The Temple of Dawn

It was the rainy season in Bangkok.  The air was saturated with a continuous fine drizzle, and often drops of rain would dance in a brilliant ray of sunlight.  Rifts of blue were always visible here and there; and even when the clouds clustered most thickly round the sun, the sky at their circumference was dazzlingly blue.  Before an approaching squall, it would turn ominously dark and threatening.  A foreboding shade would shroud the predominantly green, low-roofed city dotted with palms.

from Yukio Mishima “The Temple of Dawn” (Translated by E. Dale Saunders and Cecilia Segawa Seigle)

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Silence

My hunch from some time back was not wrong. What are the Japanese peasants looking for in me? These people who work and live and die like beasts find for the first time in which they can cast away the fetters that bind them. The Buddhist bonzes simply treat them like cattle. For a long time they have just lived in resignation to such a fate.

from Shusaku Endo “Silence” (Translated by William Johnson)

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The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times

As a SPECIES, we should never underestimate our low tolerance for discomfort.  To be encouraged to stay with our vulnerability is news that we can use.  Sitting meditation is our support for learning how to do this.  Sitting meditation, also knows as mindfulness-awareness practice, is the foundation of bodhichitta training.  It is the natural seat, the home ground of the warrior-bodhisattva.

from Pema Chödrön “The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times”

Siddhartha

He longed to be rid of himself, to find peace, to be dead. If only a bolt of lightning would strike him down! If only a tiger would devour him! If only there were a wine, a poison, that would numb him, bring him oblivion and sleep, and no more awakenings! Was there any sort of filth with which he had not yet defiled himself, any sin or folly he had not committed, any barrenness of soul he had not brought upon himself? Was it still possible to live? Was it possible to continue, over and over again, to draw breath, to exhale, to feel hunger, to eat again, to sleep again, to lie again beside a woman? Had not this cycle been exhausted for him, concluded?

from Hermann Hesse “Siddhartha – An Indian Poem” (Translated by Tom Robbins)