Watch the excuses

When you blame, you open up a world of excuses,

because as long as you’re looking outside,

you miss the opportunity to look inside,

and you continue to suffer.

 Donna Quesada, Buddha in the Classroom: Zen Wisdom to Inspire Teachers

Not black and white

Solace is the spacious, imaginative home we make where disappointment is welcomed and rehabilitated.

When life does not in any way add up, we must turn to the part of us that has never wanted a life of simple calculation.

David Whyte, “Solace” in Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words


I suspect that we too often have lost contact with the source of our own existence and have become strangers in our own house. We tend to run around trying to solve the problems of our world while anxiously avoiding confrontation with that reality wherein our problems find their deepest roots: our own selves.

In many ways we are like the busy executive who walks up to a precious flower and says: “What for God’s sake are you doing here? Can’t you get busy somehow?” and then finds the flower’s response incomprehensible: “I am sorry, but I am just here to be beautiful.”

How can we also come to this wisdom of the flower that being is more important than doing?

How can we come to a creative contact with the grounding of our own life?

Henri Nouwen

Tie your camel

On getting the right balance between action and acceptance:

Anas ibn Malik reported: A man said, “O Messenger of Allah, should I tie my camel and trust in Allah, or should I leave her untied and trust in Allah?”

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Tie your camel and trust in Allah.

Imam Abu `Isa Muhammad at-Tirmidhi, Sunan al-Tirmidhī, 2517

Relax the fist

I hope you can live your life with slightly less firmly clenched fists and slightly more open hands. Slightly less control. Slightly more trust. Slightly less I need to know everything beforehand. Slightly more take life as it comes. It does all of us a world of good. Life doesn’t have to be lived with constant anxiety about things not turning out the way we want. We don’t have to make ourselves smaller than we are. We have a choice. Do we want to grab life by he throat or do we want to embrace it?

Relax that fist as often as you can.

Bjorn Natthiko Lindeblad, I May be Wrongand other wisdoms from life as a Forest Monk.

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”