Fresh

Now it is raining, but we don’t know what will happen in the next moment. By the time we go out, it may be a beautiful day or a stormy day. Since we don’t know, let’s appreciate the sound of the rain now

Shunryu Sukuki, Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind: Informal talks on Zen Meditation and Practice.

I love this bit of wisdom from Shunryu Suzuki. It comes back to me often when I hear the rain (or find myself in or anticipating a storm of whatever kind). Suzuki is better known for another saying ……”In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities”…They both point to the same place – our capacity to come fresh to the moment and to not make a buffer between ourselves and the world.

Bonnie Myotai Treace, in the nice introductory book, Wake Up: How to Practice Zen Buddhism

Part of the world’s peace

Recently I’ve been pondering a process I call “bewilderment”—or, as I like to pronounce it, be-wilder-ment. I figure if we all become a little wilder, a little more present, a little more connected to whatever it is that makes dogs so damn happy, we’ll feel better and do better things. The first step in the bewilderment process is simple: CALM DOWN.

The whole world functions this way: Real threats do exist, but when we approach life with fear, we see threats in everything, including unconditional love. We puff up in self-defense, which others perceive as aggression. We use violent, extreme words and actions when peaceful attentiveness would work far better.

If you’d like to be-wilder yourself, try this: Whenever you notice that the monologue in your head is fear-based (worrying about the future, belittling yourself, fussing over what others may think) stop, breathe deeply, and switch to a silent loving-kindness meditation, repeating phrases like: “May I be happy. May I be calm. May I feel safe and protected.”

It sounds so simple, because it is. Wild things don’t make speeches, they just notice what’s really in front of them. What’s in front of us is a world where far more goes right than wrong. Make your mind part of the world’s peace, instead of its fear, and I promise, life will get better and better.

Martha Beck, Make your Mind part of the Peace,

Natural unfolding

We think we’re supposed to figure out how life should be, and then make it that way. Only someone who looks deeper, and questions why we need the events of life to be in a particular way, will question this assumption. How did we come up with the notion that life is not okay just the way it is, or that it won’t be okay the way it will be? Who said that the way it naturally unfolds is not all right?

The answer is, fear says so. The part of you inside that is not okay with itself can’t face the natural unfolding of life because it’s not under your control. We define the entire scope of our outer experience based on our inner problems.

Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul

We can’t see where we are heading

The path is unchartered. It comes into existence moment by moment and at the same time, drops away behind us. It’s like riding in a train sitting backwards. We cant see where we’re headed, only where we’ve been. This is a very encouraging teaching because it says that the source of wisdom is whatever is going to happen to us today. The source of wisdom is whatever is happening to us right at this very instant.

Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart