Quote of the Week

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.

~ John F Kennedy, Commencement address, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut (11 June 1962)

Quote of the Week

“Do not confuse “duty” with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.

But there is no reward at all for doing what other people expect of you, and to do so is not merely difficult, but impossible. It is easier to deal with a footpad than it is with the leech who wants “just a few minutes of your time, please — this won’t take long.” Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few. If you allow yourself to fall into the vice of agreeing to such requests, they quickly snowball to the point where these parasites will use up 100 percent of your time — and squawk for more!

So learn to say No — and to be rude about it when necessary.

Otherwise you will not have time to carry out your duty, or to do your own work, and certainly no time for love and happiness. The termites will nibble away your life and leave none of it for you.

(This rule does not mean that you must not do a favor for a friend, or even a stranger. But let the choice be yours. Don’t do it because it is “expected” of you.)”

~ Robert A Heinlein, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long (1978)

The Master

“The master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his labor and his leisure,
his mind and his body, his work and his play, his education and his recreation.
He hardly knows which.
He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing and leaves others to determine whether his is working or playing.
To himself, he is always doing both.”

~ James A. Michener

Ralph Waldo Emerson – Compensation

From Essays: First Series (1841)

The wings of Time are black and white,
Pied with morning and with night.
Mountain tall and ocean deep
Trembling balance duly keep.
In changing moon, in tidal wave,
Glows the feud of Want and Have.
Gauge of more and less through space
Electric star and pencil plays.
The lonely Earth amid the balls
That hurry through the eternal halls,
A makeweight flying to the void,
Supplemental asteroid,
Or compensatory spark,
Shoots across the neutral Dark.

Man’s the elm, and Wealth the vine;
Stanch and strong the tendrils twine:
Though the frail ringlets thee deceive,
None from its stock that vine can reave.
Fear not, then, thou child infirm,
There’s no god dare wrong a worm.
Laurel crowns cleave to deserts,
And power to him who power exerts;
Hast not thy share? On winged feet,
Lo! it rushes thee to meet;
And all that Nature made thy own,
Floating in air or pent in stone,
Will rive the hills and swim the sea,
And, like thy shadow, follow thee.

Quote of the Week

“On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, “Is it safe?” Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” And Vanity comes along and asks the question, “Is it popular?” But Conscience asks the question “Is it right?” And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Feelings like Clouds

“Whatever arises in our mind—whether it’s a thought, an emotion, a sensation, or a perception—is the arising of coemergent wisdom. It is the radiation of the mind’s emptiness and clarity. Every arising is a temporary arising—one thought comes and goes, then another thought comes and goes.

All our thoughts and emotions just appear and disappear.

This is very important, because we usually grasp at whatever occurs. For instance, when sadness arises, we hold on to this feeling and think, “I am so sad, I am so depressed.” But from the Mahamudra point of view, what has happened?

A feeling has arisen in the mind, like a cloud. Like a cloud, it appears and then it disappears, and that’s all there is to it. This time it is sadness arising, the next time it may be happiness, the next time it may be anger, and later it may be kindness. All sorts of things arise, like wildflowers in a spring meadow. All sorts of flowers grow; all sorts of thoughts and emotions arise. They are all okay; they’re nothing special.

When we understand what our thoughts and feelings are, and we experience them in this way, we are able to let them come and let them go.”

~ Confusion Arises as Wisdom: Gampopa’s Heart Advice on the Path of Mahamudra by Ringu Tulku