Sunday, September 30, 2018

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Businessman or Employee

In the 1970's enlightenment was in the air. India, Tibet, and Japan exported many spiritual teachers to the U.S.A. Demand was high for insights from the Buddhist and Hindu traditions. I attended a workshop with one such a teacher fresh from India. He said: "You are either a businessman or employee!" It was an unforgettable comment. A businessperson does not assume there will be a "next" paycheck. To succeed, businesspersons must generate "confidence" (a word based in Latin, meaning "with faith"). A business' source of supply depends on the ebb and flow of clients, the cycles of the seasons, and the economic climate. Nothing is taken for granted. An employee believes that paychecks will keep coming -- hardly thinking the businessperson, the employer, is mortgaging their house to finance the next month's paychecks. The spiritual teacher from India, was a businessman. He scheduled talks, got the word out, collected money and planned for future workshops. He was not an employee. When I saw him, I did not appreciate that businesslike quality. Now, I see it as spiritual, and close to the Buddhist ideal of living with knowledge of impermanence. Employees pay a price for security -- akin to surrender of the ego. Come to think of it: that's Buddhist, too.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Friday, September 21, 2018

Choruses from The Rock – T.S. Eliot

The Eagle soars in the summit of Heaven,
The Hunter with his dogs pursues his circuit.
O perpetual revolution of configured stars,
O perpetual recurrence of determined seasons,
O world of spring and autumn, birth and dying!
The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.
All our knowledge brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to God.
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
Brings us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.

{First stanza}

Monday, September 17, 2018

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

THE INTERNET IS MY omnipresent conduit to infinite distraction

THE INTERNET IS MY omnipresent conduit to infinite distraction. It is the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do at night. In between, my smartphone ensures that I am never very far from my next Google-Facebook-YouTube-Craigslist-Amazon fix. I have been in rooms full of people, each glued to a hand-held device and completely oblivious to the others.
What began for me as a thing of wonder is now merely my drug of choice. I miss my friends — the very ones whose hourly Facebook posts keep me up to date on their every move. I miss sitting on the front porch of my row house on a warm summer evening and talking to the neighbors who walk by. My nervous system spent the past two hundred thousand years evolving in an environment of human interaction, and now that’s disappeared almost overnight.      -- Rick Silberman   Grass Valley, California