Our news these days has a continual fearful, – or as we see this week – an angry or resentful tone. We have to work to ensure that it does not become the dominant energy of this day or this new month.
The water of the mind, how clear it is!
Gazing at it, the boundaries are invisible.
But as soon as even a slight thought arises,
ten thousand images crowd it.
Attach to them, and they become real.
Be carried by them, and it will be difficult to return.
How painful to see a person trapped in the ten-fold delusions.
Ryokan, Sōtō Zen Buddhist monk, 1758 – 1831
Last Sunday, my friends and I spoke about the gift of learning to observe ourselves impartially. We spoke of using the constantly changing flow of sensory feeling in the body — keeping it simple, just knowing pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral in the body. Breaking our experience down in this way — sunlight, pleasant, shadow, unpleasant – can help us glimpse the flowing, changing nature of our experience. But turning our attention to the moment-by-moment experience of the life of body can accomplish something much greater. It can help free us from an obsessive identification with a small, embattled self. It can be the key to living a much bigger life — a good life in the deepest sense.
Tracy Cochran, Pay Attention, for Goodness Sake
Of one thing I am pretty sure,’ he resumed, ‘that the same recipe Goethe gave for the enjoyment of life, applies equally to all work: “Do the thing that lies next you.” That is all our business. Hurried results are worse than none. We must force nothing, but be partakers of the divine patience…All haste implies weakness. Time is as cheap as space and matter.
George MacDonald (1824-1905), Scottish poet, novelist, and Minister, Robert Falconer
Happiness and the cause of happiness can arise only through loving-kindness and insight into the nature of things. There is no other way.
Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche
On this ever-revolving wheel of being
The individual self goes round and round
Through life after life, believing itself
To be a separate creature – until
It sees its identity with the Lord of Love
And attains immortality in the indivisible Whole.
The Shvetashvatara Upanishad , ancient Sanskrit text, c 5th Century BCE