Allow them to come, allow them to go

If we can allow some space within our awareness and rest there, we can respect our troubling thoughts and emotions, allow them to come, and let them go.

Our lives may be complicated on the outside, but we remain simple, easy, and open on the inside.   

Tsoknyi Rinpoche

When we fall down

A student asked master Sozan, “The teachings say that everyone who falls down on the ground must stand up again by relying on the ground. What is the meaning of to fall down?”

Sozan said, “If you affirm the situation, that is the answer.”

The student said, “What is the meaning of standing up?”

Sozan said, “Just stand up!”

“What is it to fall down?”

Sozan, Chinese Chan/Zen master, died 606 AD

We think hitting the ground, knocking over the barrier is a mistake, but the ground we hit, the failure we experience is not a mistake. The world is endlessly mysterious, experience is profound to a degree that will always surprise us. But it is never a mistake. To foster even a meager appreciation of that (and when we’re in the midst of a fall, meager is pretty big) is to begin to practice… It is the decision to stop complaining and to start paying attention. Contained in the fall is exactly what we need to stand. Everything we need is available, but we have to invite it. What is it to invite reality? 

Bonnie Myotai Treace Sensei M.R.O, Dogen Cubed

Juggling your life

This is a poem for someone
who is juggling her life.
Be still sometimes.
Be still sometimes.

It needs repeating
over and over
to catch her attention
over and over,
as someone who is juggling her life
finds it difficult to hear.

Be still sometimes.
Be still sometimes.
Let it all fall sometimes.

Rose Cook, A Poem for Someone Who is Juggling Her Life

Our masks

 Only with patience can we come to see through the fear-based stories and excuses which so often run our lives. Hiding behind them, or living restricted because of them, we risk not being truly there  for most of our lives. Again, the challenge is to work fully with what is present in our day and not hide from it: 

Year after year —
on the monkey’s face
a monkey’s mask.

Basho, 17th Century Japanese poet