Brad Warner · 207 pages
Rating: (4.9K votes)
“Reality's all you've got. But here's the real secret, the real miracle: it's enough.”
1. Would you ride in a car whose driver was on the consciousness-expanding "entheogenic" drug LSD?
And here's a bonus question:
2. Why does an "expanded consciousness" include the inability to operate a motor vehicle?”
“How many Zen masters does it take to screw in a light bulb? The plum tree in the garden!”
“This world is better than Utopia because - and follow this point carefully - you can never live in Utopia. Utopia is always somewhere else. That's the very definition of Utopia.”
“The very idea of higher states of consciousness is absurd. Comparing one state of consciousness to another and saying one is "higher" and the other is "mundane" is like eating a banana and complaining it's not a very good apple.”
“Zen replaces all objects of belief with one single thing: reality itself. We believe only in this universe. We don't believe in the afterlife. We don't believe in the sovereignty of nations. We don't believe in money or power or fame. We don't believe in our idols. We don't believe in our positions or our possessions. We don't believe we can be insulted, or that our honor or the honor of our family, our nation or our faith can be offended. We don't believe in Buddha. We just believe in reality. Just this.”
“The pain of having your dreams come true appears vividly when you realize that even if your dreams really come true, they never really come true. From birth to death it's just like this”
“It's a frightening thing to be truly honest with yourself. It means you have no one left to turn to anymore, no-one to blame, and to one to look to for salvation. You have to give up any possibility that there will ever be any refuge for you. You have to accept the reality that you are truly and finally on your own. The best thing you can hope for in life is to meet a teacher who will smash all of your dreams, dash all of your hopes, tear your teddy-bear beliefs out of your arms and fling them over a cliff.”
“Rather than face what really is, we prefer to retreat and compare what we're living through with the way we think it oughta be. Suffering comes from the comparison between the two.”
“You can master tantric yogic poly-orgasmic Wonder Sex but you're still gonna die alone.”
“You can't life in paradise- but you are living right here. Make this your paradise or make this your hell. The choice is entirely yours. Really.”
“But don't get too hung up on the future. The future's out of your control. Enjoy what's happening right now. Do what is appropriate, what is right, in the present moment and let the future be the future.”
“Do as well as you possibly can. That's Buddhist morality.”
“The first noble truth, suffering, represents idealism. When you look at things from an idealistic viewpoint everything sucks, as the Descendents said in the song called “Everything Sucks” (from the album Everything Sucks). Nothing can possibly live up to the ideals and fantasies you’ve created. So we suffer because things are not the way we think they ought to be. Rather than face what really is, we prefer to retreat and compare what we’re living through with the way we think it oughta be. Suffering comes from the comparison between the two.”
“Zen does not ask you to believe in anything you cannot confirm for yourself. It does not ask you to memorize any sacred words. It does not require you to worship any particular thing or revere any particular person. It does not offer any rules to obey. It does not give you any hierarchy of learned men whose profound teachings you must follow to the letter. It does not ask you to conform any code of dress. It does not ask you to allow anyone else to choose what is right for you and what is wrong. Zen is complete absence of belief. Zen is the complete lack of authority. Zen tears away every false refuge in which you might hide from the truth and forces you to sit naked before what is real. That's real refuge.”
“Nothing can be separated from everything else.”
“He had the saffron robes, the shaved head, and that mellow spiritual way of talking that let you know here was a guy who had truly achieved a rare state of inner with-it-ness.”
“Maybe your lot right now could be improved. I know mine could. And working to make things better is great. But we don’t just work to make things better and leave it at that, do we? We live in the idealized world inside our heads. And that keeps us from ever really enjoying what we have right now, from enjoying the work that we’re doing to create our better tomorrow. It’s as if we’re afraid to really commit to this moment because a better one might come along later. This approach is totally ridiculous and completely absurd.*”
“Same deal here. It's not "you" and "the universe." It's "universeyou.”
“Practicing zazen is like gradually (or maybe not so gradually) getting your sight back.”
“You've won all creation. It's yours to do with it as you please- and you discover what pleases you most is doing the right thing for all creation in moment after moment.”
“People imagine enlightenment will make them incredibly powerful, And it does. It makes you the most powerful being in all the universe- but usually no one else notices.”
“If you want to believe in reincarnation, you have to believe that this life, what you're living through right now, is the afterlife. You're missing out on the afterlife you looked forward to in your last existence by worrying about your next life. This is what happens after you die.”
“You can get hooked on afterlife ideas just like a drug. The reason to avoid ideas about life after death isn't because they couldn't possibly be true. Maybe they could. How would I know? It's because ideas like that promote a kind of dreamy fantasy state that distracts us from seeing what our life is right now.
"The question doesn't fit the case."
Look at your life as it is right now and live it, right now.”
“Suffering occurs when your ideas about how things ought to be don’t match how they really are. Stop for a second and look at this in your life right now. It’s important.”
“When you’re so committed to the future, it’s real easy to let your life right now turn to shit.”
“Zen is the complete absence of belief. Zen is the complete lack of authority.”
“...you look out at the clear blue sky and for an instant you see that you are everything. You want to say something, but none of the words you have will stick at all; nothing will come except for a wide, wide smile that crosses all of space at time---and the moment is utterly forgotten”
“This is always and inevitably the case. No one gets away with murder. No one gets away with anything. You can't escape the consequences of your immoral acts any more than someone who drops a big-ass amp directly on his foot can escape having broken toe-bones. Your life and the life of everyone else in the universe are one seamless whole. To cause another living being pain isn't evil-it's just stupid. Because that being is you.”
“Zen is the complete absence of belief. Zen is the complete lack of authority. Zen tears away every false refuge in which you might hide from the truth and forces you to sit naked before what is real. That’s real refuge.”
“Their eyes were usually open, and they stared up at the moon that had killed them.”
“The prosecution was forced into the bizarre position of admitting Ward and Fontenot were lying while asking the jurors to believe them”
“Not in depraved things,
but in those well oriented according to nature,
are we to consider what is natural.”
“I would have given anything to have him feel the way he looked at me when he was deep inside of me.”
“I can't face losin' ya, Riley. Yer all I got left in this world.”
That brutal honesty again. He'd peeled away more armor, and this time he'd exposed his heart.”
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