and newfound love are often over-
taken by periods of loss, by closing up, fear, or the discovery
of betrayal, only to be followed again by equanimity or joy. In
mysterious ways the heart reveals itself to be like a flower that
opens and closes. This is our nature. The only surprising thing is
how unexpected this truth can be. It is as if deep down we all
hope that some experience, some great realization, enough years
of dedicated practice, might finally lift us beyond the touch of
life, beyond the mundane struggles of the world. We cling to
some hope that in spiritual life we can rise above the wounds of
our human pain, never to have to suffer them again. We expect
some experience to last. But permanence is not true freedom,
not the sure heart’s release.

More from Jack Kornfield

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On Death

From The Prophet

by Kahlil Gibran

Than Almitra spoke, saying, “We would ask now of Death.”
And he said:
You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the sheered not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink form the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

Read more  Kahlil Gibran poems

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Higher Love Lyrics

Song Lyrics on Allspirit

Steve Winwood

Winwood/Jennings

Think about it, there must be higher love
Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above
Without it, life is a wasted time
Look inside your heart, I’ll look inside mine
Things look so bad everywhere
In this whole world, what is fair?
We walk blind and we try to see
Falling behind in what could be

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love
Where’s that higher love I keep thinking of?

Worlds are turning and we’re just hanging on
Facing our fear and standing out there alone
A yearning, and it’s real to me
There must be someone who’s feeling for me
Things look so bad everywhere
In this whole world, what is fair?
We walk blind and we try to see
Falling behind in what could be

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love
Where’s that higher love I keep thinking of?

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love
Bring be a higher love
I could rise above on a higher love

I will wait for it
I’m not too late for it
Until then, I’ll sing my song
To cheer the night along
Bring it…Oh bring it…

I could light the night up with my soul on fire
I could make the sun shine from pure desire
Let me feel that love come over me
Let me feel how strong it could be

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love
Where’s that higher love I keep thinking of?

Index of Lyrics on Allspirit

 

The Danger

The Danger

by Hafez

Love seems easy in a circle of friends,
But it’s difficult, difficult.

Morning air through the window, the taste of it,
with every moment camel bells leaving the caravanserai.

This is how we wake, with winespills
On the prayer rug, and even the tavernmaster
is loading up. My life has gone
From willfullness to disrepute,
And I won’t conceal, either, the joy
That led me out toward laughter.

Mountainous ocean, a moon hidden behind clouds,
The terror of being drawn under.

How can someone with a light shoulder-pack
Walking the beach know how a night sea-journey is?

Hafiz! Stay in the dangerous life that’s yours.
THERE you’ll meet the face
That dissolves fear.

from The Hand of Poetry Inayat Khan/Coleman Barks

Read more Hafez Poems

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