Slow day

Slow time does not mean doing things more slowly. People suffering from burnout and depression have slowed down considerably and not been restored. Slow time is entering into a living relationship with the present. . . . Slow looking and slow listening nourishes and revitalizes us.

Sue Stuart-Smith, The Well Gardened Mind: Rediscovering Nature in the Modern World

Measuring time

Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie.

Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.

Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper

Treasure underneath

A difficult practice these days…

Patience is a hard discipline. It is not just waiting until something happens over which we have no control: the arrival of the bus, the end of the rain, the return of a friend, the resolution of a conflict. Patience is not waiting passively until someone else does something.

Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be completely present to the moment, to taste the here and now, to be where we are. When we are impatient, we try to get away from where we are. We behave as if the real thing will happen tomorrow, later, and somewhere else. Be patient and trust that the treasure you are looking for is hidden in the ground on which you stand.

Henri Nouwen, Hidden Treasure

An experience of emptiness

Each chapter of the Bhagavad Gita concerns a particular yoga. This first chapter is called “the yoga of Arjuna’s despair” and it is significant that the experience of despair is a yoga; despair is often the first step on the path of spiritual life. It is very important to go through the experience of emptiness, of disillusion and despair. Many people do not awaken to the reality of God, and to the experience of transformation in their lives, until they reach the point of despair.

Bede Griffith, River of Compassion

One wave at a time

True religious teaching is not a denial of our day-to-day predicaments; it is not cleverly glossing over reality, or feigning happiness. On the contrary, true religious teaching has to be able to show us how we can swim through one wave at a time— that is, those waves of laughter, tears, prosperity, or adversity.

Daitsu Tom Wright and Jisho Warner, Laughter Through the Tears: Kosho Uchiyama Roshi on Life as a Zen Beggar