A guide for all of life: Don’t try to control the sunset

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One of the most growth-promoting experiences for another person  comes from my appreciating this individual in the same way that I appreciate a sunset. People are just wonderful as sunsets if I can let them be. In fact, perhaps the reason we can truly appreciate a sunset is that we cannot control it. When I look at a sunset as I did the other evening, I don’t find myself saying, “Soften the orange a little on the right hand corner, and put a bit more purple along the base, and use a little more pink in the cloud color.” I don’t do that. I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.

Carl Rogers

photo Mmcbeth

See your own strength

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Oh soul, you worry too much.

You have seen your own strength. You have seen your own beauty. You have seen your golden wings.
Of anything less, why do you worry?

You are in truth the soul, of the soul, of the soul.

Rumi
photo Virginia state parks staff

The weather in our lives

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Is it the bowl that rolls around the pearl,

or is it the pearl that rolls around the bowl?

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 (1200 – 1253)  commentary on Dongshan’s (807–869) koan “Cold and Heat”

Spring has started early in Ireland with some days very mild, blossoms already on the trees and daffodils in full bloom. However, everyday is different and today is forecast wet and windy. A weather that is always in motion, hot and cold…

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche said “there is no cure for hot and cold”. He meant that our lives have periods of good things and bad, things may go well but we still have self-doubt. Our minds seem to be always in motion –  a succession of thoughts and emotions, good intentions  and petty thoughts, kindness followed by self-seeking.

Pema Chodron used the phrase to encourage us not to  struggle but rather relax into life as it is. In this way, we not only can stop the complaining that goes on in our mind, but also be pleasantly surprised by what  the weather of a day blows into our lives: 

The way to dissolve our resistance to life is to meet it face to face. When we feel resentment because the room is too hot, we could meet the heat and feel its fieriness and its heaviness. When we feel resentment because the room is too cold, we could meet the cold and feel its iciness and its bite. When we want to complain about the rain, we could feel its wetness instead. When we worry because the wind is shaking our windows, we could meet the wind and hear its sound. Cutting our expectations for a cure is a gift we can give ourselves. There is no cure for hot and cold. They will go on forever.

Pema Chodron

We are more than we think we are

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Having a spiritual life doesn’t mean striving to stop the rain from falling or keeping our hearts from breaking. It means letting go of our resistance and wilful separation. It means taking our place in the greater whole of life. This surrender tends to happen in moments of loss but also sometimes in moments of great love or moments when we have been spared. In those moments it’s natural to say or inwardly feel “Thy will be done,” I surrender, opening to the rain and the sun and all that will come, knowing that we and life is more than we think we are.

Tracy Cochran, The Golden Ticket

photo : gorkaazk