All of us have secrets in our lives. We’re keepers or keptfrom, players or played. Secrets and cockroaches — that’s what will be left at the end of it all.
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All of us have secrets in our lives. We’re keepers or keptfrom, players or played. Secrets and cockroaches — that’s what will be left at the end of it all.

-Maggie Stiefvater

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We carry out our lives assuming ourselves to be something substantial and unchanging, and we become deeply attach[ed] to this assumed self (this attachment is known in Sanskrit as ātma-grāha). But we attach to more than simply a notion of a self. We also reify the things that we see, hear, and think, into substances, and attach to them as well. This is called attachment to dharmas (Skt. dharma-grāha). Among these two attachments, it may be the case that we can earnestly reflect and bring ourselves to the awareness of our attachment to self, making an effort to avoid it. But attachment to dharmas occurs at such a subtle level that stemming it based on conscious reflective awareness is practically impossible for most people. We grasp at all dharmas (all phenomena), despite the fact that they are nothing more than a provisional combination of elements according to certain conditions. Taking these as the framework created from our past experiences, along with accordance to our individual circumstances, we see, hear, and think. When we regard the content of such seeing, hearing, and thinking to be accurate, attachment to dharmas ends up being far more difficult to come to reconcile than attachment to self. How do you deal with something that is virtually unnoticeable? This attachment to dharmas engenders the cognitive hindrances (jñeya-āvaraṇa), while attachment to self engenders the afflictive hindrances (kleśa-āvaraṇa). Nirvāṇa is said to manifest based on the removal of the afflictive hindrances, while bodhi is obtained by the elimination of the cognitive hindrances.

-Maggie Stiefvater

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My son, you are just an infant now, but on that day when the world disrobes of its alluring cloak, it is then that I pray this letter is in your hands.Listen closely, my dear child, for I am more than that old man in the dusty portrait beside your bed. I was once a little boy in my mother’s arms and a babbling toddler on my father's lap.I played till the sun would set and climbed trees with ease and skill. Then I grew into a fine young man with shoulders broad and strong. My bones were firm and my limbs were straight; my hair was blacker than a raven's beak. I had a spring in my step and a lion's roar. I travelled the world, found love and married. Then off to war I bled in battle and danced with death.But today, vigor and grace have forsaken me and left me crippled.Listen closely, then, as I have lived not only all the years you have existed, but another forty more of my own.My son, We take this world for a permanent place; we assume our gains and triumphs will always be; that all that is dear to us will last forever.But my child, time is a patient hunter and a treacherous thief: it robs us of our loved ones and snatches up our glory. It crumbles mountains and turns stone to sand. So who are we to impede its path?No, everything and everyone we love will vanish, one day.So take time to appreciate the wee hours and seconds you have in this world. Your life is nothing but a sum of days so why take any day for granted? Don't despise evil people, they are here for a reason, too, for just as the gift salt offers to food, so do the worst of men allow us to savor the sweet, hidden flavor of true friendship.Dear boy, treat your elders with respect and shower them with gratitude; they are the keepers of hidden treasures and bridges to our past. Give meaning to your every goodbye and hold on to that parting embrace just a moment longer--you never know if it will be your last.Beware the temptation of riches and fame for both will abandon you faster than our own shadow deserts us at the approach of the setting sun. Cultivate seeds of knowledge in your soul and reap the harvest of good character.Above all, know why you have been placed on this floating blue sphere, swimming through space, for there is nothing more worthy of regret than a life lived void of this knowing.My son, dark days are upon you. This world will not leave you with tears unshed. It will squeeze you in its talons and lift you high, then drop you to plummet and shatter to bits . But when you lay there in pieces scattered and broken, gather yourself together and be whole once more. That is the secret of those who know.So let not my graying hairs and wrinkled skin deceive you that I do not understand this modern world. My life was filled with a thousand sacrifices that only I will ever know and a hundred gulps of poison I drank to be the father I wanted you to have.But, alas, such is the nature of this life that we will never truly know the struggles of our parents--not until that time arrives when a little hand--resembling our own--gently clutches our finger from its crib.My dear child, I fear that day when you will call hopelessly upon my lifeless corpse and no response shall come from me. I will be of no use to you then but I hope these words I leave behind will echo in your ears that day when I am no more. This life is but a blink in the eye of time, so cherish each moment dearly, my son.

