SELECTED READINGS


From "Orgudes Ja":
You cannot see the scent of the lotus flower.
You cannot smell the roar of thunder.
You cannot hear the sweetness of the plum.
You cannot taste the soft of the cloud
You cannot touch the beauty of the stars.
Yet together, they define our senses.


*


From Räägib Rahvasuu legend:
Water is necessary for life, but not every moment of everyday. Similarly heaven.


*


From Mingiteks Neid (Second Reading):
A robe covers the skin.
The skin covers the soul.
The soul covers heaven.
But only two can be discarded.
So are they really any different?


*


From teachings of Ven. Uus Maailm:
Sometimes it is enough to sit without words. And sometimes it is enough to sit with only words.

Man, from the beginning, has always understood his role[viska]. That is one of the Seven Natural Harmonies. He has only to learn how to manage it.


*


From the lectures of Ajahn Kummalisi:
A poem may be understood in much the same way that the wind can be understood.
Or the lightning reasoned with.
Or the tree made to laugh.
Or the rock cajoled to dance.
Or the being asked to change


*


From the teachings of Ajahn Videviku:
Reason is not what we do.
Reason is not what we think.
Reason is not what we see.
Reason is not what we desire.
Reason is not what we need.
Reason is just that.


*


From the proverbs of Ven. Varjatud (son of Korraldab):
When a leaf grows vermilion is Spring, it does not consider the yellow fate of Autumn. When a flute sounds the note of the dance, it does not consider the somber timbre of the funeral processional. When a rose sates the lover of beauty, it thinks not of the prick of the thorn. So too is a well spent life.


*


From the Legends of Vishna-Ghrim (Book 3):
A man was making his path along a road when he came to a fork. He asked a passing Ajahn in which direction he might find his way. The Ajahn replied, "Follow your own footprints."

"But how can this be?" asked the traveler, "As my footprint are always behind me. "

Knowingly said the Ajahn, " Sometimes, we must walk backwards."


*


From the Legends of Vishna-Ghrim (Book 1):
A man of noble birth was in need of a scripter to record a deed. He searched the grounds, but to no avail. Finally he thought he spied his goal perched in a window of a neighbor's ante-chamber. Unsure, he asked the neighbor if there was a writer in the window. To which the neighbor replied, "Maybe yes, or is there a window in the writer?"


*


From the Legends of Vishna-Ghrim (Book 6):
A young impetuous boy, dismayed at his fate, took it upon himself to seek a new path in life. He left his home at first light and followed the arc of the sun. But by noon, with the sun directly overhead, he was hopelessly lost in the forest. Discovering an old woman picking berries, he explained his plight and asked for directions to his new way. The woman advised him to wait until sundown and then walk the route away from the sun.

"No, you foolish old hag," yelled the boy, "that would bring me back to where I started."

The old woman responded, "The world is round. And you will eventually get to where you need to be. I was just showing you the quicker route."


*


From the writings of Ajahn Mängureeglid Saadaval:
An angry young man, who had been driven from the beginning of his time by a distant music - a Battle Hymn - found himself growing weary of his wars. One evening, a sparrow silently alighted on his shoulder, "You must sit and rest your eyes."

"I cannot," cursed the young man, "for to sit would be to look back. And to look back would be to trust that your enemies will not sneak up and strike."

"In some matters, " replied the sparrow, "you can trust your enemies. For when it comes to enemies, you can always hear them coming."


*


Ancient proverbs of the Tagasi Ja Nad (Truth Seekers):
Sometimes it is necessary for The Truth to shed it's light gradually, or every man would be blind.

We sometimes seek answers which are too complicated while forgetting answers that are so simple.

Character is the architecture of the soul.

We will not find the picture of truth as a glittering whole. Instead we see but one tile of the mosaic up close and then slowly take a step back.

Between the two pillars of Truth and Lies, there we sling our hammock in which we all sway.


*


Reading from The Book of Kokku Parkituna:
To live a life with out ever lying is to live in a house with no lock on your door.

We carry but a few kernels of Truth in an olive jar otherwise filled with rocks. Yet we are sated.

If I feel my feet dancing, although sitting in a chair, I know that is Truth.

Nothing has really happened until it has been discussed.


*


Excepts form the Käimasolev:
The poet also stirs his soup.

If everyone was hungry, food would be dear. If everyone was a poet, words would still be free.

Seeking wisdom is like making a long journey at night - you can travel a great distance, even though your lantern allows you to see only a few paces at a time.


*


From Tales of Ven. Abiks:
Just as we must train ourselves in obedience and discipline, so too the poet and his words.

To carve beauty into a stone without the benefit of sight is not as daunting as it sounds. Just look to a mountain. So too wisdom.

At times, we must plod along the path. At times, we must tread lightly and dare not to be seen. And then remember the difference.


*


Reading from Tombe of Lihtsalt Müüt, as translated by Ajahn Siis Peeti:
With the feather of a bird - a quill - I can change the world.


*


From the book Wisdon of Kaj:
As the stories grow, so too the teller.


*


Teachings of Ajahn Kuna Ned Aga [Lülikiirelt]:
Man forgets all he wants to remember and remembers all he wants to forget. Then he tries to fish.

A message in a bottle. A shout in the dark. Both carry a second belief - that I am here and you are here too.

Some of us see. And some of us see color.

Many have skin, a few have flesh.


*


Song of Psillum:
Where does the river end and the sea begin? Where does the sky end and the earth begin? Where does the warmth end and the cold begin? When does one person end and another begin?


*


Reading from Sanjiterka:
A garden fades quickly without sun and water. And without a gardener.


*


Blessing of the Varjud [Feast of the Rebirth]:
The problem is not that one is attracted to the disinterested mind. The problem is that one invites them inside.


*


From a Sangorri chant:
We all live in a desert of shifting sands.


*


Reading from Ven. Olla Ka:
Sometimes, with perseverance, we will find a truth or two in life. But that is enough to summer us and winter us. To grieve us and rejoice us. To feed us.


*


From the book of Enda Küsimustele:
You must keep that which is worth keeping. And with a breathe of kindness, pass over that which is not.

The powder of a true friendship contains grains of truth as well as grains of sand.

We must treat each man as if he is the King of Kings. And that is the just the place to start.


*


From the songs of Ajahn Esmaasukad:
Just as the Lotus and the Rose may coexist in the garden, the intellect and the spirit need not wage war in your garden.

If you let go of fear, it will not let go of you. It will see you and follow you on your path. But if you shed light on fear, it will be blinded and can proceed no further.


**







(c) 1997-2003 Pho Monastery