All Is Well in the Great Mess

"That which I have said is only like the few leaves in my hand. And that which I have not said is like the dry leaves in this forest."

When your bow is broken

Interestingly, "The Book of Mu" cites the following as a waka poem written by an old Japanese Zen Master. When your bow is broken and your arrows are exhausted, There, shoot! Shoot with your whole being! -- The Book of Mu While an internet search has the following line written by Roger Zelazny, an American writer of fantasy and science fiction short stories and novels. When your bow is broken and your last arrow spent, then shoot, shoot with your whole heart. -- Roger Joseph Zelazny ...
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The best revenge against your enemy is not to become like your enemy. -- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 6.6 ...
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Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Let us balance life’s books each day. The one who puts the finishing touches on their life each day is never short of time. -- Seneca ...
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I wonder what feelings inspire a man to complain of 'having nothing to do.' I am happiest when I have nothing to distract me and I am completely alone. . . . Even if a man has not yet discovered the path of enlightenment, as long as he removes himself from his worldly ties, leads a quiet life, and maintains his peace of mind by avoiding entanglements, he may be said to be happy, at least for the time being. Kenkō (translated by Donald Keene), Tsurezuregusa, Chapter 75, in Donald Keene, Essay...
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Leaves

The prisoners of infinite choice Have built their house In a field below the wood And are at peace. It is autumn, and dead leaves On their way to the river Scratch like birds at the windows Or tick on the road. Somewhere there is an afterlife Of dead leaves, A stadium filled with an infinite Rustling and sighing. Somewhere in the heaven Of lost futures The lives we might have led Have found their own fulfilment. Derek Mahon, The Snow Party (Oxford University Press 1975). ...
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To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson ...
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Do not believe in anything

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the go...
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A Cloud Never Dies

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Since I came to Cold Mountain how many thousand years have passed accepting my fate I fled to the woods to dwell and gaze in freedom no one visits the cliffs forever hidden by clouds soft grass serves as a mattress my quilt is the dark blue sky a boulder makes a fine pillow Heaven and Earth can crumble and change -- Red Pine (translator), The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain ...
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"Stop Chasing After So Many Things" - Ryokan and Wang Wei

When I am in need of a sense of perspective, I often turn to the poetry of Ryokan (1758-1831) or Wang Wei (c. 701-761). Ryokan was a Zen monk who lived much of his life in a hut in the wooded hills near the coast of the Sea of Japan. (Present-day Niigata Prefecture.) He is one of the most beloved of Japanese poets, valued for his humility, his simplicity, and his integrity. My hut lies in the middle of a dense forest; Every year the green ivy grows longer. No news of the affairs of men, Onl...
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If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. -- Wayne Dyer ...
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Having no destination I am never lost. -- Ikkyu 1394-1481 ...
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kintsukuroi

(n.) (v. phr.) "to repair with gold"; the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that piece is more beautiful for having been broken When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful. Barbara Bloom In Japan, broken objects are often repaired with gold. The flaw is seens as a unique piece of the object's history, whi...
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Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of men's desires, but by the removal of desire. -- Epictetus, The Discourses ...
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Look closer

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You can't save time. You can only spend it. But you can spend it wisely or foolishly. -- Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh ...
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You don't matter

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We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. -- Maya Angelou ...
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If you wish to improve, be content to appear clueless or stupid in extraneous matters — don’t wish to seem knowledgeable. And if some regard you as important, distrust yourself. -- Epictetus ...
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The Old Man in The Park

Once there was a young man walking in the street, he was 25 years old and was lost in his thoughts. He was thinking about the future, about his goals, about his purpose in his life, about his family’s health, and also he was thinking about his past, his mistakes, his embarrassments, his bad decisions, and all of these thoughts were making him very anxious and frustrated. He didn’t know what to do with his life, he was 25 years old and going nowhere, with no prospects, no real goals, with nothing...
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Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway. If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway. The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest mi...
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Please Call Me by My True Names

All Is Well In The Great Mess · Thich Nhat Hanh - Please Call Me by My True Names Don’t say that I will depart tomorrow — even today I am still arriving. Look deeply: every second I am arriving to be a bud on a Spring branch, to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings, learning to sing in my new nest, to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower, to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone. I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry, to fear and to hope. The rhythm of my heart is the birth an...
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We have a tendency to think in terms of doing and not in terms of being. We think that when we’re not doing anything, we’re wasting our time. But that’s not true. Our time is first of all for us to be. To be what? To be alive, to be peaceful, to be joyful, to be loving. And this is what the world needs the most. We all need to train ourselves in our way of being, and that is the ground for all action. Our quality of being determines our quality of doing. -- Thich Nhat Han...
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No coming, no going, No after, no before, I hold you close, I release you to be free; I am in you And you are in me. -- Thich Nhat Hanh, *11 October 1926 - †22 January 2022 ...
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The Zen Awards

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Sometimes the scariest bridge to burn is the one between you and the person you thought you were. -- Tanya Markul ...
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It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. -- Aristotle ...
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The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts. -- Marcus Aurelius ...
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The Daily Stoic

The new year is coming to an end and for next year I already have a little surprise for all German speaking visitors: Ryan Holiday's The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living Enjoy reading and practicing. And if you like it and can afford it, please support the author by buying the book. ...
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In a chaotic modern world seemingly designed to burn everyone out, slowing down is a profoundly positive act of rebellion. -- Unknown Author ...
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