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Quote of the Week: Roshi Joan Halifax

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Roshi Joan’s bio appears in a previous Quote of the Week post. This week’s quote comes from her book The Fruitful Darkness, first published in 1993. I’ve been reading it again this week and have to tell you that many sections of it still send chills up my spine, just like it did when I first read it years ago. I believe that’s a sign of wisdom captured in the written word.

In silence and solitude, in the emptiness of hunger and the worthiness of the wilds, men and women have taken refuge in the continuum of bare truth. John Muir once wrote, “I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” Silence is where we learn to listen, where we learn to see. Holding silence, being held by stillness, Buddhists and tribal people go alone to the wilderness “to stop and see,” to renew their thruth, to return to the knowledge of the extensiveness of self and the truth of no self.

The ceremony of the vision fast and the eremitic and yogic traditions of Buddhism are not solipsistic endeavors. Often we must go outside society to confirm that we live inside the continuum of creation. One seeks solitude to know relatedness.

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If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to visit my other website: The Liberated Life Project — a personal transformation blog with a social conscience.

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About Maia

I've been practicing and studying the Buddha way since 1994, and exploring the question "What is engaged Buddhism?" since the late 90s. As former executive director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and editor of its journal, Turning Wheel, I had the honor of meeting and working with many practitioners of engaged dharma, including Roshi Joan Halifax, Joanna Macy, Alan Senauke, and Robert Aitken Roshi. I write about socially engaged Buddhism on my blog, "The Jizo Chronicles," as well as on the theme of personal and collective freedom on my website, "The Liberated Life Project." Through my Five Directions Consulting, I offer support to individuals and organizations who aspire to integrate awareness into their work.

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