The trees in the garden have finally shed their leaves. We have had a long autumn here in Ireland but it finally begins to make way for winter. There is a certain sadness in seeing the yellow leaves and yet a beauty in the bareness of the branches. Two aspects of a life – it moves on and yet is fully here:
Why… Have a yearning for destiny?
…because being here amounts to so much, because all
this Here and Now, so fleeting, seems to require us and strangely
concerns us. Us the most fleeting of all….
Having been once on earth – can it ever be canceled?
Rainer Maria Rilke, The Ninth Duino Elegy
Happiness arrives from many directions. If you have a notion that it comes only from one direction, you will miss all of these other opportunities because you want happiness to come only from the direction you want. Please remember that your notions of happiness may be very dangerous. Go back and examine deeply your notions and ideas of happiness. So let go of what you believed yesterday. Let go of what you thought last week you needed to be happy. The conditions of happiness that are in your life now are enough.
Thich Nhat Hahn
The fields this year in Ireland are full of Pheasants, with their beautiful colours, which ground us in the vibrancy of the here and now, and save us from our common mistake of thinking that life can be found elsewhere.
Life is no passing memory of what has been
nor the remaining pages in a great book
waiting to be read.
It is the opening of eyes long closed…
It is Moses in the desert
fallen to his knees before the lit bush.
It is the man throwing away his shoes
as if to enter heaven
and finding himself astonished,
opened at last,
fallen in love with solid ground.
David Whyte, The Opening of Eyes
photo Debbie Turner
You may wonder what the best approach is to helping society and how you can know that what you are doing is authentic and good. The only answer is nowness. The way to relax, or rest the mind in nowness, is through the practice of meditation. In meditation you take an unbiased approach. You let things be as they are, without judgment, and in that way you yourself learn to be.
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Shambala
We might ask, “Given my present situation, how long should I stay with uncomfortable feelings?” This is a good question, yet there is no right answer. We simply get accustomed to coming back to the present just as it is for a second, for a minute, for an hour — whatever is currently natural — without its becoming an endurance trial. Just pausing for two to three breaths is a perfect way to stay present. This is a good use of our life. Indeed, it is an excellent, joyful use of our life.
Pema Chodron, Taking the Leap.