Stairway at Shinsho-ji Temple
Occasional Picture February 2017

Stairway at Shinsho-ji Temple. Two couples at stairs while holding hands.

Zen Temple

© 2016 Marina Rundell


Excerpts from The Book of Joy, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, with Douglas Abrams:

"The Archbishop was pointing his index fingers at his head. 'You learn when something happens that tests you.' And then he was pretending to be speaking as God might. 'Hello, you said you wanted to be more compassionate. Hello, you wanted to be a little more laid-back.'"

"The Dalai Lama's serenity didn't come fully formed. It was through the practice of prayer and meditation that the gentleness, the compassion grew, his being patient and accepting--within reasonable limits. Accepting circumstances as they are, because if there are circumstances that you cannot change, then it's no use beating your head against a brick wall; that just gives you a headache. This is a vale of growth and development.'"

"I was struck by the phrase 'a vale of growth and development,' which seemed to echo the famous Christian notion that life is a vale, or valley, of tears, from which we are freed only when we enter heaven. This expression is often said to be based on Psalm 84:6, which has the beautiful wording: 'Who passing through the vale of tears makes it a well.' Indeed, we can use our tears, our stress and frustration, as a well from which we can draw the life-giving waters of our emotional and spiritual growth."


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