-Shakieb Orgunwall

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What a skeletal wreck of man this is.Translucent flesh and feeble bones,the kind of temple where the whores and villains try to tempt the holistic domes.Running rampid with free thought to free form, and the free and clear.When the matters at hand are shelled out like lint at alaundry mat to sift and focus on the bigger, better, now.We all have a little sin that needs venting,virtues for the rending and laws and systems and stems are rippedfrom the branches of office, do you know where your post entails? Do you serve a purpose, or purposely serve?When in doubt inside your atavistic allure, the value of a summer spent, and a winter earned.For the rest of us, there is always Sunday.The day of the week the reeks of rest, but all we do is catch our breath,so we can wade naked in the bloody pool, and place our hand on the big, black book.To watch the knives zigzag between our aching fingers.A vacation is a countdown, T minus your life andcounting, time to drag your tongue across the sugar cube,and hope you get a taste.WHAT THE FUCK IS ALL THIS FOR?WHAT THE HELL’S GOING ON? SHUT UP!I can go on and on but lets move on, shall we?Say, your me, and I’m you, and they all watch the things we do,and like a smack of spite they threw me down the stairs,haven’t felt like this in years.The great magnet of malicious magnanimous refuse, let me go,and punch me into the dead spout again.That’s where you go when there’s no one else around,it’s just you, and there was never anyone to begin with, now was there?Sanctimonious pretentious dastardly bastards with their thumb on the pulse,and a finger on the trigger.CLASSIFIED MY ASS! THAT’S A FUCKING SECRET, AND YOU KNOW IT!Government is another way to say better…than…you.It’s like ice but no pick, a murder charge that won’t stick,it’s like a whole other world where you can smell the food,but you can’t touch the silverware.Huh, what luck. Fascism you can vote for.Humph, isn’t that sweet?And we’re all gonna die some day, because that’s the American way,and I’ve drunk too much, and said too little,when your gaffer taped in themiddle, say a prayer, say a face, get your self together and see what’s happening.SHUT UP! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU!I’m sorry, I could go on and on buttheir times to move on so, remember: you’re a wreck, an accident.Forget the freak, your just nature.Keep the gun oiled, and the temple cleaned shit snort,and blaspheme, let the heads cool, and the engine run.Because in the end, everything we do, is just everything we’ve done.

-Stone Sour

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believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers growing in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal. This way of living and noticing and building and crafting can crack through the movie sets and soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin, and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without ever realizing it.I don’t want to wait anymore. I choose to believe that there is nothing more sacred or profound than this day. I choose to believe that there may be a thousand big moments embedded in this day, waiting to be discovered like tiny shards of gold. The big moments are the daily, tiny moments of courage and forgiveness and hope that we grab on to and extend to one another. That’s the drama of life, swirling all around us, and generally I don’t even see it, because I’m too busy waiting to become whatever it is I think I am about to become. The big moments are in every hour, every conversation, every meal, every meeting.The Heisman Trophy winner knows this. He knows that his big moment was not when they gave him the trophy. It was the thousand times he went to practice instead of going back to bed. It was the miles run on rainy days, the healthy meals when a burger sounded like heaven. That big moment represented and rested on a foundation of moments that had come before it.I believe that if we cultivate a true attention, a deep ability to see what has been there all along, we will find worlds within us and between us, dreams and stories and memories spilling over. The nuances and shades and secrets and intimations of love and friendship and marriage an parenting are action-packed and multicolored, if you know where to look.Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life you’ve been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting, and the crackers and peanut butter that you’re having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the Last Supper. This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events. But pull of the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted.Your life, right now, today, is exploding with energy and power and detail and dimension, better than the best movie you have ever seen. You and your family and your friends and your house and your dinner table and your garage have all the makings of a life of epic proportions, a story for the ages. Because they all are. Every life is.You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural. You are more than dust and bones.You are spirit and power and image of God.And you have been given Today.

-Shauna Niequist

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