Warm sunlight

Incredibly warm, sunny weather here this last week. A world bathed in warmth and life and love.

Look at the sunlight.

You see it is near, yet if you follow it ….you can’t catch it in your hands. Then you say it’s far away and yet you see it right before your eyes. Follow it and you see that it escapes you; Run away from it and it follows you close. You can neither hold onto it, nor be finished with it.

From this you come to see what is the true nature of all things

and then understand: There is no need to be sad or worry about things.

Huang Po, died 850, Zen Buddhist master

Who we are

Growth and transformation occur not by changing who we are

…….but as we summon the courage to be who we are.

And that means bringing our own true, vulnerable, imperfect selves out of hiding and into the world

Katrina Kenison, Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment

Cherish being alive

Got news yesterday of the sudden death of an old friend, who I had not seen in over 18 months due to pandemic restrictions. It made me think of the choices we have as to where we invest our energy and our thoughts. Life can pass us by, and we waste a lot of it rehashing our familiar litany of fears, tired old stories and self-doubts.

In Zen temples there is a small wooden board called a “han” that is struck with a mallet to signal that it is time for some part of the daily routine. It might have the words “Shoji jidai” written on it in ink. Have you ever seen this? The words mean “life is full of fortune and misfortune, but cherish being alive, every single day. Life will pass you by

Come now, open your eyes.

What kind of day should we make today?

Shunmyo Masumo, Zen: The Art of Simple Living

Sunday quote: Happiness

What is this dark hum among the roses?
The bees have gone simple, sipping,
that’s all. What did you expect? Sophistication?
They’re small creatures and they are
filling their bodies with sweetness, how could they not
moan in happiness? The little
worker bee lives, I have read, about three weeks.
Is that long? Long enough, I suppose, to understand
that life is a blessing. 

Mary Oliver, Hum


Restrictions have eased and some travel can finally resume, even if for work. Outward movement allows us to observe inner, ongoing, movement of the mind which is always wanting, and trying to fix life the way we would like to find it. Familiar places and yet changed. We like to know where we are going, but physical journeys can be planned, the inner journey less so.

Whales follow
the whale-roads.
Geese, roads of magnetized air.

Yet how often
the heart
that set out for Peru
arrives in China,

Steering hard.
consulting the charts
the whole journey.

Jane Hirshfield, China

The only life

We need to have the courage to follow our heart:

Best advice I ever got was an old friend of mine, a black friend, who said you have to go the way your blood beats.

If you don’t live the only life you have, you won’t live some other life, you won’t live any life at all.

That’s the only advice you can give anybody. 

James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room