JUXTAPOSITION Fancy that 1 Whereas riches may become…

JUXTAPOSITION

Fancy that!

1) Whereas riches may become a mighty barrier between man and God, and rich people are often in great danger of attachment, yet people with small worldly possessions can also become attached to material things. The following Persian story of a king and a dervish illustrates this. Once there was a king who had many spiritual qualities and whose deeds were based on justice and loving-kindness. He often envied the dervish who had renounced the world and appeared to be free from the cares of this material life, for he roamed the country, slept in any place when night fell and chanted the praises of his Lord during the day. He lived in poverty, yet thought he owned the whole world. His only possessions were his clothes and a basket in which he carried the food donated by his well-wishers. The king was attracted to this way of life. Once he invited a well-known dervish to his palace, sat at his feet and begged him for some lessons about detachment.

The dervish was delighted with the invitation. He stayed a few days in the palace and whenever the king was free preached the virtues of a mendicant’s life to him. At last the king was converted. One day, dressed in the garb of a poor man, he left his palace in the company of the dervish. They had walked together some distance when the dervish realized that he had left his basket behind in the palace. This disturbed him greatly and, informing the king that he could not go without his basket, he begged permission to return for it. But the king admonished him, saying that he himself had left behind his palaces, his wealth and power, whereas the dervish, who had preached for a lifetime the virtues of detachment, had at last been tested and was found to be attached to this world—his small basket.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 1, p. 76-77)

2) Zen Buddhist story

http://users.skynet.be/lotus/story/story-en.htm

Two monks, going to a neighbouring monastery, walked side by side in silence. They arrived at a river they had to cross. That season, waters were higher than usual. On the bank, a young woman was hesitating and asked the younger of the two monks for help. He exclaimed, ‘Don’t you see that I am a monk, that I took a vow of chastity?’

‘I require nothing from you that could impede your vow, but simply to help me to cross the river,’ replied the young woman with a little smile.

‘I…not…I can…do nothing for you,’ said the embarrassed young monk.

‘It doesn’t matter,’ said the elderly monk. ‘Climb on my back and we will cross together.’

Having reached the other bank, the old monk put down the young woman who, in return, thanked him with a broad smile. She left her side and both monks continued their route in silence. Close to the monastery, the young monk could not stand it anymore and said, ‘You shouldn’t have carried that person on your back. It’s against our rules.’

‘This young woman needed help and I put her down on the other bank. You didn’t carry her at all, but she is still on your back,’ replied the older monk.

3) A rich man and a poor man lived in the same town. One day the poor man said to the rich man, “I want to go to the Holy Land.” The rich man replied, “Very good, I will go also,” and they started from the town and began their pilgrimage. But night fell and the poor man said, “Let us return to our houses to pass the night.” The rich man replied, “We have started for the Holy Land and must not now return.” The poor man said, “The Holy Land is a long distance to travel on foot. I have a donkey, I will go and fetch it.” “What?” replied the rich man, “are you not ashamed? I leave all my possessions to go on this pilgrimage and you wish to return to get your donkey! I have abandoned with joy my whole fortune. Your whole wealth consists of a donkey and you cannot leave it!” You see that fortune is not necessarily an impediment. The rich man who is thus detached is near to reality. There are many rich people who are severed and many poor who are not.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 134)

More versions of the Zen story are here – http://spiritsinharmony.blogspot.co.uk/2008/02/two-monks-carry-woman.html

JUXTAPOSITION Fancy that 1 The birds have vanished…

JUXTAPOSITION

Fancy that!

1 The birds have vanished from the sky, / and now the last clouds slip away. / We sit alone, the mountain and I, / until only the mountain remains.” (8th Century) Chinese poet Li Po

2 The great Master Dogen said,

“To study the Buddha Way is to study the self,

to study the self is to forget the self, and

to forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things.”

To be enlightened by the ten thousand things is to recognize the unity of the self and the ten thousand things.

The happiness and greatness the rank and station…

The happiness and greatness, the rank and station, the pleasure and peace, of an individual have never consisted in his personal wealth, but rather in his excellent character, his high resolve, the breadth of his learning, and his ability to solve difficult problems.

~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

SOURCE: http://www.bahaiwords.com

Somehow in the process of trying to deny…

Somehow, in the process of trying to deny that things are always changing, we lose our sense of the sacredness of life. We tend to forget that we are part of the natural scheme of things. – Pema Chodron

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar. – Thich Nhat Hanh

I have noticed that some people are uncomfortable when they are told that change is a fundamental part of life, or that nothing lasts forever. Yet impermanence is just a basic fact of our existence – it is neither good nor bad in itself. When we face impermanence wisely, we have an opportunity to cultivate a more constructive way of relating to that reality. If we do so, we can actually learn to feel at ease in the face of unexpected change, and work comfortably with whatever new situations might occur. -17th Karmapa

It is not impermanence that makes us suffer. What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent when they are not. Thich Nhat Hanh

Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth. – Rumi

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

  • Heraclitus

Source – http://blisshabits.com/2014/03/why-you-must-open-the-door-to-this-chaotic-tango-of-change/