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A good smoke before an old dance / Awakening Practice Of Listening

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  • ghwelker3@comcast.net
    A good smoke before an old dance. http://www.earthwaveproductions.com/RelatedArtists/TurtleHeart.html Image:
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2008
      A good smoke before an old dance.




      This American Indian man is 83 years old. He has learned how to keep personal
      power, beauty and the sacred mystery life together. His movements upon the earth
      are in the footsteps of those who have gone before him.Tribal art reflects, at
      its best, this passion for a distinctive life which comes from being close to
      the earth as often as possible. He has the formidable beauty of his own spirit
      to direct him in this life. He does not need either your approval or your
      understanding. Instead of pushing against the world, he dances for it. There is
      such freedom set loose when that happens. He has never blamed anyone. When he
      wants to move, however and wherever he may move, the way is cleared before him.
      There are no obstacles present which prevent him from being himself. Inside
      every life is a sacred dancer. Some dances create forgiveness, which comes as
      rain upon the earth. Some dances release a vison, and capturing that vison we
      may make art and tell a story in time of spirit, of uniqu
      eness, of the beauty of the sacred earth.

      More poems:


      The Awakening Practice Of Listening
      Zen Master Dae Gak
      excerpt from PREFACE


      The Chinese master Dongshan once taught,
      �Concerning realization, through the body, of going beyond Buddha, I would like to talk a little.�
      A monk said,
      �what is this talk?�
      Dongshan said,
      �when I talk, you don�t hear it.�
      The monk asked,
      �can you hear it, master?�
      then Dongshan replied,
      �wait until I don�t talk, then you will hear it.�

      Listening is the fundamental practice of any spiritual path. By definition, � to listen� means to pay attention in order to hear, to heed, or to attend.
      In listening, we perceive things as they are.
      To perceive is to become one with our experience.
      Becoming one is to manifest in the moment, alive and immediate. If our listening is partial, there is still an I who is listening, and our listening is tainted by this. It is only when listening is complete that the enlightened mind appears.

      Listening as a practice can be a very direct way to take spiritual practice into everyday life. Because listening is a part of both the spiritual and the mundane realms, the barrier between �Zen� and life dissolves in listening practice. Zen practice is functional whether listening to the breath or listening to a friend complain, whether sitting in a temple or riding on a bus, while attending the most sacred ceremony or listening to the screech and clatter of a busy hospital emergency room. It takes no particular skill or understanding to listen. It only takes trying. So we say, Try, try, try for ten thousand years. Because we are humans, we are compassionate by nature. But our compassion becomes lost in self interest. Listening is a practice that returns us to our true way. The way of human beings. The way of compassion.

      Listening is a difficult practice. It takes enormous effort and intention to listen clearly. We are distracted and absorbed by the mind habit of years of conditioning. This book encourages us to see through this mind habit and grasp the immediacy of experience. We listen with our eyes; we listen with our nose, our tongue. We listen with every cell and every pore of our body.
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