Non-Buddhist writing that reminds you of the dhamma

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Re: Non-Buddhist writing that reminds you of the dhamma

Postby nathan » Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:39 am

As 'reminiscent' this could be an endless list, so long as we understand that it is not the doctrine or any other lion's roar imho.
By some reasonable kind of acceptable exegesis, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiasties, Psalms, Gospel of John, Gospel of Thomas, etc., etc..

Boatloads of poetry.

Bruce Cockburn
Most of the 194 lyrics listed at this site.

The Tibetan Side of Town
http://www.lyricsfreak.com/b/bruce+cock ... 12430.html
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Non-Buddhist writing that reminds you of the dhamma

Postby salmon » Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:12 am

My favourite has got to be this:

The Little Prince

"Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.
:anjali:
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Re: Non-Buddhist writing that reminds you of the dhamma

Postby nathan » Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:17 am

salmon wrote:"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember."
Sweet.
:smile:
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Non-Buddhist writing that reminds you of the dhamma

Postby nathan » Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:13 am

I just found this one and I think I will try it out as potentially a good way to calm my nerves on what will be my first long distance international air flight. I'm confident it could easily live up to this excerpt from the much longer review posted for it. I'll know in a day when it is done downloading. Ok, nuff from me about this guy. He is the most consistently dhamma reminiscent contemporary artist I know of. Having also not ever expressly said he was trying to be to my knowledge.

You've Never Seen Everything 2003 Bruce Cockburn (international version)
From the iTunes album review, copyright 2009 Apple Computer Co.

"It is pointless to place this record in a pecking order with Cockburns other work; that it adds to that body of work immeasurably is compliment enough. However, to say that it is necessary because it can cause self - and world - examination in any listener who plays it through is as high a compliment as can be offered."
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Non-Buddhist writing that reminds you of the dhamma

Postby zavk » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:44 am

Just paid quite a bit of money for tickets to see Simon & Garfunkel. I never though I could see them live and this is probably the last time they will tour internationally.

To me, artistes like Leonard Cohen and Simon & Garfunkel (ok Ben, I'll add Bob Dylan too, but like Retro I can't quite get into his music :shrug:) have an amazing ability to speak the truth of samsara in achingly beautiful ways.

Patterns by Simon & Garfunkel

The night sets softly
With the hush of falling leaves,
Casting shivering shadows
On the houses through the trees,
And the light from a street lamp
Paints a pattern on my wall,
Like the pieces of a puzzle
Or a child's uneven scrawl.

Up a narrow flight of stairs
In a narrow little room,
As I lie upon my bed
In the early evening gloom.
Impaled on my wall
My eyes can dimly see
The pattern of my life
And the puzzle that is me.

From the moment of my birth
To the instant of my death,
There are patterns I must follow
Just as I must breathe each breath.
Like a rat in a maze
The path before me lies,
And the pattern never alters
Until the rat dies.

And the pattern still remains
On the wall where darkness fell,
And it's fitting that it should,
For in darkness I must dwell.
Like the color of my skin,
Or the day that I grow old,
My life is made of patterns
That can scarcely be controlled.


Metta,
zavk
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Re: Non-Buddhist writing that reminds you of the dhamma

Postby zavk » Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:30 am

"All true learning should be alive with the sense of its own limitations and with the instinct for a vital experience of reality which speculation alone cannot provide."

Thomas Merton, The Ascent to Truth, Hollis and Carter, London, 1951: p44
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Re: Non-Buddhist writing that reminds you of the dhamma

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:49 am

Interestingly enough, the pillars at the the Oracle of Delphi had three phrases engraved upon them:

Know Thyself
Do nothing in excess.
and my favorite: Make no pledges, lest ye invite mischief.

:tongue:

J
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?
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Re: Non-Buddhist writing that reminds you of the dhamma

Postby Mexicali » Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:20 pm

James Joyce's Dubliners. Baldwin's Sonny's Blues.
"We do not embrace reason at the expense of emotion. We embrace it at the expense of self-deception."
-- Herbert Muschamp
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Re: Non-Buddhist writing that reminds you of the dhamma

Postby floating_abu » Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:40 am

zavk wrote:Hi friends,

I'm curious about the kinds of non-Buddhist writing you've come across that remind you of some aspect or another of the dhamma.

They can be words from a poem, a novel, a song, a philosophical text, a scientific text, another religious tradition.... whatever..... even graffiti in public toilets!

I thought it'd be interesting to create a thread where people can post these quotes, as and when they come across something interesting.

Best wishes,
zavk


Le Petit Prince

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Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité, dit le renard. Mais tu ne dois pas l’oublier. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.

