Morning Trip (345)

“Meditation is not just blindly following whatever the person next to you does. To meditate you have to be skillful and make good use of your intelligence.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh, Anger, Wisdom for Cooling the Flames

Morning Trip (342)

”Out here in the woods I can think of nothing except God and it is not so much that I think of Him either. I am as aware of Him as of the sun and the clouds and the blue sky and the thin cedar trees. When I first came out here, I was asleep…but I read a few lines from the Desert Fathers and then, after that, my whole being was full of serenity and vigilance.


Who am I writing this for, anyway? It is a waste of time! Enough to say that as long as I am out here I cannot think of Camaldoli either; no question of being here and dreaming of somewhere else. Engulfed in the simple and lucid actuality which is the afternoon: I mean God’s afternoon, this sacramental moment of time when the shadows will get longer and longer, and one small bird sings quietly in the cedars, and one car goes by in the remote distance and the oak leaves move in the wind.”

—— Thomas Merton, When the Trees Say Nothing, Writings on Nature

Morning Trip (256)

“Trees
glitter like castles
of ribbons, the broad fields
smolder with light, a passing
creekbed lies
heaped with shining hills;
and though the questions
that have assailed us all day
remain – not a single
answer has been found –
walking out now
into the silence and the light
under the trees,
and through the fields,
feels like one.”

–Mary Oliver, First Snow

Morning Trip (202)

“Inspiration is there all the time.

For everyone whose mind is not clouded over with thoughts, whether

they realize it or not…

Inspiration is pervasive but not a power.

It is a peaceful thing.

It is a consolation even to plants and animals.”

–Agnes Martin

Morning Trip (113)

“The Zen disciple sits for long hours silent and motionless. Presently he enters a state of impassivity, free from all ideas and all thoughts. He departs from the self and enters the realm of nothingness. This is not the nothingness or the emptiness of the West. It is rather the reverse, a universe of the spirit in which everything communicates freely with everything, transcending bounds, limitless. There are of course masters of Zen, and the disciple is brought toward enlightenment by exchanging questions and answers with his master, and he studies the scriptures. The disciple must, however, always be lord of his own thoughts, and must attain enlightenment through his own efforts. And the emphasis is less upon reason and argument than upon intuition, immediate feeling. Enlightenment comes not from teaching but through the eye awakened inwardly. Truth is in the discarding of words, it lies outside words.”
– Yasunari Kawabata