Turning up, despite our fears

 

Even in beautiful places, we all have to be with different kinds of limitations: we look for an ideal life, but even in nature not every fruit is perfect in shape or colour:

I decided that the most subversive, revolutionary thing I could do

was to show up for my life

and not be ashamed.

Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year

The heart

File:The park bench (2669222928).jpg

The heart is quiet rather than noisy, intuitive rather than deductive,

lives entirely in the present moment and is at every moment accepting of reality as it is.

Moreover, the heart does not seek to distance itself from, or dominate anything or anyone by labeling. It accepts rather than rejects, finding similarity rather than alienation and likeness rather than difference.

Your heart knows no fear, it experiences no desire, and never finds the need to defend or justify itself. It is patient and undemanding. It nourishes our bodies in every moment.

Little wonder then, that the mind –  always impatient and very demanding – manages to dominant the heart so thoroughly.

Archimandrite Meletios Webber

photo rosino

The difference between effort and struggle

Struggle happens for all of us, so it must have  a place in the scheme of things, but I for one have spent way too much time struggling for what struggle can never accomplish. For struggle is not the same as effort — what is sometimes called “right effort.” We all need to make an effort in every area of our life …Life doesn’t just provide us with food and shelter as a natural right. Effort is a natural exertion of the personal will toward a specified end. 

But struggle is an added push that is born of fear. Ultimately, it is born of the fear of not surviving, of dissolving and disappearing, not just as a physical form but as a psychological self… Struggle will never get us the things we want most – love, meaning, freedom from anxiety, contentment with ourselves exactly as we are, imperfections and all. For these we need another way. That way begins and ends in surrender, in letting go of our resistance to life as it presents itself.

Roger Housden, Dropping the Struggle: Seven Ways to Love the Life you Have

Don’t rush to interpret what is going on

We like to live in our heads – our thinking minds – and we presume that this gives us the best information about the world, However, our refuge should be in moment-to-moment direct sensing of experience. We are patient, not  rushing to interpret or make judgments as to how our life is going: 

The instruction and teaching of the actual body is the harbour and the weir.

This is the most important thing in the world.

It is beyond explanation

We just accept it with respect and gratitude

Dogen