Quote

This page offers a monthly quote that I hope you will find inspiring or meaningful, thought provoking or on occasion controversial.


Kislev 5780
“Emptiness is the track on which the centered person moves,” said a Tibetan sage six hundred years ago, and the book where I found this edict followed it with an explanation of the word “track” in Tibetan: shul, “a mark that remains after that which made it has passed by— a footprint, for example. In other contexts, shul is used to describe the scarred hollow in the ground where a house once stood, the channel worn through rock where a river runs in flood, the indentation in the grass where an animal slept last night. All of these are shul: the impression of something that used to be there. A path is a shul because it is an impression in the ground left by the regular tread of feet, which has kept it clear of obstructions and maintained it for the use of others. As a shul, emptiness can be compared to the impression of something that used to be there. In this case, such an impression is formed by the indentations, hollows, marks, and scars left by the turbulence of selfish craving.” In Yiddish, shul means a synagogue, but I was trying to send this missing ancestor not to temple but to a path through an uninhabited expanse where heaven seems to come all the way down to your feet.
Rebecca Solnit

Heshvan 5780
I lost my way, I forgot to call on your name.  The raw heart beat against the world, and the tears were for my lost victory.   But you are here.  You have always been here.  The world is all forgetting, and the the heart is a rage of directions, but your name unifies the heart, and the world is lifted into its place.  Blessed is the one who waits in the traveller's heart for his turning.
Leonard Cohen

Tishrei 5780
This world is a momentary glory.
I never thought it would last forever
so I tried to get it down
in one notebook or another,
in one poem or another.
Somewhere you can find it.
Harvey Shapiro

Elul 5779
Faith is not that complicated. Religion always is.