Posted in BUddhism, cause and effect, Christianity, clinging, enlightenment, fears, happiness, love, meditation, self-help, suffering, Uncategorized, wisdom, Zen, tagged bliss, Buddhahood, Buddhism, Christhood, compassion, desperation, Emerson, faith, feelings, goodness, healing, humanity, inspiration, intuition, J.C. Cleary, learning, life, love, music, open heart, peace, quiet desperation, Ralph Waldo Emerson, religion, Thomas Cleary, Thoreau, Truth, Zen Letters Teachings of Yuanwu on September 30, 2016|
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Emerson: Nothing can bring you peace but yourself; nothing but the triumph of principles (page54).
Zen Letters Teachings of Yuanwu: When you see buddhas and sentient beings as equal and no different, this at last is the stage of total peace and bliss (page 71). 
Both Emerson and Yuanwu recognized the principle that peace is our true nature and once we recognize that we can fully immerse ourselves in it. We can fully live a life of peace that brings to us health, healing, bliss, and love.
What principle was Emerson speaking of when he wrote those words? I believe he was referring to the principle taught by Yuanwu that we are all the buddha and thus we are all peace. It is when we deny that inherent being within us as Buddhahood or for some Christhood, both which represent the energy and manifestation of peace, that we deny our true nature.
Imagine what the world could be like if we all allowed ourselves the luxury of being and acting as the harbinger of peace and bliss to the world. If we allowed ourselves the time to follow our bliss. Not our earthly desires of goods and things and success and power that we see on the TV, but the true desire that lives in an open heart.
Let us not live the life as Thoreau described: “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” Let us live a life of “total peace and bliss” through principles that acknowledge each of us are equal beings to the Buddha living a life where peace, and goodness is how we act, who we are, and how we deal with others. The choice is yours. You can roll the dice and let them decide who you are, how you should act, and live a life of quiet desperation. Or you can trust your gut and your intuition and realize your true self and live in total peace and bliss…the choice is yours. Don’t go to the grave with your music left in you!
 Floris, O. Inspiration & Wisdom from the pen of Ralph Waldo Emerson. www.odeliafloris.com (page 1)
 Cleary, J.C. and Cleary T.(1994) Zen Letters Teachings of Yuanwu Boston & London: Shambala
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Posted in cause and effect, chant, death, education, Ethics, fears, human race, love, meditation, Metta, Mindfulness, self-help, training, Uncategorized, wisdom, Zen, tagged anger, anxiety, awakservice, Buddha, Buddhism, challenges, college, compassion, Emerson, fear, goals, happiness, health, help others, joy, life, live life fully, love, meditation, mindfulness, Odelia Floris, patience, peace, prayer, sitting, students, suffering, teaching, Unity Church, wisdom, Zazen, Zen, Zen Buddhism on September 24, 2016|
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Emerson: Live, let live and help live.
Zen: Evening Gatha [Prayer]
Let me respectfully remind you.
Birth and death are of supreme importance.
Time swiftly passes and opportunity is lost.
We should all strive to awaken.
Awaken! Take Heed!
Do not squander your life!
Both of these quotes are profound in so many ways. Each tests us to live our lives fully every day and make a difference in the world in which we live. Notice that each asks us to go beyond our “self” and to help others. To live life fully, to let others lead their lives fully, and to help those who need help so they too can live life fully.
How have you done that today? How about this week, month, or year? Every time you open the door for someone with their arms full of packages, or let someone in front of you in a traffic jam, or bring a meal to a sick neighbor you are “awake.” Awake to the needs of another. You have taken the opportunity to think of someone other than yourself, to identify a need, no matter how small it may seem—you have helped meet that need for another.
When you are walking through life looking down at your cellphone checking your Facebook page or texting someone—you are missing life at its fullest. You may have missed an opportunity to help a stranger or a friend. When you are focused on self only you miss many opportunities to live.
Just the other day I was teaching at the college on the 11th floor when we had a fire scare and everyone was told to immediately exit the building. So all 16 of my students and I walked those 11 floors down to the street. One of them needed extra attention as she was pregnant. I rushed ahead so that I could make sure all of my students were out of the building and safe. As one of them walked through the door I was holding for them he said, “Oh, you don’t have to do that. Why are you holding the door for all of us and the others?” The question had never come into my mind. “Live, let live and help live” I guess.
Think of the fireman who runs into the fire, not away from it. To the policeman or security guard who runs toward the shooter in a mall. Or a teacher who stands in front of the children to protect them from the bullets being sprayed in his or her classroom.
Awaken, Take Heed! Do not squander your life! Find your purpose each and every day because time swiftly passes by and you do not want to lose the opportunity to be of service to others to go beyond yourself wherever and whenever you can. Even if it’s simply to hold the door for another. Let me know how that goes!
In gassho, Shokai
(1) Floris, O. Inspiration & Wisdom from the pen of Ralph Waldo Emerson. www.odeliafloris.com (page 9)
(2) Southern Palm Zen Group Service Handbook, Mitch Doshin Cantor.
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Posted in birth, BUddhism, enlightenment, happiness, human race, love, meditation, old age, planet earth, prayer, Uncategorized, wisdom, Zen, tagged anxiety, breath work, Buddah, Buddha, Buddhism, Buddhism for Sheep, Chris Riddell, compassion, contemplation, Emerson, enlightenment, fear, happiness, life, Louise Howard, love, meditation, mind, Moon by the Window: The Calligraphy and Zen Insights of Shodo Harada, peace, prayer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Shakyamuni Buddha, Shodo Harada, sitting, suffering, Unity Church, wisdom, Zazen, Zen on September 4, 2016|
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Emerson: “There is no planet, sun or star could hold you if you but knew what you are.”
Shodo Harada Roshi in his beautiful book, Moon By The Window, wrote:
“In a dualistic world we will fumble and fall. When we see with the eyes of the Buddha, we know the joy of the Dharma [teachings] in daily life. We become one with the heavens and earth, and there is no longer any division between inside and outside (page 169).”
We are made up of stars and light and when we use the talent, energy, compassion, and love of which we were born all things are possible. We have sent spaceships to Mars, found cures for diseases that in the past had destroyed civilizations, we have created music, and dance, and poetry, and literature that has moved millions. It is possible to be one with each of these things as we travel through life on planet Earth. I know because I have done it at a Cherokee Indian Fire Walk with Unity Minister Edwene Gaines on a dark night in an Alabama forest during one of her workshops
That is who we are. That is what we are. Shodo Harada Roshi goes on to write, “We have to throw away our small way of thinking and live in a place where we hold on to nothing whatsoever. It’s here that we discover the Buddha, and there is nothing sturdier than the strength that comes from this discovery. The Buddha discovered that he was a part of the “all” as he awoke under the Bodai tree and taught us that through our direct experience we could realize that as well (page 169).”
As Louise Howard and Chris Riddell illustrate in their book Buddhism for Sheep: “Train your mind it is the source of everything.” As we sit in zazen (meditation) we are training our minds to “throw away our small way of thinking and to hold on to nothing.” Then and only then can we know what we are—a piece of the heavens and the earth.
As Emerson said, “know what you are.” Sheep or not sheep…that is the question.
 Floris, O. Inspiration & Wisdom from the pen of Ralph Waldo Emerson. www.odeliafloris.com (page 25)
 Harada, S. (2011) Moon by the Window, The Calligraphy and Zen Insights of Shodo Harada. Boston, MA: Wisdom Press.
 Riddell C., Howard, L. (1996) Buddhism for Sheep. London, England: Ebury Press
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