NO LONGER UGLY

NO LONGER UGLY

Once upon a time there was a boy who had a dog. The boy and the dog loved each other and played happily as dear friends. But one day the dog did something the boy’s parents didn’t like. To appease his parents, the boy had to send the dog away. Years passed, and the boy forgot there had ever been a dog . But inside him there was still a place where something was missing. When he was a man, the missing place called him so strongly that he had to go in search of what he needed. His search brought him to the edge of a forest.

Not knowing why, he found himself sitting, waiting. Slowly, gradually, two burning eyes appeared in the darkness of the forest. The young man waited. Slowly, gradually, a long pointed nose emerged. The young man waited. Finally, out of the forest, slinking, there came an animal: thin, scarred, muddy, matted with burrs. You would hardly know it had ever been a dog.

The young man greeted it softly: Hello. The ugly dog stopped, untrusting. The young man felt in his body the memory stirring of the good and happy times with his friend. He said to the animal before him: I want to know how it has been for you, all these years in exile. And in his own way the dog told him, this, and this. Sad, lonely, scared, bitter. The young man told the dog that he had heard it. He heard all that he had gone through.

And with this hearing, the dog visibly softened, became warmer and more trusting. After some time, it came close enough to be touched. When the young man touched the dog, he could feel the missing place inside him begin to fill in. And soon after he took the dog home, and gave it a bath and a warm place by the fire – after it felt loved again – it was no longer ugly. It was beautiful.

Source: Ann Weiser Cornell and Barbara McGavin
The Radical Acceptance of Everything
Calluna Press, 2005

CONSIDER THIS

“I have long been persuaded that desire is not an emptiness needing to be filled but a fullness needing to be in relation.  Desire is love trying to happen.”  – Sebastian Moore, Jesus and the Liberator of Desire (Crossroad, 1989)

 

SOME THIRST

A couple of strangers were visiting a dusty little town in the back country of west Texas. It was hard-shell Baptist country: No drinkin’ and no dancin’! But these two were strangers, so they asked a cowboy where they might get a drink.

“In this town,” said the cowboy, “they use whiskey only for snakebite.”  Then he added slyly, “There’s only one snake in town.  So you better get in line before it gets worn out!”

Source | Dennis R. Clark, Sunday Morning, Reflections on the Word

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • As a deer thirsts for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. | Psalm 42:1
  • How thirsty are you … for life … for truth … for justice?

THE WAY OF PEACE AND JOY

A follower asked, “You said that no desire, no action. no virtue, no truth are the Four Laws and the Way to Peace and Joy. But I do not see how there can be joy when there is no existence.”

The One Lord, the Messiah, answered, “What a wonderful question. I will tell you again. It is only nothing that can give rise to something. If it were in something, Peace and Joy would never be. And why? Take for example a mountain filled with forest. The leaves and branches of the trees spread shade everywhere. Surely this mountain forest does not seek birds and animals, but they all come here on their own to nest and gather.

“Or think of a great sea that draws all the rivers and springs and is vast without limits and deep beyond measure, Surely this ocean does not seek fish and scaly creatures. But they all dwell there on their own.

“Those of you who seek Peace and Joy are like these birds and fish. You need only pacify your minds and live quietly. Then in practicing these teachings, you will not have to seek Peace and Joy, they will simply be there like the forest and the ocean.This is how nothing gives rise to something.”

Source | Thomas Moore & Ray Riegert (Editors) The Lost Sutras of Jesus. Unlocking the Ancient Wisdom of the Xian Monks, pages 80-81

 

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • The first law is no desire. Your heart seeks one thing after another, creating a multitude of problems. you must not allow them to flare up. Desires are like the roots of plants. Since they are buried deep below the earth you can’t see them and don’t know they are damaged until the buds of the plant begin to wither and die. desire in the human heart can’t be recognized from the outside either. Desire can sap wholesome energy from the four limbs and the body’s openings, turning it into unwholesome activity. This cuts us off from the roots of Peace and Joy. That is why you must practice the law of no desire.
  • The second law is no action. Doing things for mundane reasons is not part of your true being. You have to cast aside vain endeavors and avoid shallow experiences. otherwise you are deceiving yourself. It’s like being aboard a ship adrift on the ocean. The sea water rolls and swells with the wind, creating waves that force the ship this way and that way. There is no peace on board, everyone is worrying they will sink. We live our lives veering this way and that: We do things for the sake of progress and material gain, neglecting what is truly important and losing sight of the Way. That is why you must distance yourself from the material wold and practice the law of no action.
  • The third law is no virtue . Don’t try to find pleasure by making a name for yourself through good deeds. Practice instead universal loving kindness that is directed towards everyone. Never seek praise for what you do. Consider the earth. It produces and nurtures a multitude of creatures, each receiving what it needs. Words cannot express the benefits the earth provides. Like the earth, you are at one with Peace and Joy when you practice the laws and save living creatures. But do it without acclaim. This is the law of no virtue.
  • The fourth law is no truth. Don’t be concerned with facts, forget about right and wrong, sinking or rising, winning or losing. Be like a mirror . It reflects one and all; blue, yellow and all other colors; long, short, any size. It reflects everything as it is, without judging. Those who have awakened to the Way, who have attained the mind of Peace and Joy, who can see all karmic conditions and who share their enlightenment with others, reflect the world like a mirror, leaving no trace of themselves.

Source | Thomas Moore & Ray Riegert (Editors) The Lost Sutras of Jesus. Unlocking the Ancient Wisdom of the Xian Monks, pages 81-83