Being at ease with the messiness of life

With mindfulness practice, you learn to see how the untrained mind is agitated by the human condition and how not to allow this general anxiety to fuel your fear in a specific situation. You also gain tolerance for the unpleasantness of uncertainty and also the naturalness of your own imperfection. You have confidence that “life is like this.” You cannot and are not supposed to miraculously fix it; rather, you gain the insight that happiness and peace come from relating to life just as it is.

Philipp Moffit, Freedom from Fear

The way to fulfillment

This weekend, thousands of pilgrims will climb Croagh Patrick, a mountain which was considered sacred as far back as 3000 years BC and associated with St Patrick from the time he fasted there. Ireland today is bombarded today with lots of examples of what will lead to a happy life, such as wearing certain types of clothes, such and such a diet, success in achieving goals, quick-fix self-help slogans and imitating celebrities. However, in the wisdom developed in Celtic spirituality around the time of Patrick –  over 1500 years ago –  a fulfilled life had three elements: being close to nature, having concern for those less fortunate and being grateful.  Let’s see which will lead to greater contentment….

Let me bless almighty God, whose power extends over sea and land, whose angels watch over all.

       Let me do my daily work, gathering seaweed, catching fishgiving food to the poor.

Let me say my daily prayers, sometimes chanting, sometimes quiet, always thanking God.

Delightful it is to live on a peaceful isle, in a quiet cell, serving the King of kings.

The Prayer of St. Columba, 521-597 A.D. 

photo: kanchelskis

A dash of foolishness

Maybe because it’s the end of the working week, or people starting on holidays, or simply because its July….. but this post follows the same theme as other Fridays in this month: Let’s keep a capacity for play and for non-doing in our lives..

Each day, and the living of it, has to be a conscious creation

in which discipline and order

are relieved with some play and pure foolishness.

May Sarton

with thanks to Ben Naga for this lovely quote

and for being one of the longest and most faithful followers of this blog.


No perfect way

Two quotes for today from the great Suzuki Roshi.

Life – or work – can contains elements of mess or chaos and we often approach them with a belief that a resolution can be, or should be arrived at. However, in reality, most of the time, it is rather a question of holding the irresolution or the problem in a new awareness.

Nothing we see or hear is perfect. But right there in the imperfection is perfect reality.

There is no way set up for us. Moment after moment we have to find our own way.

Some idea of perfection, or some perfect way which is set up by someone else, is not the true way for us. Each one of us must make his own true way, and when we do, that way will express the universal way.

Shunryū Suzuki Roshi, 1904 –  1971