One world at a time

Satisfaction is very close and simple: the strange happiness of completely joining with whatever we are doing in that moment… When the writer Thoreau was on his deathbed, a visitor asked him – “from where you lie, so close to the brink of the dark river, can you say how the opposite shore looks to you?”

It is said that he replied gently, “One world at a time”

Susan Murphy, Upside Down Zen: Finding the Marvelous in the ordinary

Sunday Quote: Recharging batteries

Stress is caused by the mind’s response to events and suffering by the stories we tell ourselves about our lives:

Not being able to govern events,

I govern myself. 

(Ne pouvant régler les événements, je me règle moi-même)

Michel de Montaigne ( 1533 – 1592),  Essais, Book II

Behind the fear and sadness

Another Autumn Saturday, another poem.

A second storm is hitting Ireland today – clouds obscure the sun, but the sun is still there.

This world –
absolutely pure
As is.
Behind the fear,
Vulnerability.
Behind that,
Sadness,
then compassion
And behind that the vast sky.

 Rick Fields, 1942–1999,  American journalist, poet, editor-at-large of Tricycle: A Buddhist Review.

Died at 59 of cancer. He wrote a series of poems on his illness from a Buddhist perspective.

Not complicated but complex

Real life is not complicated but it is rich and complex,

and always has some element of mystery and what is not known.

Sometimes problems arise when we think it should all be straightforward.

There is no paradise,

no place of true completion

that does not include within its walls the unknown.

Jane Hirshfield

Float lightly

Life isn’t as serious as my mind makes it out to be.

Eckhart Tolle

Seriousness is not a virtue. It would be a heresy, but a much more sensible heresy, to say that seriousness is a vice. It is really a natural trend or lapse into taking one’s self gravely, because it is the easiest thing to do. For solemnity flows out of men naturally; but laughter is a leap. It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light. Satan fell by the force of gravity.

G. K Chesterton

Holding all in our heart

More thoughts prompted by recent weather events….

Yesterday all exterior talk was of storms and wind and damage. Interior talk was of loss and holding onto to what really has worth.

What if we allowed our hearts to keep opening, even in the face of storms and uncertainty, until our hearts were big enough to fit all experiences inside?

We could learn to stop when the sun goes down and when the sun comes up. We could learn to listen to the wind; we could learn to notice that it’s raining or snowing or hailing or calm. We could reconnect with the weather that is ourselves, and we could realize that it’s sad. The sadder it is, and the vaster it is, the more our heart opens. We can stop thinking that good practice is when it’s smooth and calm, and bad practice is when it’s rough and dark. If we can hold it all in our hearts, then we can make a proper cup of tea.

Pema Chödrön