One Auspicious Night.

Let not a person revive the past
Or on the future build her hopes
For the past has been left behind
and the future has not been reached.
Instead with insight let her see
Each presently arisen state,
Let her know that & be sure of it,
Invincibly & unshakeably.
Today the effort must be made:
Tomorrow death may come, who knows?
No bargain with Mortality.
Can keep him & his hordes away.
But one who dwells thus ardently,
Relentlessly, by day & night –
It is she – the Peaceful Sage has said,
Who has had a single excellent night.
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~ MN 131~ Bhaddekaratta Sutta.
Middle Length Discourse of the Buddha
One Auspicious Night Discourse
Tweaked Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
Wisdom Publications 1995
Boston, USA
Page 1039.
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I dance with my heart ~ Alonzo King

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

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The barn burnt down…along the roadside…blossoming wild roses…

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by Mizuta Masahide
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by Bashō

Plotinus on sculpting the self.

In Enneads I 6, 9, Plotinus writes,

Go back inside yourself and look: if you do not yet see yourself as beautiful [i.e., as participating in the Idea of Beauty], then do as the sculptor does with a statue he wants to make beautiful; he chisels away one part, and levels off another, makes one spot smooth and another clear, until he shows forth a beautiful face on the statue. Like him, remove what is superfluous, straighten what is crooked, clean up what is dark and make it bright, and never stop sculpting your own statue, until the godlike splendor of virtue shines forth to you…. If you have become this, and seen it, and become pure and alone with yourself, with nothing now preventing you from becoming one in this way, and have nothing extraneous mixed with your self… if you see that this is what you have become, then you have become a vision.

Ajahn Chah~Toilets on the Path.

Gratitude for the Forest Tradition of Ajahn Chah.

Ficus benghalensis – a place of reflection.

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Admiring a Ficus benghalensis in Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo.

The banyan tree is central to several Asian religions including Hinduism & Buddhism. Banyan refers to many species of fig, but most specifically to the Indian banyan, Ficus benghalensis. Banyans also serve a practical purpose, as a shady place for merchants to meet – banya is from the Gujarati word for trader. The epiphytic tree starts by wrapping itself around a host tree before plunging roots into the ground – a convenient metaphor for forces beyond human control, or struggle more generally. The banyan is sacred to Buddhists as a place of reflection. After attaining enlightenment, the Buddha is said to have sat under a banyan for seven days, reflecting.