In the Western Christian tradition, today is the last day of the year.
It’s a gift, this cloudless November morning
warm enough for you to walk without a jacket
along your favorite path. The rhythmic shushing
of your feet through fallen leaves should be
enough to quiet the mind, so it surprises you
when you catch yourself telling off your boss
for a decade of accumulated injustices,
all the things you’ve never said circling inside you.
It’s the rising wind that pulls you out of it,
and you look up to see a cloud of leaves
swirling in sunlight, flickering against the blue
and rising above the treetops, as if the whole day
were sighing, Let it go, let it go,
for this moment at least, let it all go.
Jeffrey Harrison, Enough
We spend all our energy and waste our lives trying to re-create zones of safety, which are always falling apart. That’s the essence of samsara – the cycle of suffering that comes from continuing to seek happiness in all the wrong places.
Pema Chodron, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Ways Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
I know from personal experience how strong the habitual mind is. The discursive mind, the busy, worried, caught-up, spaced-out mind, is powerful. That’s all the more reason to d the most important thing – to realize what a strong opportunity every day is, and how easy it is to waste it. If you don’t allow your mind to open and to connect with where you are. with the immediacy of your experience, you could easily become completely submerged….you get so completely caught up in the content of your life, the minutiae that make up a day, so self-absorbed in the big project you have to do, that the blessings, the magic, the stillness and the vastness escape you.
Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart
Today you will say things you can predict and other things you could never imagine this minute.
Don’t reject them, let them come through when they’re ready, don’t think you can plan it all out.
This day will never, no matter how long you live, happen again.
It is exquisitely singular. It will never again be exactly repeated.
Naomi Shihab Nye, I’ll Ask You Three Times, Are You OK?: Tales of Driving and Being Driven
Just when the worst bears down
You find a pretty bubble in your soup at noon
And outside a bird says “hi”
Slowly the sun creeps along the floor;
It is coming your way. It touches your shoe.
William Stafford, It’s all Right
When you encounter things, you should know that right there the true teaching reveals itself.
You should know that place