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