Each day we take a lot of things for granted…
Mountains and oceans have whole worlds, with innumerable wonderful features.
However, we should understand that it is not only our distant surroundings that are like this,
but even what is right here,
even a single drop of water.
Dogen, 1200 – 1253, Buddhist monk, founder of the Soto school of Zen.
Through meditation practice you begin to realize that:
- Your thoughts have no birthplace, they just pop up out of nowhere…
2. Thoughts are nevertheless unceasing….
3. They appear but are not solid….
4. Putting that all together, there is no birth, no dwelling, no cessation…
This understanding gives the unsurpassable protection of realizing what is called complete openness [shunyata]. There’s nothing solid to react to. You have made much ado about nothing.
Pema Chodron, Always Maintain a Joyful Mind
If you have one pot
And can make your tea in it
That will do quite well.
How much he is missing
who must have a lot of things.
Sen no Rikyu, 1522 – 1591, Japanese tea master
A Bank Holiday in Ireland; wise words
But beyond self-care and the ability to (really) listen, the practice of doing nothing has something broader to offer us: an antidote to the rhetoric of growth.
In the context of health and ecology, things that grow unchecked are often considered parasitic or cancerous. Yet we inhabit a culture that privileges novelty and growth over the cyclical and the regenerative.
Jenny Odell, How to do Nothing
At every moment we have the choice of either feeling gratitude for what has been given to us or indulging in grievance about what is missing.
Grievance and gratitude are polar opposites.
John Welwood, Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships.
Like it or not,
this moment is all we really have ot work with