Using difficulties

Hard times are not a mistake. You haven’t done something wrong to have hard times….. life is woven with praise and blame and gain, and loss and pleasure, and pain and disrepute for all of us. And those constantly change. 

So the spiritual life is not about avoiding loss and blame and difficulty

but taking those difficulties that come to us and using them to awaken a wise and free and compassionate heart no matter what.

And often it’s in the very difficulties that the greatest freedom comes to us.

Jack Kornfield, Difficult Times and the Crystal of Liberation

Billions of ways

When we are afraid, the fear-body tends to contract. The word anxiety has its roots in the Latin word ‘angere’ meaning to choke, or become tight, constricted, trapped and limited. It is good to breathe into this body sense and to maintain an awareness of spaciousness and of choice. To lift our eyes up to the hills.

Listen my love, illumination is eternal

Now is always evolving.

As there are billions of stars

There are billions of steps.

As there are billions of souls

There are billions of ways to grow. 

Rumi

Thusness

For those who would see directly into essential nature, the idea of the sacred is a delusion and an obstruction: it diverts us from seeing what is before our eyes: plain thusness. And This, thusness, is the nature of the nature of nature. The wild in the wild

Gary Snyder, The Practice of the Wild

Happy

Whenever you are offended, it’s usually because your self-image has not been worshiped or it has been momentarily exposed. The false self will quickly react with a vengeance to any offenses against it because all it has is its own fragile assumptions about itself.  Don’t waste much time defending your ego. The True Self is untouchable, or as Paul puts it “it takes no offense” (1 Corinthians 13:5). People who can live from their True Selves are genuinely happy. 

Richard Rohr, The Illusion of an Autonomous Self