"Man Of Tao" — Author Unknown

Zen-Catherine Thriver-Forestier
---“ZEN” by Catherine Thriver-Forestier

A student once asked, "What is the difference between a Man of Tao and a little man?"

The Zen Master replied, "It is simple. When the little man becomes a student, he can hardly wait to run home and shout at the top of his voice to tell everyone.
Upon hearing the words of the master, he will climb to the rooftops and shout to the people. Upon learning the ways of the master, he will parade through town telling one and all about his new knowledge”.

The Zen Master continues, "When the Man of Tao becomes a student, he will bow his head in gratitude. Upon hearing the words of the master, he will bow his head and his shoulders. Upon learning the ways of the master, he will bow to the waist and quietly walk alongside the wall so that people will not see him or notice him".

~ Unknown

"Ojibwa Values"

Leland Bell's painting of the Seven Grandfathers

Traditionally the Ojibwa Value the Spiritual Process

For the Ojibwa, values are part of the spiritual journey ... not the destination.

Values are an integral part of every culture. Along with a perception of mankinds' place in the universe and the individuals own personality, cultural values generate behavior.

Cultural values create expectations and behavior patterns without which a culture would disintegrate and its members lose their sense of identy and self worth.

For example, values tell people what is good or bad, right or wrong, important or insignificant, useful or detrimental, beautiful or unattractive. Values are at the root of traditions that groups of people find important in their daily lives.

What are some Ojibwa values?

Consider that we Ojibwa refer to ourselves as Anishnabeg - the good beings - and that we do not have a word or term that separates humanity from the rest of the universe arounds us. Gitchi Manitou has created the world in a way that it is possible to exist in harmony with every part of Creation. It is our life's work to come to understand the spiritual truths that are central to learning how to exist as such an ensightful force that the accord is always in balance.

For that reason what the Ojibwa values most is not what we get from our achievements, but rather who we become through the process of achieving.

To help us be good beings, Seven Grandfathers visited the Anishnabeg and brought with them Seven Gifts that can give us a way of knowing Mino-Binaaadiziwn in its deepest sense if an effort is made to inquire into the meaning of the gifts and a lifetime of committment is made to make them an intrinsic part of our lives.

The gifts begin and end with knowledge and the ability to know and the Anishnabe are taught to treasure them.

The Seven Gifts were:
Wisdom comes from an appreciation that all knowledge is there to be cherished and that it is a human being's choice to discover what there is to know and apply it to their own life.

Love comes from an appreciation that all of us are human and all of us are struggling with the same issues. To know love is to know peace.

Respect comes when there is finally a clear understanding that there is an intricate relationship between all things animate and inanimate, that you are a part of the complexity and that you always will be...even after 'death'. To honour all creation is to have respect.

Bravery comes from an appreciation that you are terrified that you are not good enough and that others will find out. Bravery is to look at your innermost self and face that fact with integrity.

Honesty also comes from an appreciation that you are terrified that you are not good enough and that others will find out. When you come to a clear understanding that others are in the same predicament and that if you can be honest with them in such a way that it gives them the opportunity to be honest with you, there is the possibility that you can live your life as a good being.

Humility comes from an appreciation that you actually don't know very much but that, with integrity, you are doing your best to learn what there is to know.

Truth is possible when you know all of these things.

"If" — Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head,
When all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

"Holy Man" — Alok Jagawat

The Beggar Beside the Road
“The Beggar Beside the Road” by Catherine Thriver-Forestier

Word spread across the countryside about the wise Holy Man who lived in a small house atop the mountain. A man from the village decided to make the long and difficult journey to visit him. When he arrived at the house, he saw an old servant inside.

"I would like to see the Holy Man," he said to the servant.

The servant smiled and led him inside. As they walked through the house, the man from the village looked eagerly around the house, anticipating his encounter with the Holy Man. Before he knew it, he had been led to the back door and escorted outside. He stopped and turned to the servant,

"But I want to see the Holy Man!"

"You already have," said the wise-old man. "Everyone you may meet in life, even if they appear plain and insignificant, see each of them as a Holy Man. If you do this, then whatever problem you brought here today will be solved."


"No-Mind" by Sokei-an Sasaki

One day I wiped out all the notions from my mind. I gave up all desire. I discarded all the words with which I thought and stayed in quietude. I felt a little queer—as if I were being carried into something, or as if I were touching some power unknown to me . . . and Ztt! I entered. I lost the boundary of my physical body. I had my skin, of course, but I felt I was standing in the center of the cosmos. I spoke, but my words had lost their meaning. I saw people coming towards me, but all were the same man. All were myself! I had never known this world. I had believed that I was created, but now I must change my opinion: I was never created; I was the cosmos; no individual Mr. Sasaki existed.7

~ Sokei-an Sasaki

SOURCE: “The Transcendental World,” Zen Notes, vol. 1, no. 3. First Zen Institute of America. New York, 1954.

"Basics" by William Ranger

Basics first.

You are already unique, as is every other being.

You are already an aspect of everything, as is every other being.

Your path, no matter how similar it may seem on the surface, will never be exactly what anyone else’s will be, is, has been. Read More...

"What Unveiling Your Spiritual Truth Actually Means + Why It's Necessary" by Christine Hassler

When you were born, you were completely aware of the following Truths:

You are whole and complete. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are worthy and deserving. You are a spiritual being having a human experience. You can trust the Universe. All there is and all that matters is Love. You are love. Read More...

"Perfect Nose" - by Keith Basar

Through my eyes I see mystique and courage;
A sturdiness in character and resolve.
Acute angles emanate an inner confidence
and a valorous strength
like an invincible warrior of old.

The defining lines speak of determination,
and your thoughtful side.

It’s sensual presence glows
with glamour, beauty and grace
And the shape is one that mesmerizingly allures
even with the most hurried of looks.

Most of all it speaks of your immeasurable femininity
intuitiveness and gentleness of heart.
Most certainly a gift from above.

How I adore your nose

© 2012 Keith Basar All Rights Reserved

"Spiritual Truths" by Steve Frazee

At SBNR.org we monitor the Internet for references to SBNR.org and the phrase “Spiritual But Not Religious”. Periodically, when we find an article about SBNR.org or the SBNR community that is materially incorrect or confusing, I make a comment in an effort to promote misunderstanding.  Typically my posts include four main points: Read More...

"Full Realization of the Holy" - Jeannie Zandi

There is nothing sweeter than sitting with another human being or beings in the full realization of the Holy, looking into their eyes, simply and fully here. I invite you for a moment to picture and invoke the highest beauty you have experienced in the company of another being. To seed yourself with the possibility of this deep sweetness, whether it’s invoked by a cat, a child, a friend, a lover or a teacher. In my experience, the deepest beauty in relating occurs when we stop and rest in presence, and the two-ness is dissolved in the light of shared being. With this taste of sweetness, let yourself rest into the ground and abide in being, allowing your system to picture this sweet otherness as you directly experience grounding in your own sovereign, felt existence.

"The Unknown" by Jeannie Zandi

When we slip out of the known, into a little gap, we oftentimes feel great discomfort. Let’s say in the middle of daydreaming in class, the teacher calls on you and you have no idea what they are talking about. There’s a gap of “I don’t know,” and a kind of terror that can rise. I should have something to show for myself! Read More...


Upon hearing of the death of Chuang Tzu's wife, his good friend Hui Tzu went over to comfort him and found the sage sitting on the ground banging on an overturned pot and singing a song at the top of his lungs. Read More...