Thursday, 15 November 2012

"Don't quarrel with a rose-tree because it cannot sing." - reality as is-ness, is-ness as reality


I recently had the the news that my life-span will be cut short.  I am committed to enjoying every moment of every day, and to being the longest surviving IPF patient.  

Looking Mr D squarely in the face is vital but I'm not going to play chess with him, as in a certain Ingmar Bergman film, nor will I Iet him spoil any flash of beauty that comes my way.  I acknowledge that the minute, hour and day is set - so be it. (As it is for everyone - but we manage to ignore the fact most of the time.) But today is the first day of a shorter life as much as it is the first day of the rest of the life of anyone with a century to live - so let me breathe in all it's truth, beauty & goodness!

Fortunately I had discovered the 'secret of the universe, the 'secret of all secrets' a few years ago.  I suppose I'm not certain what I should do with it other than try to live up, in some measure, to the challenge that it brings - the challenge of closing the gap between theory & practice!  Closing the gap is to 'Die before you die' as contemporary Sufi master Sheikh Kabir Helminski reminds us (Chap 22 in his book Living Presence)

The important death is the death, or diminution, of the egoistic lower self in favour of living in the presence of the Self.  Here are some of my favourite inspiring quotations that bring together aspects of the two kinds of death:

"Zen in its essence is the art of seeing into the nature of one's own being, and it points the way from bondage to freedom.  By making us drink right from the fountain of life it liberates us from all the yokes under which we finite beings are usually suffering in this world."  D T Suzuki

Another Zen Master in providing a summary of Zen Buddhism said, "No self, no problem."  (Such divine brevity!)

 Lao-tzu said, “Embrace death with your whole heart.

 Socrates said, “Practice death.

 Those who sense the wonder, share in the wonder." A J Heschel

 “What does it matter Oh my Lord if I never meet you - I am already annihilated.” - Sufi


FROM THE BAHA'I 'MASTER' - ‘Abdu’l-Bahá 

A friend asked: “How should one look forward to death?” 96

‘Abdu’l-Bahá answered: “How does one look forward to the goal of any journey? With hope and with expectation. It is even so with the end of this earthly journey. In the next world, man will find himself freed from many of the disabilities under which he now suffers. Those who have passed on through death, have a sphere of their own. It is not removed from ours; their work, the work of the Kingdom, is ours; but it is sanctified from what we call ‘time and place.’ Time with us is measured by the sun. When there is no more sunrise, and no more sunset, that kind of time does not exist for man. Those who have ascended have different attributes from those who are still on earth, yet there is no real separation.

“In prayer there is a mingling of station, a mingling of condition. Pray for them as they pray for you! When you do not know it, and are in a receptive attitude, they are able to make suggestions to you, if you are in difficulty. This sometimes happens in sleep. but there is no phenomenal intercourse! That which seems like phenomenal intercourse has another explanation.” The questioner exclaimed; “But I have heard a voice!” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said: “Yes, that is possible; we hear voices clearly in dreams. It is not with the physical ear that you heard; the spirit of those that have passed on are freed from sense-life, and do not use physical means. It is not possible to put these great matters into human words; the language of man is the language of children, and man’s explanation often leads astray.” 97

Someone present asked how it was that in prayer and meditation the heart often turns with instinctive appeal to some friend who has passed into the next life.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá answered: “It is a law of God’s creation that the weak should lean upon the strong. Those to whom you turn may be the mediators of God’s power to you, even as when on earth. But it is the One Holy Spirit that strengthens all men.” Hereupon another friend referred to the communing of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration with Moses and Elijah; and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said: “The faithful are ever sustained by the presence of the Supreme Concourse. In the Supreme Concourse are Jesus, and Moses, and Elijah, and Bahá’u’lláh, and other supreme Souls: there, also, are the martyrs.”

When asked about the individual persistence of the animal’s personality after death, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said: “Even the most developed dog has not the immortal soul of the man; yet the dog is perfect in its own place. You do not quarrel with a rose-tree because it cannot sing!”    SOURCE

One theme that cuts across death and death of the ego is reality as in the is-ness of things - don't quarrel with a rose-tree because it can't sing!

