Today is the birthday of the 13th Century Persian Poet Rumi. So here is one of my favourite short quotations, which in its few lines contains as much as we need to know.
Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to.
Don’t try to see through the distances.
That’s not for human beings. Move within,
But don’t move the way fear makes you move.
Experiencing the power of faith doesn’t mean we’ve annihilated fear or denied it or overcome it through strenuous effort. It means that when we think we’ve conquered fear only to be once again overcome by it, we can still go on. It means feeling our fear and still remaining in touch with our heart, so that the fear does not define our entire world
Sharon Salzberg, Faith
In our meditation and insightful understanding of the way things are, we see that beauty, refinement, pleasure are impermanent conditions — as well as pain, misery and ugliness. If you really understand that, then you can enjoy and endure whatever happens to you. Actually, much of the lesson in life is learning to endure what we don’t like in ourselves and in the world around us; being able to be patient and kindly, and not make a scene over the imperfections in the sensory experience. We can adapt and endure and accept the changing characteristics of the sensory birth and death cycle by letting go and no longer attaching to it. When we free ourselves from identity with it, we experience our true nature, which is bright, clear, knowing; but is not a personal thing anymore, it is not ’me’ or ‘mine’.
Ajahn Sumedho, Mindfulness, the Path to the Deathless
People are in every way prevented from getting inside themselves.
Our greatest problem is a fear of depth
Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress.
Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it.
Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone.
Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water.
If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does
Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad
As strange as it may sound, meditation may reveal that we are happier than we thought we were. We may discover that ancient conditioning rather than present circumstances is causing our dissatisfaction, and that this moment is quite sufficient or even wonderful, and we simply hadn’t noticed.
Wes Necker, Buddha’s Nature