"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."
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Re: Non-Buddhist writing that reminds you of the dhamma

Postby zavk » Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:13 am

As we all know, Buddhism avoids the mind/body or spirit/matter dichotomy that has characterised much of modern Western thought as well as some theistic religions. We are given practical advice on realising this, particularly in kayanupassana and vedananupassana practice. French philosopher and Talmudic commentator Emmanual Levinas seems to have captured the same understanding in the following passage. It also reminds me of Tilt's signature: 'This being is bound to samsara, karma is his means for going beyond' (SN I, 38).

The body is not only a happy or unhappy accident that relates us to the implacable world of matter. Its adherence to the Self is of value in itself. It is an adherence that one does not escape and that no metaphor can confuse with the presence of an external object; it is a union that does not in any way alter the tragic character of finality.

This feeling of identity between self and body, which, naturally, has nothing in common with popular materialism, will therefore never allow those who wish to begin with it to rediscover, in the depths of this unity, the duality of a free spirit that struggles against the body to which it is chained. On the contrary, for such people, the whole of the spirit's essence lies in the fact that it is chained to the body. To separate the spirit from the concrete forms with which it is already involved is to betray the originality of the very feeling from which it is appropriate to begin.

The importance attributed to this feeling for the body, with which the Western spirit has never wished to content itself, is at the basis of a new conception of man. The biological, with the notion of inevitability it entails, becomes more than an object of spiritual life. It becomes its heart. The mysterious urgings of the blood, the appeals of heredity and the past for which the body serves as an enigmatic vehicle, lose the character of being problems that are subject to a solution put forward by a sovereignly free Self. Not only does the Self bring in the unknown elements of these problems in order to resolve them; the Self is also constituted by these elements. Man's essence no longer lies in freedom, but in a kind of bondage. To be truly oneself does not mean taking flight once more above contingent events that always remain foreign to the Self's freedom; on the contrary, it means becoming aware of the ineluctable original chain that is unique to our bodies, and above all accepting this chaining.

......

Chained to his body, man sees himself refusing the power to escape from himself. Truth is no longer for him the contemplation of a foreign spectacle; instead it consists in a drama in which man is himself the actor. It is under the weight of his whole existence, which includes facts on which there is no going back, that man will say his yes or his no.

Emmanuel Levinas
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Re: Non-Buddhist writing that reminds you of the dhamma

Postby seahorse » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:25 pm

'Requiem For A Dream' by Hubert Selby Jnr. I read the whole narrative through a dhammic lens. It's a very powerful example of the varying attachments (narcotics, TV, food, greed for money and an 'easy life') of four people, how these slowly corrode their ability to relate meaningfully, annihilates their self esteem, leads them into an abyss of their own making and finishes with a devastating realisation that they have learned little.
It was like a slow sheet lightening reminder for me to wake up and start acting positively in the world.
Death sweeps away those who spend their lives gathering flowers
- Dhammapada 47

The only true freedom is freedom from the heart's desires;
And the only true happiness this way lies...
- Matt Johnson, The The
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Re: Non-Buddhist writing that reminds you of the dhamma

Postby seahorse » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:26 pm

'Requiem For A Dream' by Hubert Selby Jnr. I read the whole narrative through a dhammic lens. It's a very powerful example of the varying attachments (narcotics, TV, food, greed for money and an 'easy life') of four people, how these slowly corrode their ability to relate meaningfully, annihilates their self esteem, leads them into an abyss of their own making and finishes with a devastating realisation that they have learned little.
It was like a slow sheet lightening reminder for me to wake up and start acting positively in the world.
Death sweeps away those who spend their lives gathering flowers
- Dhammapada 47

The only true freedom is freedom from the heart's desires;
And the only true happiness this way lies...
- Matt Johnson, The The
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Re: Non-Buddhist writing that reminds you of the dhamma

Postby daverupa » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:39 pm

I thought Revolver was heavily laden with Dhamma themes; I later found out that the director had placed Kabbalah symbolism throughout the movie.
Last edited by daverupa on Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Non-Buddhist writing that reminds you of the dhamma

Postby Kusala » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:17 am

I have a soft spot for Rumi.

“The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along.”

Rumi, The Illuminated Rumi

“beyond the rightness or wrongness of things there is a field, I'll meet you there”
Rumi

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
Rumi
Image

Homage to the Buddha
Thus indeed, is that Blessed One: He is the Holy One, fully enlightened, endowed with clear vision and virtuous conduct, sublime, the Knower of the worlds, the incomparable leader of men to be tamed, the teacher of gods and men, enlightened and blessed.

