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The House Made of Dawn

· Essays · , ,

Reinhabiting the Sacred Feminine

by Carol Lee Flinders

Wherever the sacred feminine is honored, the central imagery is of birthing, but also of rebirthing. In cultures where individual achievement and aggrandizement are crucial to one’s experience of self, the very notion of death evokes immense anxiety, because mortality limits one’s opportunity to make a mark in life. Where identity is experienced in terms of connection and relationship, one might assume the idea of death would be just as terrifying insofar as it disconnects us from those we love.

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Photo by Joshua Longmore

In the Forest

· Beyond Fear of Differences, Earth Initiative, Essays · , ,

by Bree Lafreniere

When I think of my life in the forest, I think of falling rain. Even now, many years later, I cannot listen to the slow, steady sound of rain without being drawn back to that time. The sound of rain brings to my mind an image: I see a group of men sitting in a circle, not exchanging words but only the warmth and security of each other’s bodies, and waiting in silence a seeming eternity for the gods to intervene and change their fate.

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How I Got Ovah II/It is Deep II

· Creative Expression, Essays · , ,

by Carolyn M. Rodgers

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The Night Journey of Nicodemus

· Essays · , ,

by Philip Zaleski

The words are magisterial, even harsh: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).

Astonishing idea, to be born again! This cryptic teaching, given by Jesus in Jerusalem at the beginning of his ministry, bewilders Nicodemus, a pious Jew and member of the Sanhedrin, who has come to the celebrated Rabbi for guidance.

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Photo by Fe Langdon

Birth and Death

· Teachings · , ,

by Eihei Dogen, translated by Kazuaki Tanahashi

As a Buddha is in birth and death, there is no birth and death.” It is also said, “As a buddha is not in birth and death, a buddha is not deluded by birth and death.”

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Photo by Ricardo Sanz Cortiella

Transmigrating, For Now

· Teachings · , ,

by Konrad Ryushin Marchaj, Sensei

Ruiyan’s “Constant Principle”
Book of Serenity, Case 75

Even as you call it ‘thus,’ it’s already changed. Where knowledge doesn’t reach, avoid speaking of it. Here, is there any investigating or not? 

Ruiyan asked Yantou, “What is the fundamental constant principle?”
Yantou said, “Moving.”
Ruiyan said, “When moving, what then?”
Yantou said, “You don’t see the fundamental constant principle.”
Ruiyan stood there thinking.
Yantou said, “If you agree, you are not yet free of sense and matter: if you don’t agree, you’ll be forever sunk in birth and death.” 

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Photo by Alex Schwab

Mind Beyond Death

· Teachings · , ,

by Dzogchen Ponlop

Whenever we embark on a long journey, there is a sense of death and rebirth. The experiences we go through have a transitional quality. The moment we step outside our house and close the door, we begin to leave our life behind. We say goodbye to family and friends and to the familiar rooms and routines that we inhabit.

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· Creative Expression, Essays · , ,

by Juan Ramón Jiménez, translated by Robert Bly

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Photo by Alice Popkorn

Karma, or Cause and Effect

· Teachings · , ,

by Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo

Let us explore the nature of karma, because I think karma is quite misunderstood in the West. There are various understandings in different religious traditions of the meaning of karma, but here we’ll examine the Buddhist understanding of that term. Actually, the word karma in Sanskrit means “action.” It also means “work.”

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Photo by Oliver Jeannin

From Orategama Zokusho

· Teachings · , ,

by Hakuin Ekaku

What is this root of life? It is that instant of ignorance that has come down through endless kalpas of time. Evolving through heaven and hell, this evil world and the Pure Land, that the three evil realms and the six evil paths are made to appear is all because of the power of this root of life. Although it is nothing but dreamlike, illusory thoughts, it can block the Great Matter of seeing into one’s own nature more effectively than an army of a hundred thousand demons.

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