What you love

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It is very important that you only do what you love to do.

You may be poor, you may go hungry, you may lose your car, you may have to move into a shabby place to live, but you will totally live.

And at the end of your days you will bless your life because you have done what you came here to do.

Otherwise, you will do things only for a reason, to please other people, and you will never have lived.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Not judging our emotions

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Times of travel or transition can give rise to a lot of emotions and they always like to give birth to thoughts about how we are doing or where we are headed in life. It is best to just hold emotions as mental events that pass through and not believe the stories that arise out of them:

Trust in the simple act of attention. Awareness includes emotions as mental objects, rather than as subjects. If you don’t know this, you tend to identify with your emotions and your emotions become yourself. You become this emotional thing that has become terribly upset because the world is not respecting you enough. Our refuge is in the deathless reality rather than the transient and unstable conditions. If you trust in awareness, then the self and the emotions about oneself, whatever they might be, can be seen in terms of what they are — not judged, not made into a problem, but just noticed: “It’s like this.”

Ajahn Sumedho, The Problem with Personality

photo andeggs

Simply being there

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We are either in the state of “having lived” or “will be living” — that’s how our mind functions. Often, our mind is dwelling in the past and we are always “sort of living” in the state of past memories. Our mind has never been free to live in the present: it’s always under the dictatorship of our memories of the past or dreams of the future. We have a long list of plans for how we will live in the future — how we will achieve this and that — and we invest our energy, time and effort in these dreams. As a result, we may actually achieve a certain number of our dreams, but when the future becomes the present, we don’t have the time or wisdom to experience it. We don’t have the space, the freedom, to enjoy the dreams that have come true in the present.

The whole purpose of mindfulness of mind is to bring us back to this tiny spot of the present, the momentary nature of our mind, and to experience the infinite space and freedom within that speck of existence. In order to do that, we must experience the lively nature of our mind, which is so present, so momentary and so fresh. Every individual moment, every individual fragment of that mind, is completely pure and fresh in its own state. The whole point is to experience this freshness and genuineness — the honest face of that tiny spot — without coloring it with our memories, concepts, philosophies or expectations. Experiencing it without all these is what we call simply being there.

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Tiny Slippery Spot of Mind


Rising above worries


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Everyone is overridden by thoughts;
that’s why they have so much heartache and sorrow.
At times I give myself up to thought purposefully;

But when I choose, I spring up from those under its sway.

I am like a high-flying bird, and thought is a gnat:
How should a gnat overpower me?


photo andrew bowden