Friday, August 22, 2014

Weekly Quotes Part 29

May I be safe.
May I be happy.
May I be healthy.
May I live with ease.  (134)

Ideally, we want to get all three components of metta practice working together:  words, feelings, and images.  (145)

At some point, the phrases will become empty or robotic.  Any object of attention is like that:  it loses its charge after sufficient repetition.  That doesn’t necessarily mean the words should be changed.  Instead, stay close to the wishing side of the practice rather than the feeling side.  Your core motivation is the energetic center of the practice.  Remind yourself why you’re meditating:  to be happy and free from suffering.  (146)

Be patient.  It’s not uncommon to spend the first 2 to 3 years of metta practice just learning to love yourself.  (149)

Love is a double-edged sword; it cuts away the pain in the present, but it also slices into the pain of the past!  (150)

Misquoting Jesus by Bart D Ehrman

To be sure, of all the hundreds of thousands of textual changes found among our manuscripts, most of them are completely insignificant, immaterial, of no real importance for anything other than showing that scribes could not spell or keep focused any better than the rest of us.  It would be wrong, however, to say—as people sometimes do—that the changes in our text have no real bearing on what the text mean or on the theological conclusion that one draws from them.  (207-208)

If texts could speak for themselves, then everyone honestly and openly reading a text would agree on what the text says.  But interpretations of texts abound, and people in fact do not agree on what the texts mean.  (216)

Letting people in is largely a matter of not expending the energy to keep them out.

Effortless posture is not holding my body in position, but being in position where I am not holding.

No one thing
is more profound
than anything else

and counting every sound
and seeing every stone
and letting in the wind
               and not having to be somebody

[T]he anti-Semitism that build the Nazi death camps was a direct inheritance from medieval Christianity.  (42) 

Auschwitz, the Soviet gulags, and the killing fields of Cambodia are not examples of what happens to people when they become too reasonable.  To the contrary, these horrors testify to the dangers of political and racial dogmatism. . . .  The problem with religion—as with Nazism, Stalinism, or any other totalitarian mythology—is the problem of dogma itself.  I know of no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too desirous of evidence in support of their core beliefs.  (42-43)

Even if atheism led straight to moral chaos, this would not suggest that the doctrine of Christianity is true.  (46)

Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply an admission of the obvious. In fact, “atheism is a term that should not even exist.  No one ever needs to identify himself as a “non-astrologer” or a “non-alchemist.”  (51)

Once you stop swaddling the reality of the world’s suffering in religious fantasies, you will feel in your bones just how precious life is—and indeed, how unfortunate it is that millions of human beings suffer the most harrowing abridgements of their happiness for no good reason at all.  (54)

The Art of Storytelling by John D Walsh

If you aren’t willing to tell stories poorly, you won’t tell them at all.  (139)

You have too much to offer to allow the attention of your audience to wander from what you are saying.  (154)

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