Religion and Philosophy
If we could have been inside his heart, if we could have been offered transportation from our Jerusalem to his heaven, this is what we might have absorbed: Abkar was not leading us in prayer. He was talking to God while we happened to be behind him, squeezed in so tightly we could hardly ﬁnd places for our foreheads on ﬂawless plush carpet.
My earliest Zen teachers were failure and my father, in that order. The first thing I failed at was being physically big. This wasn’t my fault, of course, but kids always feel directly responsible for how they look. And how I looked was small.
The pills are about the size of a bing-cherry pit in diameter and are a faint green color, like the eggs of some songbirds. On one side they have a deeply inscribed SZ, on the other, the number 789. They are Ritalin, the ten-milligram kind. Imogene knows them by sight because occasionally patients admitted to the psychiatric ward where she works as a nurse have containers of assorted pills, and she has learned to spot the ones that will get her high.
“God’s servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two — one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken.
I have been practicing with scientific precision nonviolence and its possibilities for an unbroken period of over fifty years. I have applied it in every walk of life — domestic, institutional, economic, and political. I know of no single case in which it has failed.
Our deep reality may take over in moments when we are so carried away by joy that we forget who might be looking at us, . . . or when we are unselfconscious in moments of extreme pain, moments when we have a deep sense of sadness or of wonder. At these moments we see something of the true person that we are.