Sunday Quote: We can choose joy

It’s not what happens but how we relate to it…

Is it the weather that is cold,

or is it the person who is cold?

Think neither cold nor heat —  at that moment, where is the self to be found?

Dogen, again, in his commentary on Dongshan’s (807–869) koan “Cold and Heat”

Eating breakfast

We sometimes think that happiness comes from special circumstances or lofty insights, involving practices which require great effort, rather than the simple day-to-day circumstances before us:

Dropping off body and mind is good practice.

[There is]…nothing fundamental to rely on, including not others, not self, not sentient beings, and not causes or conditions.

Although this is so, eating breakfast comes first.

Dogen, 1200-1253, founder of the Soto branch of Zen Buddhism.

(“Dropping off body and mind” refers to sitting meditation)

You know you have to follow

There is a road always beckoning.

When you see the two sides of it

closing together at that far horizon

and deep in the foundations of your own heart

at exactly the same time,

that’s how you know it’s the road

you have to follow.

that’s how you know

it’s where you have to go.

That’s how you know.

It’s just beyond yourself,

it’s where you need to be.

David Whyte, Just Beyond Yourself

Be still

Why scurry about looking for the truth?
It vibrates in every thing and every not-thing, right off the tip of your nose.

Can you be still and see it in the mountain? the pine tree? yourself?
Don’t imagine that you’ll discover it by accumulating more knowledge.
Knowledge creates doubt, and doubt makes you ravenous for more knowledge.

The wise person dines on something more subtle:
He finds this subtle truth inside his own self,
and becomes completely content.
So who can be still and watch the chess game of the world?
The foolish are always making impulsive moves,
but the wise know that victory and defeat are decided by something more subtle.
They see that something perfect exists before any move is made.

Remain quiet. Discover the harmony in your own being.
Embrace it.
If you can do this, you will gain everything,
and the world will become healthy again.
If you can’t, you will be lost in the shadows forever.

The Huahujing, traditionally attributed to Lao Tzu, translation Brian Walker