But listen to me.
For one moment quit being sad.
Hear blessings dropping their blossoms
And now the teaching on yoga begins….
Yoga is the settling of the mind into silence.
When the mind has settled, we are established in our essential nature, which is unbounded consciousness.
Our essential nature is usually overshadowed by the activity of the mind.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, c 400 AD.
Don’t define your essential self in terms of a feeling. Don’t say, “I am depressed.” If you want to say, “It is depressed,” that’s all right. If you want to say depression is there, that’s fine; if you want to say gloominess is there, that’s fine. But not: I am gloomy. You’re defining yourself in terms of the feeling. That’s your illusion; that’s your mistake. There is a depression there right now, there are hurt feelings there right now, but let it be, leave it alone. It will pass. Everything passes, everything. Your depressions and your thrills have nothing to do with happiness. Those are just the swings of the pendulum
Anthony de Mello sj
We can learn to recognize that the difficulty is our path instead of trying to escape from it. This is a radical yet necessary change in our perspective. When uncomfortable things happen to us, we rarely want to have anything to do with them. We might respond with the belief ‘Things shouldn’t be this way’ or ‘Life shouldn’t be so messy.’ Who says? Who says that life shouldn’t be a mess? When life is not fitting our expectations of how it’s supposed to be, we usually try to change it to fit our expectations. But the key to practice is not to try to change our life but to change our relationship to our expectations — to learn to see whatever is happening as our path.
Ezra Bayda, Being Zen
photo philip halling
A similar theme on staying in the present moment, this time from the early Christian tradition
One of the early Desert Fathers said
‘There is no such thing as delay with the Holy Spirit.’
This means that everything happens at the right moment.
Laurence Freeman, Common Ground: Letters to a World Community of Meditators