When we feel fear

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If you find yourself doubting or hesitating today…

The next time you encounter fear, consider yourself lucky. This is where the courage comes in. Usually we think that brave people have no fear. The truth is that they are intimate with fear. When I was first married, my husband said I was one of the bravest people he knew. When I asked him why, he said because I was a complete coward but went ahead and did things anyhow.

Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart

photo dwight sipler

Stop pushing

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In one of his insightful talks Zen master Shunryu Suzuki said that in your practice you should walk like an elephant. “If you can walk slowly, without any idea of gain, then you are already a good Zen student.” There’s a mantra for your religion: Walk like an elephant. It means to move at a comfortable pace. No rushing toward a goal. No push to make it all meaningful.

Thomas Moore, A Religion of One’s Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World

photo charlesjsharp

with thanks to the always inspiring and nourishing blog https://davidkanigan.com/

Start again: A gentle way in a harsh world

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Be patient with everyone, but above all, with yourself.

I mean, do not be disheartened by your imperfections, but always rise up with fresh courage.

I am glad you make a fresh beginning daily.

There is no better means of attainment to the spiritual life than by continually beginning again…

How are we to be patient in dealing with our neighbor’s faults if we are impatient in dealing with our own.

All profitable correction comes from a calm and peaceful mind.

from the ever gentle Saint Francis de Sales,

photo LinSu Hill

Trust

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Sometimes it is hard to see what what is really going on in our lives or where they are leading to. Underneath, something is happening. We just have to be patient for it to emerge.

If you break open the cherry tree

Where are the flowers?

But in the Springtime

see how they bloom!

Ikkyu, 1394 – 1481 Japanese Zen monk and poet

 

Doing the ordinary

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Our guide for today and this week: doing the ordinary things with attention and with love.

When the mind is at peace,
the world too is at peace.
Nothing real, nothing absent.
Not holding on to reality,
not getting stuck in the void,
you are neither holy nor wise, just
an ordinary fellow who has completed his work.

Layman Pang, 740 – 808, Chinese Chan layman

photo florian plag