Some of these old teachings are very beautiful. The fundamental insight is that we are always whole and alive, even right in the midst of difficulties. We thus loosen our identification with our story as something solid, as a permanent sense of agitation, weakness or illness.

A monk asked, “How can a person escape from birth, old age, sickness and death?”

Lingyun replied, “The green mountain is fundamentally unmoving,

But the floating clouds pass back and forth”

(Little is known of Lingyun Zhiqin, a disciple of Chinese Zen Master Guishan Lingyou (771 – 853). “Birth, old age, sickness and death” are shorthand for all the difficulties of life and its overall unsatisfactory nature).

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