Perhaps the real point of life is simply to wear us down until we have no choice but to start abandoning our defenses. We learn that the way things are is simply the way they are meant to be right now, and then, suddenly, at long last, we catch a glimpse of the abundance in the moment.
Katrina Kenison, Magical Journey, An Apprenticeship in Contentment
If you’re human, you experience anxiety. The choice is whether to experience anxiety in the service of neurosis or in the service of waking up….We can invest in denying the truth of our vulnerabilities, thereby gaining pseudo-security at the cost of chronic anxiety. Or we can commit to experiencing our vulnerabilities moment by moment, gaining confidence that we can work with whatever arises- anxiety, fear, anger, sadness, etc. Either way, there’s anxiety. Own the embodied intensity as a valid part of your life and be kind to this experience.
Bruce Tift, Already Free: Buddhism Meets Psychotherapy on the Path of Liberation
There are people who are unhappy regardless of the work they do
or the relationship they are in,
and yet they continuously fool themselves into thinking
that an external makeover will affect them internally.
Tal Ben-Shahar, Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment
Reality met on its own terms demands absolute presence, and absolute giving away, an ability to live on equal terms with the fleeting and the eternal, the hardly touchable and the fully possible, a full bodily appearance and disappearance, a rested giving in and giving up;another identity braver, more generous and more here than the one looking hungrily for the easy, unearned answer.
A lovely image of joy in the midst of the changing currents of life
On a branch
a cricket, singing.
Issa, Japanese Buddhist poet, 1763-1827
Although the wind
blows terribly here,
the moonlight also leaks
between the roof planks
of this ruined house.
Izumi Shikibu c., 974 – 1034
The moon in Japanese poetry is always the moon; often it is also the image of awakening. This poem reminds that if a house is walled so tightly that it lets in no wind or rain, if a life is walled so tightly that it lets in no pain, grief, anger, or longing, it will also be closed to the entrance of what is most wanted.
Translation and commentary by Jane Hirshfield