A very grey start to the day here in Ireland …but every day we are given opportunities to collect little moments of colour that give us courage to keep going and renew happiness.
We are invited not just to live life, but to celebrate it.
The poppies send up their orange flares; swaying
in the wind, their congregations are a levitation
of bright dust, of thin and lacy leaves.
There isn’t a place in this world that doesn’t
sooner or later drown in the indigos of darkness,
but now, for a while, the roughage
shines like a miracle as it floats above everything
with its yellow hair.
Of course, loss is the great lesson.
But I also say this: that light is an invitation
to happiness, and that happiness, when it’s done right, is a kind of holiness, palpable and redemptive.
Inside the bright fields, touched by their rough and spongy gold,
I am washed and washed in the river
of earthly delight—
and what are you going to do —
what can you do about it —
deep, blue night?
Mary Oliver, Poppies
Here, Ajahn Sucitto, who gave a talk last evening in Geneva, sums up the whole of practice in an insightful way: Getting to know the mind, and the unskilful habits which lead to suffering:
We are all in this together
— wanting peace and harmony – but disappointing and irritating each other nonetheless.
‘It shouldn’t be this way, there shouldn’t be any suffering.’
But then isn’t understanding and letting go of suffering what it’s all about.
What else are we here for?
Ajahn Sucitto, Parami
At times, I guess we all see life through our fears and our conditioning. In these moments we fail to relate to what is actually here, but filter life through our ideas of where things should be, or how others are out to get us and who is to blame and how we should defend ourselves.
The aim of our practice is to release the mind from suffering and stress. This is best achieved by dropping these judgmental filters and by being willing to be here with whatever is arising, in an open way. The day as it unfolds is always within our reach. We just have to stay connected to it.
The great blessings of humankind are within us and within our reach;
but we shut our eyes,
and, like people in the dark,
we fall foul upon the very thing we search for, without finding it.
Seneca, Roman Stoic philosopher, 4 BC – 65 AD
The whole of life lies in the verb seeing
Teilhard de Chardin
Identification with the mind gives it more energy;
observation of the mind withdraws energy from it.
The spiritual life is about becoming more at home in your own skin