You don’t need much today

We have to cultivate contentment with what we have. We really don’t need much. When you know this, the mind settles down. Cultivate generosity. Delight in giving. Learn to live lightly. In this way, we can begin to transform what is negative into what is positive. This is how we start to grow up.

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, No Excuses

An underlying reality

It is good to examine the reasons why we find fault with others or gossip or blame them for things that have happened. Often we will see, if we look deeply enough, that these behaviours are rooted in fear. Fear and anxiety evolved to keep us from physical danger. Our brains use the same mechanisms when it comes to emotional danger also, and depending on the upbringing we have, we can find that we expend a lot of energy each day dealing with fear. This underlying fear is not easy to work with; however, acknowledging it and becoming aware of our instinct to run away  or cover it up with distractions, relationships and busyness,  is a necessary starting point. We practice looking at what scares us and opening to all that life offers. We develop a greater compassion towards ourselves and our confidence can grow.

If we are honest with ourselves,

most of us will have to admit that we live out our lives in an ocean of fear.

Jon Kabat Zinn

Where suffering begins


The origin of suffering – the idea that we need to have something, become something  or get rid of something – has the power to get any of us heated up.

It is the mind’s relationship to the senses that is the problem


Ajahn Sucitto, Turning the Wheel of Truth

We often do not like just being with ourselves

Sometimes in our lives we have to let go of things which once seemed important in order to allow the space to be filled with new things. However, this requires courage, and we often avoid it by preferring to be occupied, to fill up empty space and time.

Emptiness is the pregnant void out of which all creation springs.

But many of us fear emptiness.

We prefer to remain…surrounded by things…which we imagine are subject to our control.

Wayne Muller

How to be master of your own happiness

Everything can be used as an invitation to meditation. A smile, a face in the subway, the sight of a small flower growing in the crack of cement pavement, a fall of rich cloth in a shop window, the way the sun lights up flower pots on a windowsill. Be alert for any sign of beauty or grace. Offer up every joy, be awake at all moments “to the news that is always arriving out of silence”.

Slowly, you will become a master of your own bliss,  a chemist of your own joy, with all sorts of remedies always at hand to elevate, cheer, illuminate and inspire your every breath and movement.

Sogyal Rinpoche