The whole concatenation of wild and artificial things, the natural ecosystem as modified by people over the centuries, the build environment layered over layers, the eerie mix of sounds and smells and glimpses neither natural nor crafted- all of it is free for the taking, for the taking in. Take it, take it in, take in more every weekend, every day, and quickly it becomes the theater that intrigues, relaxes, fascinates, seduces, and above all expands any mind focused on it. Outside lies utterly ordinary space open to any casual explorer willing to find the extraordinary. Outside lies unprogrammed awareness that at times becomes directed serendipity. Outside lies magic.
Why are...poor people more ready to share their goods than rich people? The answer is easy: The poor have little to lose; the rich have more to lose and they are more attached to their possessions. Poverty provides a deeper motivation for understanding your neighbors, welcoming others and attending to those who are suffering. I would go so far as to say that poverty helps you understand what happiness is, what serenity is in life.
Once again, we are reminded that awakening, or enlightenment is not the property of Buddhism, any more than Truth is the property of Christianity. Neither the Buddha nor the Christ belongs exclusively to the communities that were founded in their names. They belong to all people of goodwill, all who are attentive to the secret which lives in the depths of their breath and their consciousness. (14)
Sophia was asked to speak to the students of a local medical school. Sophia, what do we need to be better doctors? the students asked. Doctors, Sophia said, need strong stomachs and strong powers of observation. Then she opened a canister. The putrid smell quickly moved through the classroom. Sophia stuck a finger in the jar, pulled it up, and then licked it. She passed the jar around encouraging each doctor in training to do the same. Each did, and though many felt nauseas, no one got sick. You all have very strong stomachs, she said. But your powers of observation need some work. What do you mean? they asked. We did just what you did. There is one difference, she replied. The finger I dipped in the jar was not the finger I licked.
Men didn't understand that you couldn't let yourself be consumed with passion when there were so many people needing your attention, when there was so much work to do. Men didn't understand that there was nothing big enough to exempt you from your obligations, which began as soon as the sun rose over the paper company and ended only after you'd finished the day's chores and fell exhausted into sleep against the background noise of I-94.
To a man, sex is the ultimate expression of love. It is pure pleasure. But to a woman there exists something greater than pleasure - gestures of adoration. A gentle caress on the cheek, an attentive smile, a soft kiss while swept away in a slow dance, the whispered words, - these are the tokens of love that women cherish.