We cannot live without excitement.  However, when excitement becomes the sole purpose in life that’s out of balance, that does not work.  It seems, we strive to be on a constant high all the time.  Having fun almost becomes an addiction.  But the craving for the extraordinary dulls the palate, and we lose our sense for the ordinary.

When our practice is calm and ordinary,  nothing is lacking and our everyday life itself is enlightenment.

Don’t engage disturbances, and emotional reachings gradually fade away.

Don’t engage distractions and spiritual practice naturally grows.

Wilbur Mushin May Sensei 

Holding our concepts lightly


Emptiness is the track on which the centered person moves.

Je Tsongkhapa, Tibetan Buddhist,  (1357-1419)

To know emptiness is not just to understand the concept. It is more like stumbling into a clearing in the forest, where suddenly you can move freely and see clearly. To experience emptiness is to experience the shocking absence of what normally determines the sense of who you are and the kind of reality you inhabit. It may last only a moment before the habits of a lifetime reassert themselves and close in once more. But for that moment, we witness ourselves and the world as open and vulnerable.

Stephen Batchelor, Buddhism without Beliefs

Rehearsing and evaluating

It’s interesting to notice that we spend so much of our time rehearsing what we are going to say or do… we construct our reality by the stories we tell about it.

The evaluation I have in mind is ego centered: “Is this next episode in my life going to bring me something I like, or not? Is it going to hurt, or isn’t it? Is it pleasant or unpleasant? Does it make me important or unimportant? Does it give me something material?” It’s our nature to evaluate in this way. To the extent that we give ourselves over to evaluation of this kind, joy will be missing from our lives. 

Charlotte Joko Beck, Nothing Special, Living Zen 

You don’t have to drown

In fully allowing conditions to be what they are, we stabilize our hearts and find peace. It’s like putting a boat into water. We make an ark of truth: ‘Conditions are like this,’ and in that truth, we don’t adopt the conditions as our own. This is important: you can’t drain the sea, but you don’t have to drown.

Why we feel overwhelmed, as if we’re drowning, is because the heart is‘leaky.’ When it isn’t secure, perceptions and feelings flood in and cause it to sink

Ajahn Sucitto, Parami

Gifts each day

A habit is a sure cell of predictability; it can close you off from the unknown, the new, and the unexpected. You were sent to the earth to become a receiver of the unknown. From ancient times, these gifts were prepared for you; now they come towards you across eternal distances. Their destination is the altar of your heart.

John O Donohue, Eternal Echoes