1. There is a flower that grows in the Himalayas and only blooms once every 100 years. It is a rare person who ever sees it, even in passing, but even she rarely stops to realize its beauty.
2. In one moment of anger you can destroy a lifetime of good karma.
3. The myth of the western hero, replayed in popular films in the west, is of a hero who conquers evil by war and/or violence. But modern warfare is just a funeral pyre on which we heap the bodies of loved ones. (This was the topic of a talk by the Dalai Lama in NYC in --I think- 1996.)
4. Teachings on anger are like the texts on fire management read by forest rangers. There is always a lot of debate about the question of controlled burns.
5. Certain Buddhist masters, it is said, are magicians. They can levitate, manifest in two places at once, walk on water, and leave fingerprints in stone. Some of the greatest still fail to accomplish the most important feat of all: to leave an imprint on another’s heart.
6. The heart has a door which must be opened if one is to become a buddha. The door can only be opened by another human. Never by oneself.
7. A buddha is simply one who is awake. Everyone wakes up--if only for a second before s/he begins to dream again. Ah, what dreams! What nightmares . . . . We must keep our eyes shut tight to see what happens next . . .
8. But this is my question. Are the poems and stories only in the dream state? Would one be able to write if one woke up? Or would there be, as I have also been taught, no words for what/where/how one is then . . .
AWP in Minneapolis, and recommended reading
3 weeks ago