Homage to the Teachings
The Dhamma of the Blessed One is perfectly expounded; to be seen here and now; not delayed in
time; inviting one to come and see; onward leading (to Nibbana); to be known by the wise, each for himself.
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Re: Non-Buddhist writing that reminds you of the dhamma

Postby Kamran » Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:36 am

I think the Iranian Poets Rumi, Khayyam, and Hafez seem Buddhist:

I sent my soul through the invisible,
some letter of that after-life to spell
and by-and-by my soul returned to me
and answered, "I myself am heaven and hell".
- Omar Khayyam

In these one,
two,
three days
a lifetime has passed,
like cascading waters
or a desert squall.
But regret for two days
never comes to mind:
the one that hasn’t arrived
and the one that long since passed

- Omar Khayyam
When this concentration is thus developed, thus well developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort.
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Re: Non-Buddhist writing that reminds you of the dhamma

Postby marc108 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:49 am

i find some of Eckhart Tolle's teachings to be in line with the Dhamma, quite a bit of it actually. i also find that most modern neuroscience research is in line as well.
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."
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Re: Non-Buddhist writing that reminds you of the dhamma

Postby Kusala » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:22 am

Imagine by John Lennon

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You, you may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You, you may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will live as one
Image

Homage to the Buddha
Thus indeed, is that Blessed One: He is the Holy One, fully enlightened, endowed with clear vision and virtuous conduct, sublime, the Knower of the worlds, the incomparable leader of men to be tamed, the teacher of gods and men, enlightened and blessed.

Homage to the Teachings
The Dhamma of the Blessed One is perfectly expounded; to be seen here and now; not delayed in
time; inviting one to come and see; onward leading (to Nibbana); to be known by the wise, each for himself.
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Re: Non-Buddhist writing that reminds you of the dhamma

Postby mirco » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:31 pm

from The Tempest by William Shakespeare:

And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
I get what I give
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Re: Non-Buddhist writing that reminds you of the dhamma

Postby imagemarie » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:00 pm

I said to the wanting-creature inside me:
What is this river you want to cross?
There are no travelers on the river-road, and no road.
Do you see anyone moving about on that bank, or nesting?

There is no river at all, and no boat, and no boatman.
There is no tow rope either, and no one to pull it.
There is no ground, no sky, no time, no bank, no ford!

And there is no body, and no mind!
Do you believe there is some place that will make the
soul less thirsty?
In that great absence you will find nothing.

Be strong then, and enter into your own body;
there you have a solid place for your feet.
Think about it carefully!
Don't go off somewhere else!

Kabir says this: just throw away all thoughts of
imaginary things,
and stand firm in that which you are.
- Kabir

:anjali:
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Re: Non-Buddhist writing that reminds you of the dhamma

Postby Kusala » Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:01 am

The Paradox of our Time by George Carlin

The paradox of our time in history is that
we have taller buildings but shorter tempers;
wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more, but have less;
we buy more but enjoy less

We have bigger houses and smaller families,
more conveniences, but less time;
we have more degrees, but less sense;
more knowledge, but less judgement;
more experts, yet more problems,
more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much,
spend too recklessly,
laugh too little,
drive too fast,
get too angry,
stay up too late, get up too tired,
read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life,
we've added years to life not life to years.

We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have
trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.
We conquered outer space but not inner space.
We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.
We write more, but learn less.
We plan more, but accomplish less.
We've learned to rush, but not to wait.

We build more computers to hold more information to
produce more copies than ever, but we communicate
less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion;
big men and small character;
steep profits and shallow relationships.

These are the days of two incomes but more divorce,
fancier houses but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers,
throw-away morality, one-night stands,
overweight bodies, and pills that do everything
from cheer to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the show window and
nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology
can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose
either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember, spend some time with your loved ones,
because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up
to you in awe, because that little person soon
will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you,
because that is the only treasure you can give with
your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say "I Love you" to your partner and
your loved ones, but most of all mean it.
A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes
from deep inside of you.

Give time to Love, give time to speak, give time to
share the precious thoughts in your mind.
Image

Homage to the Buddha
Thus indeed, is that Blessed One: He is the Holy One, fully enlightened, endowed with clear vision and virtuous conduct, sublime, the Knower of the worlds, the incomparable leader of men to be tamed, the teacher of gods and men, enlightened and blessed.

Homage to the Teachings
The Dhamma of the Blessed One is perfectly expounded; to be seen here and now; not delayed in
time; inviting one to come and see; onward leading (to Nibbana); to be known by the wise, each for himself.
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