Some ideas to counter the frequent thought that our life would be better if only this or that happened, or indeed, if this or that had not happened to us.
No creature ever falls short of its own completion.
Wherever it stands it does not fail to cover the ground
Dogen, 1200 – 1253, Buddhist thinker, founder of the Sōtō school of Zen
I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made.
Psalm 139: 14
And this was written before mobile phones….
The world is full of people
who have stopped listening to themselves
Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes,
There is great happiness
in not wanting,
in not being something,
in not going anywhere.
J. Krisnamurti. 1895 – 1986
Drinking tea, eating rice,
I pass my time as it comes;
Looking down at the stream,
Looking up at the mountains,
How serene and relaxed I feel indeed!
Ch’an master Nan-ch’üan P’u-yüan, c. 749 – c. 835
In meditation, you are supposed to closely observe your mind and body, witness the ceaseless arising and passing of all your feelings, and realise how pointless it is to pursue them. When the pursuit stops, the mind becomes very relaxed, clear and satisfied. All kinds of feelings go on arising and passing – joy, anger, boredom, lust – but once you stop craving particular feelings, you can just accept them for what they are. You live in the present moment instead of fantasising about what might have been. The resulting serenity is so profound that those who spend their lives in the frenzied pursuit of pleasant feelings can hardly imagine it. It is like a man standing for decades on the seashore, embracing certain ‘good’ waves and trying to prevent them from disintegrating, while simultaneously pushing back ‘bad’ waves to prevent them from getting near him. Day in, day out, the man stands on the beach, driving himself crazy with this fruitless exercise. Eventually, he sits down on the sand and just allows the waves to come and go as they please. How peaceful!
Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind