It was like this:
you were happy, then you were sad,
then happy again, then not.
Like a lover, your life bends down and kisses your life.
It doesn’t matter what they will make of you
or your days: they will be wrong,
they will miss the wrong woman, miss the wrong man,
all the stories they tell will be tales of their own invention.
Your story was this: you were happy, then you were sad,
you slept, you awakened.
Sometimes you ate roasted chestnuts, sometimes persimmons.
Jane Hirshfield, It Was Like This: You Were Happy [extracts]
In this short Life that only lasts an hour
How much – how little – is within our power.
Emily Dickinson, In this short Life that only lasts an hour
One should say before sleeping,
“I have lived many lives. I have been a slave and a prince. Many a beloved had sat upon my knees and I have sat upon the knees of many a beloved.
Everything that has been shall be again“
Bodhidharma said, “Expel all concurrent causes. Do not give rise to a single thought.”
This is an important part of our training. Concurrent causes are the ones we are carrying with us when we come to sit in meditation. Not giving rise to thoughts means not letting them carry us away. You are not your thoughts.
Daniel Scharpenburg, The Essence of Buddhist Training.
When you get the hang of being more interested in life than in agreeing with your thoughts, then you will get the life you get. And you will be able to have as much happiness as you want with almost no effort whatsoever. When you stop believing your thoughts, you look around just for you, just because it is interesting to look around. Some people call that enlightenment. But you won’t call it that. You’ll be too interested in the new view.
John Tarrant, The Paradox of Happiness
Suffering isn’t dependent on the world being good or bad, but on how willing we are to use wisdom in this present moment.
The way out of suffering is now, in being able to see things as they are.
Ajahn Sumedho, The Way it is