….Not taking things personally

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In fully allowing conditions to be what they are, we stabilize our hearts and find peace. It’s like putting a boat into water. We make an ark of truth: ‘the conditions are like this,’ and in that truth, we  don’t adopt the conditions as our own. This is important: you can’t drain the sea, but you don’t have to drown.

Ajahn Sucitto, Parami

photo pmalkowski


The basic choice….


When I was about six years old I received an essential …. teaching from an old woman sitting in the sun. I was walking by her house one day feeling lonely, unloved, and mad, kicking anything I could find. Laughing, she said to me, “Little girl, don’t you go letting life harden your heart.” Right there, I received this pith instruction: We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder and more open to what scares us. We always have the choice.

Pema Chodron, The Places that Scare you

photo vivian eng

Welcoming everything that happens today

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The understanding of welcome, outlined in this post, applies not just to other people but also to the emotions and thoughts provoked by everything that happens today:

Hospitality means creating welcoming space for the other. Henri J. Nouwen notes that the Dutch word for hospitality, gastvrijheid, means ‘the freedom of the guest.’ It entails creating not just physical room but emotional spaciousness where the stranger can enter and be himself or herself, where the stranger can become ally instead of threat, friend instead of enemy: “That precious experience — when contemplated, cherished, and celebrated — enables me in turn to welcome others: I begin to be less fearful of the other; I start to see the stranger as gift. I become willing to create space in myself to invite the other in, and I open myself to the possibility of being changed by the presence of the other“.
Sister Marilyn Lacey, Creating Welcoming Space, from Awakin org
photo hyougushi