Our natural beauty

Meditation is getting into the natural situation, the organic natural situation of what we are, directly, thoroughly, properly. In order to do this, we cannot just rent a helicopter and fly to the heart of the matter without any inconvenience. So what shall we do? The obvious thing to do is walk, just to walk on our own feet, just walk. We have to get into the countryside of this intimate natural beauty and walk. That is exactly what the first step of meditation is, going into our natural psychological situation without trying to find some fancy touristic vehicle. It is a very pleasant thing, to begin with, to just walk….Meditation is another dimension of natural beauty. People talk about appreciating natural beauty — climbing mountains, seeing giraffes and tigers in Africa, and all sorts of things. But nobody seems to appreciate this kind of natural beauty of ourselves. This is actually far more beautiful than flora and fauna, far more fantastic, far more painful and colorful and delightful.

Ghogyam Trungpa, Glimpses of Abhidharma

Waking up

When we are not dwelling in the present moment and our mind is wandering around, we are not aware of what is happening in out body and in our mind. We are like sleep walkers. Waking up is another way of saying “enlightenment” or “awakening”. Waking up is the reminder for us to be awake in everything we do during the day, not just in the morning while we get up. It is awakening in each moment, while we are drinking tea, brushing our teeth, going for a walk. Waking up should be the essence of each moment

Thich Nhat Hahn

Sunshine after a cloudy weekend: The parts of a life

Perhaps there is more understanding and beauty in life when the glaring sunlight is softened by the patterns of shadows. Perhaps there is more depth in a relationship that has weathered some storms. Experience that never disappoints or saddens or stirs up feeling is a bland experience with little challenge or variation of color. Perhaps it’s when we experience confidence and faith and hope that we see materialize before our eyes this builds up within us a feeling of inner strength, courage, and security. We are all personalities that grow and develop as a result of our experiences, relationships, thoughts, and emotions. We are the sum total of all the parts that go into the making of a life.

Virginia Axline, Dibs, In Search of Self

Notice chatter

Just do your best. This is the whole practice , the whole of your life. All sorts of chatter comes up in the midst of the circumstances of our life. Something breaks,  we clean it up or fix it up. Or we start chattering about “Why does this happen to me. Oh, I always do this. What Am I going to do? What does this mean?” After speaking with someone, do we continue holding onto the discussion with internal chatter like, “Why did they say that to me? It’s not fair they say it to me”?  If that chatterhabits of reactions, habit of thoughts and emotions – arises, then right there in the noticed chatter is our practice.

Everything is the Way: Ordinary Mind Zen

Present with whatever is here

Pleasant conditions change into unpleasant ones, and unpleasant conditions eventually become pleasant. We should just keep this awareness of impermanence and be at peace with the way things are, not demanding that they be otherwise. The people we live with, the places we live in, the society we are a part of – we should just be at peace with everything. But most of all we should be at peace with ourselves-that is the big lesson to learn in life. It is really hard to be at peace with oneself. I find that most people have a lot of self-aversion. It is much better to be at peace with our own bodies and minds than anything else, and not demand that they be perfect, that we be perfect, or that everything be good. We can be at peace with the good and the bad.

Ajahn Sumedho

A way to claim courage

The on-the-spot practice of being fully present, feeling your heart and greeting the next moment with an open mind can be done at any time: when you wake up in the morning, before a difficulty conversation, whenever fear or discomfort arises. This practice is a beautiful way to claim… your courage, your kindness, your kindness, your strength. Whenever it occurs to you, you can pause briefly, touch in with how you’re feeling both physically and mentally, and then connect with your heart – even putting your hand on your heart if you want to. This is a way of extending warmth and acceptance to whatever is going on for you right now.

Pema Chodron, Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change