May 2016

"The Taoist Sage" (excerpt) THE SILENT TAO by Raymond M. Smullyan

“At all costs, the Christian must convince the heathen and the atheist that God exists, in order to save his soul. At all costs, the atheist must convince the Christian that the belief in God is but a childish and primitive superstition, doing enormous harm to the cause of true social progress. And so they battle and storm and bang away at each other.

Meanwhile, the Taoist Sage sits quietly by the stream, perhaps with a book of poems, a cup of wine, and some painting materials, enjoying the Tao to his hearts content, without ever worrying whether or not Tao exists. The Sage has no need to affirm the Tao; he is far too busy enjoying it!”



"Wind and a Bobwhite" by Thomas Merton

---“Wind” by Deborah Richardson

And the afternoon sun.
By ceasing to question the sun
I have become light,

Bird and wind.

My leaves sing.

I am earth, earth

All these lighted things
Grow from my heart.

A tall, spare pine
Stands like the initial of my first
Name when I had one.

When I had a spirit,
When I was on fire When this valley was
Made out of fresh air
You spoke my name
In naming Your silence:
O sweet, irrational worship!

I am earth, earth

My heart’s love
Bursts with hay and flowers.
I am a lake of blue air
In which my own appointed place
Field and valley
Stand reflected.

I am earth, earth

Out of my grass heart
Rises the bobwhite.
Out of my nameless weeds His foolish worship.

—Thomas Merton


"Lillies of the Field"

---Painting — “Lillies of the Field” by aldussaunt

One of master Gasan's monks visited the university in Tokyo. When he returned,
he asked the master if he had ever read the Christian Bible. "No," Gasan
replied, "Please read some of it to me." The monk opened the Bible to the Sermon
on the Mount in St. Matthew, and began reading. After reading Christ's words
about the *lilies in the field, he paused. Master Gasan was silent for a long
time. "Yes," he finally said, "Whoever uttered these words is an enlightened
being. What you have read to me is the essence of everything I have been trying
to teach you here!"

Consider the lilies of the field,
how they grow;
They toil not, neither do they spin;
And yet I say unto you,
that even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these.



"Awareness" by Anthony de Mello

---Painting: “Awareness” by Rebecca Rees
The student monk had spent seven years,
Learning how to comprehend awareness.
At the end of his study it was time for assessment,
To visit the master was his final assignment.

The master sat, at the young man he looked,
Was he ready to become a teacher monk?

The young monk, wet from his walk,
Had placed his umbrella in the hall
Master asked, 'to the left or right of your clogs,
Did you place your umbrella to dry at rest? '

The monk was taken by surprise,
Why such simple thing, when so wise?
Try as he might he couldn't recall;
Had to admit, no idea at all.

'Go back to your teacher for seven more years,
To learn once more the secret of awareness'.

To late the young monk remembered,
Awareness encompasses everything.
No chance of ever really seeing,
Unless every second has meaning.