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Henry Shukman: Zen and the Art… Part 1 of 4

“There seemed to be a natural congruence between writing and the practice of zazen. And practice was demonstrably helpful: through daily zazen I worried less, focused more, had better ideas and produced more.” ~ Henry Shukman

We are pleased to offer this 4-part series, Zen and The Art, authored by Zen teacher and poet Henry Shukman, originally published as Zen and the Art, in the Spring 2012 Issue of Tricycle Magazine and also published on the Mountain Cloud Zen Center website.

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Munajat: Sama by Pir Elias Amidon

Munajat: “… a “whispered prayer” … is On its way to endlessness it has no need for hurry.  ~ Pir Elias Amidon

Munajat is a book of forty prayers, by Pir Elias Amidon. These prayers “… were originally inspired by the Munajat — “whispered prayers.” Enjoy Sama, another of Elias’ intimate conversations with God!

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Pir Elias: The Mysticism of Music

“If we listen closely to the coming-into-and-passing-out-of-being of each sound we can recognize that here is the very creation and renewal of the cosmos.” ~ Pir Elias

Pir Elias Amidon explores the mystery of music, What happens when music touches us?  What is it that enchants us in the mingling of sounds? What is happening that moves us so? Amidon’s aim is to suggest another way of experiencing what is behind the questions.

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Philip Renard: Non-Dualism, Part 1 of 2

“Non-duality is what remains when the seeking stops, when there is ‘finding’. This happens when the inner struggle is realized as being not based on reality, and in this realization the whole body-mind relaxes. I am not two.” ~Philip Renard

Stillness Speaks is delighted to offer the first chapter, What is Non-dualism of Philip Renard’s book Non-Dualism: Eastern Enlightenment in the World of Western Enlightenment which provides an in-depth exploration of non-duality.

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Rumi: Like This

When someone mentions the gracefulness
of the nightsky, climb up on the roof
and dance and say,

                                       Like this.

If anyone wants to know what “spirit” is,
or what “God’s fragrance” means,
lean your head toward him or her.
Keep your face there close.

                                       Like this.

Continue reading to enjoy Rumi’s full post…

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Henry Shukman: Who is it that Lives?

“I and all beings, and the whole great earth together have simultaneously attained the way.” ~Shakyamuni Buddha

Henry Shukman shares his thoughts on Shakyamuni Buddha’s pre-awakening journey as he finally resolved, his burning question: “Who is it that lives?”

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The Ten Thousand Things: Awakening and Behavior

To study the self is to forget the self.
To forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things.
           ~ Eihei Dogen, 1200-1253
Stillness Speaks is pleased to offer this excerpt from Robert Saltzman’s new book The Ten Thousand Things which takes a unique and pragmatic look at awakening, free will, self-determination, destiny, and choice. This post provides an overview of the book’s first chapter.
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What is a Koan?

The koan is a little nugget of something an awakened master did during his time. ~ Henry Shukman

Henry Shukman, Sanbo Zen Teacher and long time koan student, answers the question: What is a koan?

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Exploring The Simplicity of What Is, a 7-part series

“Liberation is the aliveness and immediacy beyond belief. Liberation is when all the answers, explanations and positions disappear, and what remains is the open mind of not knowing.” ~Joan Tollifson

In this seven part essay, The Simplicity of What Is, Joan explores “the imaginary problems that we think are binding us from waking up to the aliveness of this moment, just as it is …”  …

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Deepak Chopra: The Human Universe

“That’s the current state of our cosmology, nothingness. Is that nothing just an empty void? Or could it be the womb of creation? Rumi said, ‘we come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust.’ Spinning out of nothingness–that could be you.”

Deepak Chopra discusses the seven universes that human beings have devised to explain existence, leading to the conclusion that the cosmos has evolved to reflect human evolution. This is not a philosophical observation but a “must be so” when it comes to such baffling dilemmas as the origin of life and the appearance of consciousness.

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Joan Tollifson: The Simplicity of What Is (Part 6 of 7)

“Liberation is the aliveness and immediacy beyond belief. Liberation is when all the answers, explanations and positions disappear, and what remains is the open mind of not knowing.”

“Boundlessness… means that everything is equally insubstantial, that there are no separate “things” to be joined, that there is no substance to get hold of anywhere.” Continue Joan Tollifson’s brilliant exploration of non-duality in the Simplicity of What Is, Part 6 of this seven part series.

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Kaz Tanahashi & Henry Shukman: Dogen Retreat

“Rising, as the mountain
Peaks and valleys deepen-
The twilight sound of the cicada
Singing of a day
Already gone by.”
~ Dogen

We are pleased to announce Stillness Speaks’ first live event in Santa Fe on Zen Master Dogen with co-hosts, Kaz Tanahashi and Henry Shukman. We will co-sponsor this event with Mountain Cloud Zen Center.

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Pir Elias: The Art of Awakening, Part 2 of 2

“…there is a ripening process that spiritual practices can serve, to bring us to a readiness from which we may more easily open beyond path and ripening and preparation.”

Pir Elias concludes his essay on the “Art of Awakening” by exploring this key question: What, then, does it take for a spiritual path to be effective?

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