I wish it was different

Unusually long and hot weather spell in Ireland these last weeks, after our harshest winter in decades,  The land is getting quite parched and water restrictions are in place. So we, who normally complain about the lack of sun in the Summer, now complain of its presence. Another example of the either/or dynamic which pops up so frequently in our thoughts and of the constant daydreaming that things should be different. This famous koan from the 9th Century Chan Master Dongshan challenges us to be completely with whatever is happening,  without always placing it beside an alternative: 

A monk asked Dongshan, “When the cold visits us, how can we avoid it?”
Dongshan said, “Why not go where there is no cold?”
The monk asked, “Where is the place without cold?”
Dongshan said, “When it is cold, let the cold kill you. When it is hot, let the heat kill you.”

Blue Cliff Record Case 43: Dongshan’s Cold and Heat

One thought on “I wish it was different

  1. I enjoyed your comment about cold/heat, and it is that way today in NYC too. The complaining mind is our default tendency, with equanimity an aspiration we can reach with attention and practice. Thanks for the reminder and your writing!
    Sheila Lewis, co-author, “Spanda Cards and the Entrepreneurial Spirit,” bridging ancient wisdom and business acumen. (Beyond Words publishing, Sept. 2018, pre-order now)

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