The centre of the circle

The world is sacred.
It can’t be improved.
If you tamper with it, you’ll ruin it.
If you treat it like an object, you’ll lose it.

There is a time for being ahead,
a time for being behind;
a time for being in motion,
a time for being at rest;
a time for being vigorous,
a time for being exhausted;
a time for being safe,
a time for being in danger.

The Master sees things as they are,
without trying to control them.

She lets them go their own way,
and resides at the center of the circle.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, 29 (Stephen Mitchell translation)

Blame

We have a tendency to blame others or circumstances, both for outside events and for what effects us directly. This “blaming mind” has been around forever and is very deep rooted. Modern social media seems to even strengthen this innate tendency.

Ah how shameless – the way these mortals blame the gods.

From us alone they say come all their miseries yes but they themselves with their own reckless ways compound their pains beyond their proper share.

Homer The Odyssey 1.37-40

Grumbling

It takes faith to believe in tomorrow. But I think it takes more faith to believe that I am where I’m meant to be in my life right now

It’s easy to have hopes and dreams for our future, to have plans. We all need those. They help direct our path. And having things to look forward to, even the little things, makes life fun.

But having faith that on some far-off day our lives are going to be great and better – believing in tomorrow – doesn’t take nearly as much spiritual discipline as it does to believe in today.

Sometimes I really don’t like some of the things I have to do or that are going on in my life. I tend to weigh myself down with mumbling and grumbling, balking, digging my heels in, obsessing, dreading, ….and generally making things worse than they are. It’s not enough that I have to go through, endure, or do what I must. I make the job three times as hard with my attitude.

Melody Beattie, Faith

Both, and…

The first noble truth says simply that it’s part of being human to feel discomfort. We don’t even have to call it suffering anymore; we don’t even have to call it discomfort. It’s simply coming to know the fieriness of fire, the wildness of wind, the turbulence of water, the upheaval of earth, as well as the warmth of fire, the coolness and smoothness of water, the gentleness of the breezes, and the goodness, solidness, and dependability of the earth. Nothing in its essence is one way or the other. The first noble truth also recognizes that we change like the weather, we ebb and flow like the tides, we wax and wane like the moon. We do that and there’s no reason to resist it

Pema Chodron, Awakening Loving-Kindness