The Comparing mind

We are coming up to that time of year when resolutions are encouraged and this can sometimes lead to a desire to  fix ourselves and becoming dissatisfied with our life:

We are born with only one obligation – to be completely who we are. Yet how much of our time is spent comparing ourselves to others, dead and alive? This is encouraged as necessary in the pursuit of excellence. Yet a flower in its excellence does not yearn to be a fish, and a fish in its unmanaged elegance does not long to be a tiger. But we humans find ourselves always falling into the dream of another life. Or we secretly aspire to the fortune or fame of people we don’t really know. When feeling badly about ourselves, we often try on other skins rather than understand and care for our own. Yet when we compare ourselves to others, we see neither ourselves nor those we look up to. We only experience the tension of comparing, as if there is only one ounce of being to feed all our hungers.

Mark Nepo, The Book Of Awakening

What peace means

The Christian calendar today remembers the story in the gospel of Matthew which tells how King Herod ordered the killing of all the children in an attempt to murder Jesus. It is striking that this feast day is celebrated just a few  days after the celebration of Christmas, which is associated with joy. It draws attention to the reality of our changing experience, that sadness can follow joy very quickly, or disappointment come when least expected. Or maybe to the reality of the world, as many people experience violence and hatred every day, no matter what time of year.

To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful.

It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life.

Jill Boite Taylor, American neuroanatomist. 

Be with how it actually is


Of course we can always imagine more perfect conditions, how it should be ideally, how everyone should behave. But it is not our task to create an ideal. It’s our task to see how it is, and to learn from the world as it is. For the awakening of the heart, conditions are always good enough.

Ajahn Sumedho

The eyes of a child

One way to have good perspective is to see the world through the eyes of a child. We innocently report. We accept how others think and feel. If something is had or sad, or we’re scared, we say that. We say how we feel and what we want and need. We know that when we’re tired, we see things out of focus. And when things get too difficult, we either go play in the park or we take a nap.

Somehow we know that everything will work out.

Melody Beattie