March 2016

“What Else Have You Ever Risked?" (excerpt) ANOTHER ROADSIDE REACTION by Tom Robbins

--“Sea Turtle” at Risk: by Rabi Khan

“You risked your life, but what else have you ever risked?
Have you risked disapproval?
Have you ever risked economic security?
Have you ever risked a belief?
I see nothing particularly courageous about risking one's life.
So you lose it, you go to your hero's heaven and everything is milk and honey 'til the end of time. Right?
You get your reward and suffer no earthly consequences.
That's not courage. Real courage is risking something that might force you to rethink your thoughts and suffer change and stretch consciousness.
Real courage is risking one's clichés.”


"Vast Emptiness" — Author Unknown

---Picture by Smattila

The emperor, who was a devout Buddhist, invited a great Zen master to the Palace in order to ask him questions about Buddhism. 

"What is the highest truth of the holy Buddhist doctrine?" the emperor inquired. 

"Vast emptiness... and not a trace of holiness," the master replied. 

"If there is no holiness," the emperor said, "then who or what are you?" 

"I do not know," the master replied.


"Misfortune" Author Unknown

A Chinese farmer's neighbors came over to offer him their sympathy after his horse ran away. "I'm not so sure it's a misfortune", said the farmer. The neighbors left, shaking their heads.

The next day, the farmer's horse returned, and three wild horses came home with him. The neighbors returned to congratulate the farmer on his good fortune. "I'm not certain that it is good fortune", replied the farmer. The neighbors left, more bemused than before.

Later that week, the farmer's son broke his leg trying to train one of the new horses, and the neighbors came by to offer condolences. "I'm not sure this is a misfortune", said the farmer again. The neighbors left, discussing the man's mental state among themselves.

The next day, the emperor came through, gathering up young men to be in his army. They bypassed the farmer's son, since he had a broken leg.

'Worse than a Clown' — Unknown

—“Painting: “The Happy Clown” by Deb Adams

There was a young monk in China who was a very serious practitioner of the Dharma.  Once, this monk came across something he did not understand, so he went to ask the master. When the master heard the question, he kept laughing. The master then stood up and walked away, still laughing. 

The young monk was very disturbed by the master's reaction. For the next 3 days, he could not eat, sleep nor think properly. At the end of 3 days, he went back to the master and told the master how disturbed he had felt. 

When the master heard this, he said, "Monk, do you know what your problem is? Your problem is that YOU ARE WORSE THAN A CLOWN!" 

The monk was shocked to hear that, "Venerable Sir, how can you say such a thing?! How can I be worse than a clown?" 

The master explained, "A clown enjoys seeing people laugh. You? You feel disturbed because another person laughed. Tell me, are you not worse than a clown?" 

When the monk heard this, he began to laugh. He was enlightened.


Perceptions by Doreen Davis

On this morning of stark contrasts

Branches and brambles
     confess their strong, swarthy hues
     beneath a gentle, snowy cloak

As smoky-gray clouds at the horizon
     attempt to mask
     the promise of today’s sunshine.

On this morning of stark contrasts
     I remember 
     that beauty colors both light and dark.

Ms. Davis' Website: