Resting in the knowing

Through mindfulness practice you begin to experience how conditioned the world is and how these conditions constantly change. To free ourselves we need to quiet the mind through some mindfulness in meditation. Them, instead of identifying with the changing conditions, we learn to release them and turn toward consciousness itself, to rest in the knowing. Ajahn Chah called this pure awareness resting in “the One Who Knows”….The senses and the world are always changing conditions, but that which knows is unconditioned. With practice we discover the selflessness of experience; we shift identity. We can be in the midst of an experience, being upset or angry or caught by some problem, and then step back from it and rest in pure awareness.

Jack Kornfield, Bringing Home the Dharma

Being grounded for the future

If we do not stand firmly in the present moment we may feel ungrounded when we look at the future. We may think that in the future we will be alone, with no place of refuge and no one to help us. Such concerns about the future bring about unease, anxiety and fear, and do not help us at all in taking care of the present moment. The best way of preparing for  the future is to take good care of the present, because we know that the present is made up of the past, then the future will be made up of the present. All we need to be responsible for is the present. Only the present is within our reach. To care for the present is to care for the future.

Thich Nhat Hahn, Our Appointment with life.

Letting even difficult emotions be

When we practice it in meditation, self-acceptance entails noticing thoughts and emotions with empathy, but with a reduction of ….. the reactions of approval, disapproval or final judgment. This can give rise to two important realizations. First,  through maintaining this equanimity, we can see patterns of thought and behaviour as they come and go – and let them do just that. So this provides a neutral space in which to witness what we often take to be “myself” as a dynamic of impulses, thoughts, responses and fresh impulses….. The second realization that depends on equanimity (and on investigation) is that mind-states are radically impermanent. If through sustaining equanimity, we stay focused on a mind-state, thought or emotion we notice that it ends – not in a sudden stop, but in a fading and an unravelling.

Ajahn Sucitto, Meditation: A Way of Awakening

Each moment is sacred

There is no less holiness at this time — as you are reading this — than there was the day the Red Sea parted . . . There is no whit less enlightenment under the tree by your street than there was under the Buddha’s bo tree. There is no whit less might in heaven or on earth than there was the day Jesus said ‘Maid, arise’ to the centurion’s daughter, or the day Peter walked on water, or the night Mohammed flew to heaven on a horse. In any instant the sacred may wipe you with its finger. In any instant the bush may flare, your feet may rise, or you may see a bunch of souls in a tree.

Anne DIlliard, For the Time Being

…and taking the first step.

Start with the ground you know,
the pale ground beneath your feet,
your own way of starting
the conversation.

Start with your own question,
give up on other people’s questions,
don’t let them
smother something simple.

To find another’s voice,
follow your own voice,
wait until that voice
becomes a  private ear
listening to another.

Start right now,  take a small step
you can call your own
don’t follow
someone else’s heroics, be humble
and focused,
start close in, don’t mistake
that other
for your own.

Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first thing
close in, the step
you don’t want to take.

David Whyte, Start Close in