Not knowing means embracing what is not known rather than fighting with yourself over it. Since the mind always strives to know, not knowing is disorienting in a useful way. Uncertainty and not knowing teach you not to believe the stories your mind feeds you day in and day out. If you allow your own course to be mysterious, then even the hard things can become easy. This is the beginning of awakening.
John Tarrant, Surprises on the Way
The most profound change I’m aware of just now is a growing realization that life is not personal. This may seem a surprising or even strange view to those unfamiliar with Eastern spirituality, but it has powerful implications. It’s very freeing to see that events in my life are arising because of circumstances in which I am not involved, but that I’m not at the center of them in any particular way. They’re impersonal. They’re arising because of causes and conditions. They are not “me.” There is a profound freedom in this. It makes life much more peaceful and harmonious because I’m not in reaction to events all the time.
Phillip Moffitt, It’s not Personal!
Good instructions when you are feeling fragmented or small, or when you are giving too much power over to others.
Settle the self on the self
and let your life force blossom
Zen instruction, from my current reading : Blanche Hartman, Seeds for a Boundless Life: Zen Teachings from the Heart
I believe that anybody can find a way into the world:
some landscape, a particular room, neighborhood street, a building such as a barn with its smells, or a thing privately treasured, for instance a baseball glove or a pair of shoes. “All things are full of Gods” is an ancient Greek saying; “In my Fathers house are many mansions”, a Christian one. These suggest that there is something divine even in the baseball glove and the neighborhood street.
The line from the Dhammapada, a compilation of sayings attributed to the Buddha, that seems the best expression of wisdom, is: “Anyone who understands impermanence, ceases to be contentious.”
Does that make sense to you on as many levels as it does to me? I understand it, primarily, as meaning “I have only a certain span of life allotted to me, so I don’t want to waste a single moment of it fighting.” Other times, if I catch myself on the brink of contention, the instruction reminds me, “Whatever is happening will change, and what I add to this situation is part of the change. Agonizing makes it worse.” And sometimes, if I remember that whatever is happening will cause results that I really cannot anticipate (although I often do and worry needlessly), I say to myself, “I have no idea whether this changed circumstance, which I resent, is actually a good or a bad thing in the long run. I can wait to see.”
Sylvia Boorstein, Happiness is an Inside Job
Life always gives us
exactly the teacher we need
at every moment.
This includes every mosquito,
every red light,
every traffic jam,
every obnoxious supervisor (or employee),
every illness, every loss,
every moment of joy or depression,
every piece of garbage,
Every moment is the guru.
Charlotte Joko Beck