The Elephant already at home

Happiness cannot be found through great effort and willpower,

But is already present

In relaxation and letting go. 

Don’t strain yourself, there is nothing to do.

As soon as you relax this grasping,
there is space – open, inviting and comfortable.

So make use of it. Everything is already yours.
Search no more.

Don’t go into the inextricable jungle
looking for the elephant who is already quietly at home.

Lama Gendun Rinpoche, Happiness

No fixed plan

We do not need to operate according to the idea of a pre-determined program or plan for our lives. Rather, we need to practice a new art of attention to the inner rhythm of our days and lives…Your soul knows the geography of your own destiny. 

John O’Donohue

In the midst of life, just wash the bowl

Once a monk made a request of Joshu.
“I have just entered the monastery,” he said. “Please give me instructions, Master.”
Joshu said, “Have you had your breakfast?”
“Yes, I have,” replied the monk.
“Then,” said Joshu, “wash your bowls.”
The monk had an insight.

I love this koan. I am the student in the midst of my life, waiting for life to happen. How do we enter our life fully? It is right here. How do we want to live? Can we allow all the joys and sorrows to enliven us? Or do we just go along with all our patterns and habits? People who are dying always remind me: ‘I can’t believe I wasn’t here for most of my life.’ That’s one of the most common things I hear, and the biggest regrets. Many people have not inhabited their life because they’re just waiting for other moments. Are we waiting for life to happen in the midst of life? How can we give ourselves fully to our lives, moment to moment? Don’t wait. Life is always right here.

Koshin Paley Ellison, Huffington Post