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where rabban* and roshi** meet

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As a river empties into the ocean,
empty yourself into Reality.

When you are emptied into Reality,
you are filled with compassion,
desiring only justice.

When you desire only justice,
the will of Reality becomes your will.

When you are filled with compassion,
there is no self to oppose another
and no other to stand against oneself.

~Pirke Avot 2:4 — a compilation of ancient Jewish teachings and maxims. I’m struck by the resemblance of this passage to Buddhist teachings.

*rabban = title of respect for a person ranking higher than a rabbi;
**roshi = Japanese honorific for “old” teacher in the Zen Buddhist tradition;
image: chatoyance.blogspot.com.

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3 responses »

  1. This poem, these lines of this poem

    “When you are filled with compassion,
    there is no self to oppose another and no other to stand against oneself.”

    – when ever someone says the words “living large” I will think of this poem and these lines of this poem…

    -though it is not a poem but as you say… a Jewish compilation from Pirke Avot or “Chapters of Fundamental Principles ” it reads like a beautiful poem flowing into my being and out into a great sea of everyday living.

    Reply
  2. Prayer of the Heart

    From Heschel’s 10 Rungs…
    Collected Hasidic Sayings…

    How to Say Torah
    I will teach you the best way to say Torah.
    You must cease to be aware of yourselves.
    You must be nothing but an ear
    that hears
    what the Universe of The Word
    is constantly saying within you.

    The moment you start hearing yourself…
    you must stop.

    Reply
  3. i’m awed. thank you for this (and the other prayer).

    Reply

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