Two quotes for today from the great Suzuki Roshi.
Life – or work – can contains elements of mess or chaos and we often approach them with a belief that a resolution can be, or should be arrived at. However, in reality, most of the time, it is rather a question of holding the irresolution or the problem in a new awareness.
Nothing we see or hear is perfect. But right there in the imperfection is perfect reality.
There is no way set up for us. Moment after moment we have to find our own way.
Some idea of perfection, or some perfect way which is set up by someone else, is not the true way for us. Each one of us must make his own true way, and when we do, that way will express the universal way.
Shunryū Suzuki Roshi, 1904 – 1971
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.
Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow.
Let reality be reality.
Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like
attributed to Lao Tzu
In Tibetan Buddhism there’s a set of teachings for cultivating compassion called mind training, or lojong. One of the lojong teachings is, “Whichever of the two occurs, be patient.” This means if a painful situation occurs, be patient, and if a pleasant situation occurs, be patient. This is an interesting point. Usually, we jump all the time; whether it’s pain or pleasure, we want resolution. So if we’re happy and something is great, we could also be patient then, and not fill up the space, going a million miles an hour — impulse shopping, impulse talking, impulse acting out.
Pema Chodron, Practicing Peace
We either make ourselves miserable,
or we make ourselves strong.
The amount of work is the same.
Carlos Castenada, Journey to Ixtlan
The weekend, which allows the possibility to get out in nature, is a good time to share some of Mary Oliver’s poetry. This one is about flowers and how some are less “perfect” than others. But it is also about relationships and what hopes we have for our heart, about a greater beauty that embraces the clearly imperfect and allows us cast away the hassles of the everyday which are not us. We are nourished.
Shared moments, flowers, meanings and the stories that feed us.
What in this world
I bend closer and see
how this one is clearly lopsided–
and that one wears an orange blight–
and this one is a glossy cheek
half nibbled away–
and that one is a slumped purse
full of its own
Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled —
to cast aside the weight of facts
and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking
into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing —
that the light is everything — that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading. And I do.
Mary Oliver, The Ponds
Posted this once before but I really like the encouragement at the end of a working week which contained 10,000 things arising and passing away:
He has shown you what is good, and what is required of you: To do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief.
Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now.
You are not obligated to complete the work,
but neither are you free to abandon it.