Hey all….

…Look!

The Magpie is back at it.

For those who don’t already know, The Magpie is my amazingly talented and creative (if I do say so myself) daughter. While she has had the hand and eye of a True Artist quite literally since she was still in diapers….

…and her talent (and creativity and imagination) has grown nigh exponentially…

(just a small sampling of the depth and breadth of her work over the last few years)

…she has now made made the written word her main focus. She is currently eating, sleeping and breathing the writing life, morning, noon and night. It is the first thing she wants to do every day and we must force her to stop every night in order to get some unfortunately necessary rest. And she is doing all this while somehow still maintaining her visual art pursuits, interests in science, math, mythology and literature and high honors in school. Her dedication to this new endeavor puts my paltry efforts to shame.

I hope you’ll take a look at her Magpies Menagerie and see what she’s been up to and stick around to see what she has in store.

https://magpiesmenagerie.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/hi-again/

(Am I being overly indulgent or proud? Can you blame me?)

Quotes for Peace

Kozo’s Recent Post reminded me of so many things that have been in my reading and in the fore-front of my mind lately.  Each of these quotes came to mind as I read his words so it might make more sense to read his post first, and then come back to this.

Seemed like a good First Post for Peace.

I hope that you may find one of these to be of use to you…

“You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.”

“Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.”

—Alan Watts

“The path itself does not lie there waiting for you to walk along it.  It needs to be cultivated, nurtured—literally, “brought into being.”  Such a path might open up in a revealing moment of insight, only to be lost again through subsequent neglect.  To believe in a path is not enough.  One has to create and maintain it.  The practice of the eightfold path is a creative act.”

—Stephen Batchelor

“Failure is the key to success.  Every mistake teaches us something.”

—Morihei Ueshiba

“To know, deep in your bones, how everything you experience is fleeting, poignant, and unreliable undermines the rationale for trying to grasp hold of, possess, and control it.  To fully know suffering begins to affect how you relate to the world, how you respond to others, how you manage your own life.  For how can I seek lasting solace in something that I know is incapable of providing it?  Why would I stake all my hopes for happiness on something that I know will finally let me down?  To embrace the suffering world challenges my innate tendency to see everything from the perspective of self-centered craving.

Craving is not something I can willfully discard, no matter how hard I tell myself to stop.  In keeping with the principle of conditioned arising, to be free from craving requires the removal of the conditions that produce it.  In the Buddha’s analysis, the root of craving lies in the misconception that lasting, non-contingent happiness is to be found in a fleeting, contingent world.  As you come to realize how impossible this is, craving starts to subside and fall away of its own accord.”

—Stephen Batchelor

“To have compassion for others when their suffering is clear to us is natural and easy. To have compassion for one who injures us from the place of their own suffering is a practice. To look past the acts of hurt and ugliness, to see the whole picture of a person’s life and how they have incarcerated themselves behind the bars of their illusions of who they are, is to give them a dignity that opens a space for understanding.

To have compassion for ourselves in this way is perhaps the most difficult work of all.

The word “forgiveness” is laden with expectations, doubts, and “shoulds”. Compassion means opening a crack, letting a little light in, letting some air circulate, and making a space – even a tiny one – for healing to begin.”

—Zen Doe (@The Wind Horse Blog, if you’re not reading her, you should be…)