We have had three storms pass over us in the last few days. Strong winds. In a similar way, each day contains a lot of conditioned events which pass through – a succession of little births and deaths. There is always a dialogue between these changing conditions and our underlying nature.
A monk asked, ”How can one escape from birth, old age, sickness, and death?” Lingyun said, ”The green mountain is fundamentally unmoving, but the floating clouds pass back and forth.”
There is nothing else than now. There is neither yesterday, certainly, nor is there any tomorrow. How old must you be before you know that? There is only now, and if now is only two days, then two days is your life and everything in it will be in proportion. This is how you live a life in two days. And if you stop complaining and asking for what you never will get, you will have a good life
When our English teacher gave our first writing invitation of the year, Become a kitchen implement in 2 descriptive paragraphs, I did not think butcher knife or frying pan, I thought immediately of soft flour showering throught the little holes of the sifter and the sifter’s pleasing circular swishing sound, and wrote it down. Rhoda became a teaspoon, Roberto a funnel, Jim a muffin time and Forrest a soup pot. We read our paragraphs out loud. Abby was a blender. Everyone laughed and acted but the more we thought about it, we were all everything in the whole kitchen, drawers and drainers, singing teapot and grapefruit spoon with serrated edges, we were all the empty cup, the tray. This, said our teacher, is the beauty of metaphor. It opens doors. What I could not know then was how being a sifter would help me all year long. When bad days came I would close my eyes and feel them passing through the tiny holes. When good days came I would try to contain them gently the way flour remains in the sifter until you turn the handle. Time, time. I was a sweet sifter in time and no one ever knew.
When you cease to fear your solitude, a new creativity awakens in you. Your forgotten or neglected wealth begins to reveal itself. You come home to yourself and learn to rest within. Thoughts are our inner senses. Infused with silence and solitude, they bring out the mystery of inner landscape.