Letting light fill our fears

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File:Paddling a narrow cleft below St. Abbs Head - geograph.org.uk - 1524969.jpg

And I think over again
My small adventures
When from a shore wind I drifted out
In my kayak
And I thought I was in danger.

My fears,
Those small ones
That I thought so big,
For all the vital things
I had to get and to reach.

And yet, there is only
One great thing,
The only thing.
To live and see in huts and on journeys
The great day that dawns,
And the light that fills the world.

Traditional Inuit (Copper Eskimo) Song

photo andy waddington

More than our difficulties

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Thich Nhat Hahn continues to be in hospital where the doctors are encouraged by his small signs of progress. The next update on his health will be posted in the New Year

The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.

Suffering is not enough. Life is both dreadful and wonderful…

How can I smile when I am filled with so much sorrow?

It is natural – you need to smile to your sorrow because you are more than your sorrow.

Thich Nhat Hahn

photo noNomme


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File:Gay Head Light during Winter Solstice 2007.jpg

As the Winter Solstice approaches the mornings are very dark,  and the daylight hours clearly shorter. It is the darkest time of the year. This quote wishes to remind us that,  in a fundamental way,  we are complete in ourselves, no matter what our passing thoughts  tell us, or if we cannot see much light in our lives.

Our nature is to be cheerful. This cheerfulness is deeper than temporary conditions. The day does not have to be sunny for us to be cheerful. We are free of having to depend on something else to make us happy. We can bask freely in the natural radiance of our mind.  This is the equanimity of true cheerfulness—nothing more, nothing less.

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, A Simple Sense of Delight

photo william waterway

Seeing all we have

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It is important to emphasize, in discussing meditation … that you shouldn’t start out with some idea of gaining. This is the deepest paradox in all of meditation: we want to get somewhere—we wouldn’t have taken up the practice if we didn’t — but the way to get there is just to be fully here. The way to get from point A to point B is really to be at A. When we follow the breathing in the hope of becoming something better, we are compromising our connection to the present, which is all we ever have. If your breathing is shallow, your mind and body restless, let them be that way, for as long as they need to. Just watch them. The first law  is that everything is constantly changing. No one is saying that the breathing should be some particular way all the time. If you find yourself disappointed with your meditation, there’s a good chance that some idea of gaining is present. See that, and let it go. However your practice seems to you, cherish it just the way it is. You may think that you want it to change, but that act of acceptance is in itself a major change.

Larry Rosenberg, The Art of Doing Nothing

photo griff le riff

Staying still

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A certain brother went to Abba Moses in Scete,
and asked him for some good advice.
And the elder said to him:
Go, sit in your room, and your room will teach you everything.

Sayings of the Desert Fathers

I discovered that all  of our problems stem from a single cause, – we do not know how to sit at ease in a room alone.

(J’ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d’une seule chose,

qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre)

Blaise Pascal, French mathematician and Philosopher, 1623 –  1662,  Pensees

photo bujar I gashi