Tag Archives: humility

If your heart is a volcano, how shall you expect flowers to bloom?

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When you see the face of anger
look behind it
and you will see the face of pride.

Bring anger and pride
under your feet, turn them into a ladder
and climb higher.

There is no peace until you become
their master.
Let go of anger, it may taste sweet
but it kills.

Don’t become its victim
you need humility to climb to freedom.

— Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī (Rumi)

(Title by Khalil Gibran)

As the new year renews all the happiness and good tidings, hope the joyful spirit keeps glowing in the your heart forever! Happy New Year!

LET THERE BE PEACE IN THE WORLD

When you really don’t know…

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‘That what I want, basically, what I really want, is what you want. And I don’t know what you want.
Surprise me.
But that’s the kinship between “I” and “thou”. So when I ask, I go right down to the question, which we started with: “What do I want?”
The answer is “I don’t know”.
When Bodhidharma was asked, “Who are you?” which is another form of the same question, he said “I don’t know”.

‘ Planting flowers to which the butterflies come, Bodhidharma says “I know not” ‘

I don’t know what I want.
And when you don’t know what you want, you reach the state of desirelessness. When you *really* don’t know… you see, there’s a beginning stage of not knowing, and there’s an ending stage of not knowing.
In the beginning stage, you don’t know what you want because you haven’t thought about it, or you’ve only thought superficially.
Then when somebody forces you to think about it and go through it, you say, “Yeah, I think I’d like this, I think I’d like that, I think I’d like the other”. That’s the middle stage.
Then you get beyond that, and say “Is that what I really want?” In the end you say, “No, I don’t think that’s it… I might be satisfied with it for a while, and I wouldn’t turn my nose up at it, but it’s not really what I want”.
Why don’t you really know what you want?
Two reasons, that you don’t really know what you want.
Number 1: You have it.
Number 2: You don’t know yourself. Because you never can. The godhead is never the object of its own knowledge, just as a knife doesn’t cut itself, fire doesn’t burn itself, life doesn’t illumine itself. It’s always an endless mystery to itself. “I don’t know”.
And this “I don’t know”, uttered in the infinite interior of the spirit, this “I don’t know”, is the same thing as “I love”, “I let go”, “I don’t try to force or control”. It’s the same thing as humility.
And so the Upanishads say, “If you think that you understand Brahman, you do not understand. You have yet to be instructed further. If you know that you do not understand, then you truly understand, for the Brahman is unknown to those who know it, and known to those who know it not”.
And the principle is that any time you, as it were, voluntarily let up control, in other words, cease to cling to yourself, you have an access to power. Because you’re wasting energy all the time in self-defense, trying to manage things, trying to force things to conform to your will.
The moment you stop doing that, that wasted energy is available. And therefore you are, in that sense, having that energy available, you are one with the divine principle. You have the energy! When you’re trying, however, to act as if you are god, that is to say, you don’t trust anybody and you’re the dictator and you have to keep everybody in line, you lose the divine energy, because what you’re doing is simply defending yourself.
So then the principle is: the more you give it away, the more it comes back.
Now you say, “I don’t have the courage to give it away. I’m afraid”.
And you can only overcome that by realizing, you better give it away, because there’s no way of holding on to it. The meaning of the fact that everything is dissolving constantly, that we’re all falling apart, we’re all in the process of constant death, and that –
“The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon / Turns Ashes—or it prospers; and / Like Snow upon the Desert’s dusty Face / Lighting a little Hour or two—is gone” all that Omar Khayyam jazz. You know, “The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, the great globe itself, I, all which it inherit — shall dissolve, and like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind.”….
All falling apart. Everything is. That’s the great assistance to you. That fact that everything is in decay is your helper. That is allowing you that you don’t have to let go, because there’s nothing to hold on to.
It’s achieved for you, in other words, by the process of nature. So once you see that you just don’t have a prayer, and it’s all washed up, and that you will vanish and “leave not a rack behind”, and you really get with that, suddenly you find that you have the power, this enormous access of energy.
But it’s not power that came to you because you grabbed it; it came in entirely the opposite way. The power that comes to you in that opposite way is power with which you can be trusted.’

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Thich Nhat Hanh

Let us be at peace with our bodies and our minds.
Let us return to ourselves and become wholly ourselves.

Let us be aware of the source of being,
common to us all and to all living things.

Evoking the presence of the Great Compassion,
let us fill our hearts with our own compassion—
towards ourselves and towards all living beings.

Let us pray that we ourselves cease to be
the cause of suffering to each other.

With humility, with awareness of the existence of life,
and of the suffering that are going on around us,
let us practice the establishment of peace in our hearts and on earth.

— Thich Nhat Hanh – in Singing The Living Tradition – #505

(image source: viewonbuddhism.org)

Let us practice the establishment of peace in our hearts and on earth

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To learn about oneself one needs a great deal of humility. If you start by saying, “I know myself”, you’ve already stopped learning about yourself. Or if you say, “There is nothing much to learn about myself because I know what I am—I’m a bundle of memories, ideas, experiences, tradition, a conditioned entity with innumerable contradictory reactions”—you’ve stopped learning about yourself. To learn about oneself requires considerable humility, never assuming that you know anything: that is, learning about oneself from the beginning and never accumulating. The moment you accumulate knowledge about yourself through your own discovery, that becomes the platform from which you begin to examine, learn, and therefore what you learn is merely further addition to what you already know. Humility is a state of mind that never acquires, never says, “I know”.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – Talks & Dialogues – p. 212

About Humility

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Go not to the temple to put flowers upon the feet of God,
First fill your own house with the Fragrance of love…

Go not to the temple to light candles before the altar of God,
First remove the darkness of sin from your heart…

Go not to the temple to bow down your head in prayer,
First learn to bow in humility before your fellowmen…

Go not to the temple to pray on bended knees,
First bend down to lift someone who is down-trodden…

Go not to the temple to ask for forgiveness for your sins,
First forgive from your heart those who have sinned against you.

— Rabindranath Tagore – Go not to the temple

Go not to the temple

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Strong in the rain
Strong in the wind
Strong against the summer heat and snow
He is healthy and robust
Unselfish
He never loses his temper
Nor the quiet smile on his lips
He eats four go of unpolished rice
Miso and a few vegetables a day
He does not consider himself
In whatever occurs…his understanding
Comes from observation and experience
And he never loses sight of things
He lives in a little thatched-roof hut
In a field in the shadows of a pine tree grove
If there is a sick child in the east
He goes there to nurse the child
If there’s a tired mother in the west
He goes to her and carries her sheaves
If someone is near death in the south
He goes and says, “Don’t be afraid”
If there’s strife and lawsuits in the north
He demands that the people put an end to their pettiness
He weeps at the time of drought
He plods about at a loss during the cold summer
Everyone calls him “Blockhead”
No one sings his praises
Or takes him to heart…

That is the sort of person
I want to be

— Kenji Miyazawa – Strong In The Rain (Ame ni mo Makezu)

Strong In The Rain

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People are often unreasonable,
illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind,
people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful,
you will win some false friends and true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank,
people may cheat you;
Be honest anyway.

What you spend years building,
someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness,
they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today,
people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis,
it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

— Mother Teresa – Do It Anyway (adaptation of a text from Kent M. Keith that Mother Theresa put on the wall of her children’s home in Calcutta)

Do it anyway!