Fame or self: Which matters more?
Self or wealth: Which is more precious?
Gain or loss: Which is more painful?
He who is attached to things will suffer much.
He who saves will suffer heavy loss.
A contented person is never disappointed.
The person who knows when to stop will not find themselves in trouble.
They will stay forever safe.
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching 44
This is a lovely idea…
When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees.
And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever.
And you look at the tree and you allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is the way it is.
You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.
The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying “You’re too this, or I’m too this.”
That judging mind comes in.
And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.
Ram Dass, On Self-Judgment
Brexit dominating the news on this side of the Water, with a Shutdown and Border Wall causing discussion on the other…..
We must find a way to live in the continuing conversation, with all its conflicts and complexities,
while staying in close touch with our own inner teacher.
Once we have learned to discern the real, disguised nature of both good and evil, we recognize that everything is broken and fallen, weak and poor, while still being the dwelling place of God — you and me, your country, your children, your churches, even your marriage. That is not a put-down, but finally a freedom to love imperfect things! In this, you may have been given the greatest recipe for happiness for the rest of your life. You cannot wait for things to be totally perfect to fall in love with them or you will never love anything. Now, instead, you can love everything.
Richard Rohr, The Spiral of Violence: The World, the Flesh, and the Devil
What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner
Collette, French Author, 1873 – 1954
Just yesterday I watched an ant crossing a path, through the
tumbled pine needles she toiled.
And I thought: she will never live another life but this one.
And I thought: if she lives her life with all her strength
is she not wonderful and wise?
And I continued this up the miraculous pyramid of everything
until I came to myself.
Mary Oliver, Reckless Poem (extract)