The light of mindful awareness reveals the extent to which we are tossed along in the stream of past conditioning and habit. The moment we decide to stop and look at what is going on (like a swimmer suddenly changing course to swim upstream instead of downstream), we find ourselves battered by powerful currents we had never even suspected – precisely because until that moment we were largely living at their command.
Here it is – right now.
Start thinking about it and you miss it.
Huang Po, Chinese Zen Master, died 850
Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous to be understood.
How grass can be nourishing in the mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds will
never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.
Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say
“Look!” and laugh in astonishment, and bow their heads.
Mary Oliver, Mysteries, Yes
Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky.
Conscious breathing is my anchor.
Thích Nhất Hạnh, Stepping into Freedom
The things we really need come to us only as gifts, and in order to receive them as gifts, we have to be open. In order to be open we have to renounce ourselves, in a sense we have to die to our image of ourselves, our autonomy, our fixation upon our self-willed destiny. We have to be able to relax the psychic and spiritual cramp which knots us in the painful, vulnerable, helpless “I” that is all we know of ourselves.
Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander
The whole of life lies in the verb “seeing”
Teilhard de Chardin, Jesuit theologian and palaeontologist