Yoga Teacher, Amateur Cyclist, and Clergy
“’Non-aggression’ doesn’t mean that you’re not supposed to get angry; it doesn’t mean that you’re not supposed to set boundaries; it doesn’t mean that you’re not supposed to be sharp; it doesn’t mean that you don’t have neurotic upheavals and meltdowns. What it does mean is that we have to keep letting go - until we are naked with ourselves, and we are making room for the person we actually are. And it’s the exact same process with other people. We have to let go, let go, let go… Until we see and we are seen.”
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
“He who pounds his pillow is in touch with neither his anger nor the pillow.”
“In some ways to be able to forgive, to let go, is a type of dying. It is the ability to say, “I am not that person anymore, and you are not that person anymore.” Forgiveness allows us to recapture some part of ourselves that we left behind in bondage to a past event. Some part of our identity may also need to die in that letting go, so that we can reclaim the energy bound up in the past.”
“Boredom is rage spread thin.”
“We don’t teach meditation to the young monks. They are not ready for it until they stop slamming doors.”
'We don’t teach meditation to the young monks. They are not ready for it until they stop slamming doors.'
~ Thich Nhat Hanh to Thomas Merton in 1966
The piercing truth of this statement struck me as a perfect way to communicate the endless disguises and devices of the false self. There is no more clever way for the false self to hide than behind the mask of spirituality. The human ego will always try to name, categorize, fix, control, and insure all its experiences. For the ego everything is a commodity. It lives inside of self-manufactured boundaries instead of inside the boundaries of the God-self. It lives out of its own superior image instead of mirroring the image of God. The ego is constantly searching for any solid and superior identity. A spiritual self-image gives us status, stability, and security. There is no better way to remain unconscious than to baptize and bless the forms of religion, even prayer itself, instead of surrendering to the Substance Itself. First stop slamming doors, and then you can begin in the kindergarten of spirituality. Too many priests, bishops, and ministers are still slamming doors.
In the name of seeking God, the ego pads and protects itself from self-discovery, which is an almost perfect cover for its inherent narcissism. I know this because I have done it all myself.”
“As we meditate, we simply sit straight and watch the breath. So what does that do? It creates space. In fact, the technique itself is just a trick. The main point is to recognize all these thoughts and distractions that are constantly bombarding us. We still get angry, but we know that we are angry. When we are angry and know it, the anger has a lot of humor. With that kind of anger, we have more control.”