TAGS: Zen, Buddhism, interfaith, inter-spirituality, interfaith inter-spirituality, death, ego, dying to self, Self, Socrates, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá ,  Lao-tzu, Heschel, Sufi, is-ness, ontology, today, the secret of the universe, Kabir Helminski, Sufism, prayer, meditation, Baha'i, Jesus, Moses, Elijah, Bahá’u’lláh, salvation, redemption, animals, roses, dogs, birds, perennial philosophy, is-ness, ontology, being, reality, 

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Saturday, 10 November 2012

Martin Luther King - his honary doctorate from Newcastle Uni


Martin Luther King receives an honorary degree from Newcastle University on 13 November 1967. For more info, visit:

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Martin Luther King - his honary doctorate from Newcastle Uni


Martin Luther King receives an honorary degree from Newcastle University on 13 November 1967. For more info, visit:

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Friday, 9 November 2012

Sunday, 4 November 2012

What if money were no object? Alan Watts

It was the title that attracted me to this short video.  But is his argument valid a) given his Zen inspiration and b) given the world we now live in?


'Getting there' is  a) the same now as then as at all times - unhooking ourselves from past hurts and desires in the future b) helping stop the rich continuing to rob the poor.

What do you think?

TAGS: Alan Watts, spirituality, interfaith, interfaith inter-spirituality, interspirituality, social justice, 

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Saturday, 3 November 2012

Are you ego-istical? - Abdu'l-Baha & Ken Wilber teachings


Ken Wilber says;

"Evolution does not isolate us from the rest of the Kosmos, it unites us with the rest of the Kosmos: the same currents that produced birds from dust and poetry from rocks produce egos from ids and sages from egos." 
-- Integral Psychology , p. 192

The Baha'i Teacher Abdu'l-Baha has this to say;

The spirit of faith, the beloved, the spiritual ego, the friend, the adored one, the desired one, the rays of the sun of truth, the flame of reality, the radiations of the celestial world, the lord, the nightingale, etc., are all synonyms of the one reality of man.
(Abdu'l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 29)
Wilber also has a new angle on the ego as perfect manifestation of the Divine;

The ego is not a thing but a subtle effort, and you cannot use effort to get rid of effort--you end up with two efforts instead of one. The ego itself is a perfect manifestation of the Divine, and it is best handled by resting in Freedom, not by trying to get rid of ego, which simply increases the effort of ego itself. 
-- One Taste , p. 256

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He's a gay, he's married, they are happy - a beautiful story?


A beautiful expression of loving humanity;

Facts about The Weed (written by his wife, who has adopted the role as his publicist):

1. He's a Marriage and Family Therapist.

2. He's an active Mormon

3. He's gay

4. He's married to a woman (who is awesome!)

5. He's amazing.

6. He writes this blog. He writes about ALL kinds of things. It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. It might even make you mad or offended. Give it a try.

Their story starts like this;

Hi guys.

Lolly and I are sitting by a pool in the blazing sun, tanning our Seattle-white skin. We are having the time of our lives. Our kids are being watched by their Aunt Kati and Uncle Blake while we relax, celebrating ten incredible years of marriage.

And, side by side, we are finishing the final details of this post which we have written together over the course of the last month.

This is a different post than what you’re used to seeing here on The Weed. If you are here to laugh and read something light-hearted and fun, you probably want to skip this one. It's long. And it's serious. And I won't be offended by anyone who decides to wait until things get light-hearted again.

This is the post where I tell you that I, Josh Weed, am homosexual.

I need to clarify a couple of things.

First, I think it’s important to clarify that although The Weed is a humor blog, this post is not a joke. This isn’t satire. This is not aimed to get laughs. I promise. This is completely serious, and it is us being completely real and genuine on a subject that is very personal and very dear to our hearts. 

Second, I need to clarify that this post is written from the standpoint of a devout, believing Mormon and addresses topics seen within the Mormon and broader Christian community. Please forgive us if our focus feels unfamiliar, or feels totally incongruent with the rest of the posts on this blog.

I guess the premise of this post is to share that not only am I homosexual, but I’m also a devout and believing Mormon. And that I’m very happily married to a woman, and have been for ten years now.
And for the first time, we’re talking about it publicly.

When we do tell people about this—and we’ve been telling a lot of people lately, so we’ve gotten really practiced at it—they usually have a lot of really good, genuine questions. Here are some of the questions we’re most frequently asked (there really should be an acronym for that—I know! I’ll call it a FAQ!). We hope answering these questions will help you understand how we make sense of this delicate and complicated issue in our lives.

1. Why have you decided to share this information?

Go HERE to read the Josh Weed family story.

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