Why Lemony?
(the “About Me” page)

February 09, 2004

more Buddha goodies

So I've been reading this book, 'Loving-Kindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness', by Sharon Salzberg, and there's this great quote that sums up the first part of the introduction:

The English writer E. M. Forster began one of his novels with a two-word epigraph: "Only connect." These two words perfectly express the shift we must make, from one worldview to another, if we are to find reliable happines. We must move from trying to control the uncontrollable cycles of pleasure and pain, and instead learn how to connect, to open, to love no matter what is happening.

The difference between misery and happiness depends on what we do with our attention. Do we, in the midst of water, look for something elsewhere to drink? Transformation comes from looking deeply within, to a state that exists before fear and isolation arise, the state in which we are inviolably whole just as we are. We connect to ourselves, to our own true experience, and discover there that to be alive means to be whole.

Consider how the sky is unharmed by the clouds that pass through it, ...

I feel so comfortable reading this book, it's so in line with the Baha'i Writings. There must be some universal Truth going on here for these two different sources to say such similar things. Consider the following Hidden Words of Baha'u'llah:


Ask not of Me that which We desire not for thee, then be content with what We have ordained for thy sake, for this is that which profiteth thee, if therewith thou dost content thyself.


My claim on thee is great, it cannot be forgotten. My grace to thee is plenteous, it cannot be veiled. My love has made in thee its home, it cannot be concealed. My light is manifest to thee, it cannot be obscured.


Sorrow not save that thou art far from Us. Rejoice not save that thou art drawing near and returning unto Us.


Should prosperity befall thee, rejoice not, and should abasement come upon thee, grieve not, for both shall pass away and be no more.

Posted by Bahiyyih at February 9, 2004 08:28 PM

How interesting that I picked up a similar title a while ago. It is called "Awakening Loving-Kindness", by Pema Chodron, from the Shambala Pocket Classics press. I was attracted to the book by the word "loving-kindness" in the title, since that term had been a mystery to me. I found the concept and the treatment to be in keeping with the tone and spirit of the Baha'i Faith. Hey, wisdom is wisdom.


Posted by: JMichael at February 9, 2004 02:52 PM

Yeah, this was from the same press! What else did you think about it? Did you connect with the whole conception of happiness they give?

Posted by: Bahiyyih at February 11, 2004 02:25 PM

Good quotes from lovingkindness. I am glad you like the book. It's great that you found Baha'i writing saying the similar things. I have also been reading the hidden words from the book that zivar let me read.

The other day, Peter Doobinin was telling us that love is the strongest force there is (much more so than hate and desire.) I think I know what he means.


Posted by: Min at February 12, 2004 11:24 PM

Hi Min! Thanks for writing. Peter is right, I'm sure as well. "What a power is love! It is the most wonderful, the greatest of all living powers." - Abdul-Baha

I'm going to try sharing a short meditation session with the parenting class that I'm facilitating so that we can open our hearts to our children (present or future). I'll let you know how it goes.

Posted by: Bahiyyih at February 18, 2004 02:05 PM