Sutras

The Bhaddekaratta Sutta: The Sutra on Knowing the Better Way to Live Alone

The Bhaddekaratta Sutta is one of the many teachings the Buddha gave over the course of his 19 three-month practice periods at the Jetavana Monastery. It conveys the essence of a self-sufficient practice and way of existing - not clinging to the past or living for the future but diligently dwelling in current stability and… Continue reading The Bhaddekaratta Sutta: The Sutra on Knowing the Better Way to Live Alone

Book Excerpts

Brahman, God, Allah and the Tao – Alan Watts

Among Alan Watts' most compelling qualities was his fascination with different systems  of faith and his ability to draw comparisons and lines of equivocation between them in a way that they would further illuminate each other. He stressed the importance of looking at the experience of religion rather than the schema of a doctrine, writing in his… Continue reading Brahman, God, Allah and the Tao – Alan Watts

Book Excerpts

Let Us Be Contented – Winston Churchill

Today's Dewdrop is dedicated to the memory of Spencer Steadman (1978-2019). He was a great man and an exceptional friend as well as an avid admirer of Winston Churchill. This following passage from Churchill's memoirs was read at his funeral today.   Let us be contented with what has happened and be thankful for all… Continue reading Let Us Be Contented – Winston Churchill

Book Excerpts

Gurdjieff and The Two Rivers

George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff was a mystic and a spiritual teacher of Armenian descent whose philosophy and insight are often quite difficult to initially grasp, but who nonetheless left a significant mark in 20th century western spirituality. Gurdjieff's chief hypothesis was that man lived in a perpetual state of 'sleep' and could only utilize his full… Continue reading Gurdjieff and The Two Rivers

Book Excerpts

Leo Tolstoy on the Crisis of Reason and Faith

"I understood that, however irrational and distorted might be the replies given by faith, they have this advantage, that they introduce into every answer a relation between the finite and the infinite, without which there can be no solution." So said Leo Tolstoy about his agonizing struggle with existence in the light of setting rationality up… Continue reading Leo Tolstoy on the Crisis of Reason and Faith

American Poetry, Poetry

One Must Have A Mind Of Winter

Picking up on Les Kaye's theme of harmonizing our inner lives with the demands and responsibilities of work, it's inspiring to look at a poet like Wallace Stevens who composed his poems while commuting to and from his job as a lawyer and businessman. A fervent advocate of the transformative power of the imagination, Stevens… Continue reading One Must Have A Mind Of Winter

Book Excerpts

Materialism and the Monastic Life

Is it necessary to live in a monastery in order to pursue a spiritual path? How can we focus in our daily lives in the midst of a technological and cultural onslaught? These are the questions that Les Kaye, the abbot of Kannon Do Zen Meditation Center in Silicon Valley, puts to the reader in… Continue reading Materialism and the Monastic Life

American Poetry, Poetry

I Am Not Seaworthy – Toni Morrison

Although Toni Morrison, who passed away yesterday, was primarily a novelist and an essayist, The Dewdrop was excited to find a short series of poems also penned by the author as a special contribution to the Black Mountain Institute. The five poems were printed back in 2002 for a limited edition letterpress that was released… Continue reading I Am Not Seaworthy – Toni Morrison

Book Excerpts

Taisen Deshimaru on Becoming Truly Free

Taisen Deshimaru was a student of Kodo Sawaki who traveled to France to teach in the 1960s. In Paris he set up the headquarters of the Association Zen Internationale and roused a large following. In this excerpt from a book of his teachings compiled by his student Philippe Coupey called Zen and Karma. In it,… Continue reading Taisen Deshimaru on Becoming Truly Free

Book Excerpts

Not Their Kind of Prey – Thomas Merton

"Do you approach the study of Zen with the idea that there is something to be gained by it?" is the cautionary question posed by Thomas Merton in an author's note featured at the beginning of his book, Zen and the Birds of Appetite. The passage is a short and succinct warning, directed at readers and… Continue reading Not Their Kind of Prey – Thomas Merton