We never really arrive

We seem to presume that others have their lives together and that this would be good for us also, that we will finally, one day, arrive…

The first day of autumn
returning from alms round
I set down my bowl by the temple
to go play with the children.
Last year, a foolish monk.
This year, no change.

Ryokan, 1758–1831, Zen Buddhist monk

We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen. 

Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for difficult Times

A new day, a new week

 

“Let there be Buechner”. And why not? Out of the primeval chaos of sleep he calls me to be life again.   He calls me to be this rather than that; he calls me to be here rather than there; he calls me to be now rather than then.  Waking into the new day, we are all of us Adam on the morning of creation, and the world is ours to name. 

Out of many fragments we are called to put back together a self again.

Frederick Buechner, The Alphabet of Grace

Healing our wounds

Looking down into my father’s
dead face
for the last time
my mother said without
tears, without smiles
without regrets
but with civility
“Good night, Willie Lee, I’ll see you
in the morning.”

And it was then I knew that the healing
of all our wounds
is forgiveness
that permits a promise
of our return
at the end.

Alice Walker, Collected Poems

 

Solid and loose

Things arise and pass away. Our natural tendency is to make them solid, to get stuck in our perception, the form, to come to definite conclusions about what is happening. However,  all the images and inferences we have in our mind can be very deceptive. Sometimes. we need to hold things lightly, to wait until what is happening reveals itself, rather than getting caught up in the sign before us.

Whenever something can be distinguished by signs

there is deception

The Diamond Sutra, discourse of the Buddha to the monk Subhuti