The life that we have in our mind, the life that is a reflection of our planning, the life that has been constructed out of bits and pieces in our environment — external conditioning, things we have observed in other people, things that influential people have told us — is actually not who we are. Life emerges out of the silence of our inner being. When I was in graduate school I worked with a Jungian analyst, June Singer. She used to say, “Work expands to fill all of the available space.” The problem is not the amount of things you have in your life, it’s the attitude. It’s your fear of space.
Reginald Ray, Busyness is laziness
Patience from a Buddhist perspective is not a “wait and see” attitude, but rather one of “just be there”… Patience can also be based on not expecting anything.Think of patience as an act of being open to whatever comes your way. When you begin to solidify expectations, you get frustrated because they are not met in the way you had hoped… With no set idea of how something is supposed to be, it is hard to get stuck on things not happening in the time frame you desired. Instead, you are just being there, open to the possibilities of your life.
Lodro Rinzler, The Buddha walks into a Bar
You may be capable of great things,
but life consists of small things
Deng Ming-Dao, Chinese author of 365 Tao
The personality is seldom,
in the beginning,
what it will be later on.
The art of cleaning is a simple spiritual activity that is often overlooked. The image of the monk sweeping the courtyard has a deep significance, because without the practice of cleaning there can be no empty space, no space for a deep communion with the sacred. Outer and inner cleaning belong to the foundation of spiritual practice, and as the monk’s broom touches the ground, it has a particular relationship to the Earth. We need to create a sacred space in order to live in relationship to the sacred within ourselves and within creation.
Our present culture teaches us to accumulate, but not how to make empty. But for real spiritual work in the inner and outer worlds, in order to give space to the divine, in order to return to the sacred, we need to practice a certain purification in our daily lives. We learn to eat consciously, to be attentive to our outer environment, to sweep our courtyard. We also need to learn how to clean our house, both physically and inwardly. Just as we need to learn to empty our mind in meditation, to clear away the clutter of unnecessary thoughts, so do we need to consciously clean our living space.
Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, The Art of Cleaning
Certainly there is within each of us a self that is neither a child, nor a servant of the hours. It is a third self, occasional in some of us, tyrant in others. This self is out of love with the ordinary; it is out of love with time. It has a hunger for eternity.
Mary Oliver, Upstream