It is uncertain, isn’t it

After a weekend of alerts about storms and viruses, living with uncertainty is a skill we all need to cultivate:

My teacher Ajahn Chah would often respond to people’s questions, plans, and ideas with a smile and say, ‘Mai neh.’ The phrase means, ‘It is uncertain, isn’t it?’ He understood the wisdom of uncertainty, the truth of change, and was comfortable in their midst. As with the Cloud of Unknowing or the ‘unlearning’ of the Tao, wisdom grows by opening to the truth of not knowing. The Third Zen Patriarch puts it this way, ‘If you wish to know the truth, only cease to cherish opinions.’ … At the root of suffering is a small heart, frightened to be here, afraid to trust the river of change, to let go in this changing world. With wisdom we allow this not knowing to become a form of trust. St. John of the Cross described it this way, ‘If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.’

Jack Kornfield

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