Quotes for Contemplation / 16, 17, 18 of 18
Celebrating the Parinirvana Day of Darion Kuma Gracen (d. November 18, 2007)
Today is November 18th — the anniversary of my late teacher’s death. As mentioned at the beginning of this month, I wanted to post a few of the quotes I collected of Kuma-sensei over the years.
The eighteen quotes posted this month are just a few of the ones I scribbled down from “warrior circles” and walks, discussions, and late-night talks. Others would require more elaborate footnoting because they occurred within conversations relating to cosmology, belief, practice, and her own unique vision knitting together different spiritual threads. Perhaps one day I will engage in my own form of knitting and weave the various quotes, stories, teachings, and practices into a book. For now, I continue onward on The Way, attempting to see, listen, and learn with the same depth and openness that she did.
Despite my years of study and friendship with Kuma, she remains an enigma to me. That is as it should be. This reminds me of yet another quote of hers:
“Since there are parts of ourselves that are a mystery to us, and these are aspects that we and others can’t possibly know unless and until they reveal themselves, can any of us truly say that we know each other? I don’t think so. We can only ever know aspects of another person or aspects of ourselves. Embrace the unfolding mystery of Self and Other. Don’t assume you know another person simply because you have some familiarity with a few of their aspects. Don’t assume you know yourself simply because you have some familiarity with a few of your own aspects.”
—Darion Kuma Gracen (1949-2007)
And, so, in the spirit of ceaseless unfoldment, I leave you with three more curated quotes from Kuma-sensei — one relating to spirituality and spiritual practice (which is relevant to anyone regardless of their path), one relating to attachment to ideas, and the last one being her final thoughts to her students and the people who knew her:
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