wide open windows

/19 reminders/



Things they don't tell you:
You will never awaken.
There is no such thing as enlightenment.
Nothing you do or don't do will help.
No one can help you.
Nobody has the foggiest idea of what they are talking about or ever will.
You can never transcend an imaginary condition.
You will never escape the brain.
You are ultimately alone in this most peculiar life.
There is no way to tell who or what you are.
All you will ever have is the names of things in your struggle to understand.
Something else, but I forgot.

Michael Markham


With advancing age my ideals, which I usually deny possessing, have definitely altered. My ideal is to be free of ideals, free of principles, free of isms and ideologies. I want to take to the ocean of life like a fish takes to the sea…

Henry Miller


The objectifying brain searches for the meaning of words by using other words. "Washing blood with blood" (Nisargadatta)

Michael Markham


Trying and meditating to achieve some goal or to see some light or to get in some state of consciousness is silly because you are right in the midst of the most incredible vision that you could ever possibly have without effort and you want to replace it with something.

John Troy


No one knows what life is or isn't, what "mind" is or isn't, or what consciousness is or isn't. Certainly no one has the slightest idea about the "purpose" of life, or what any of it means (if anything).

If that is seen, the hierarchy of experts, preachers, and "teachers" disappears, and we find ourselves together as brothers and sisters--human beings who must live and die in the face of an insoluble mystery.

Robert Saltzman


Owing to the transient, impermanent nature of phenomena, we are forever moving in and out of different states or modes of experiencing. Because of this, holding on to any insight or realisation is simply not possible.

It’s a fool’s errand, for everything slips away. But that’s not a problem because when we slip from one state or experience into another, we never leave reality because there is only ever reality, only ever what is.

John Astin


There is no experience of reality. That which is experiencing IS reality. No thing.

Gilbert Schultz


When understanding changes, behaviour changes, without anyone 'doing' anything.

Robert Saltzman


Because experience is inconceivable and indeterminate, I find that the only bottom-line I can really arrive at is groundlessness, free fall, not landing anywhere—being open, not knowing, not holding to fixed views, not dwelling anywhere, seeing through illusion without trying to grasp Truth, for Truth cannot by its very nature ever be grasped. It simply IS.

Joan Tollifson


Anything which is troubling you, anything which is irritating you, THAT is your teacher.

Ajahn Chah


Every moment is miraculous. It's our over familiarisation with things which leads us to forget how impossible and otherworldly everything really is.

David Parrish


In short, faced with what the Buddha called 'dukkha'--the unsatisfactoriness of life--one imagines that there is 'another place', the 'awakened' place, in which all these conflicts, difficulties, fears, and terrors do not exist.

All of this involves beliefs which have been sold to human beings by priests and other holy men and women since time immemorial.

All of that stuff, is, I say, an impediment to freedom, not a path to it. The only freedom I know requires dropping all beliefs of any kind whatsoever, and admitting that neither myself nor anyone else knows anything about heaven, god, the after-life, what consciousness is or isn't, what the self is or isn't--none of it.

Such matters, I say, are beyond the ken and philosophical competence of us humans who are quite limited in the reach of our knowledge and understanding--far more limited than most of us would like to admit or ever do admit.

Years ago, I stopped dreaming that there was some 'other place'. Whatever is now, I realized, is all we have. I mean RIGHT NOW (as you read this, I mean), not later after the next lecture, or the next satsang, or the next peak experience.

Robert Saltzman


Believing that it can't be understood is a subtle belief that it can.

Michael Markham


The one fundamental truth of life is that it is inherently ambiguous. It’s so easy to hate con men bullies like Trump, but we also must agree that the anti-democratic abuses he commits everyday could give rise to a much more powerful inclusive, progressive movement in the United States. Seen in that perspective, he might be, exactly, what this country needs. Who knows? This is true of everything we believe as true or false. At the end of the day we don’t know and I think the realization of not knowing is the one accurate insight we can make about anything. Even such such hot terms like “compassion” have an underside. Excessive empathy might encourage weakness in situations when we may need strength and hardness. It’s all just one unknowable stream of experience. I think we encourage our own confusion when we do precisely what we think we need to do to reduce confusion by asserting certainty in a universe where that assertion must be understood as false. In the moment we might experience the pain of being burned by a hot object, but that experience teaches us to be more careful when near such objects. We needed that pain. Thus there is, no ultimate right and wrong. There is just no way to know this world and this life.

Eric Gross


The one who says he knows is already dead. But the one who thinks "I don't know," who is discovering, finding out, who is not seeking an end, not thinking in terms of arriving or becoming such a person is living, and that living is truth.

J. Krishnamurti


Not knowing is the most intimate

Zen Master Wanshi


That loneliness that has followed you like a hungry dog since you were a child.
That yearning that had eluded all of your attempts to express it.
The anguish and suffering that seems to have no cause.
The unrelenting desire for something or somebody you do not have.
That homesickness, nostalgia, and restlessness...
That's just life's longing objectified.
It is part of the job description.

Michael Markham


There is no 'awakening'. You are not unawake. The dream is seen for what it is.

Gilbert Schultz


All the enlightenment and all the transformation we need is to fully meet one thing that comes. And in every moment one thing comes.

Norman Fischer