Good instructions when you are feeling fragmented or small, or when you are giving too much power over to others.
Settle the self on the self
and let your life force blossom
Zen instruction, from my current reading : Blanche Hartman, Seeds for a Boundless Life: Zen Teachings from the Heart
I believe that anybody can find a way into the world:
some landscape, a particular room, neighborhood street, a building such as a barn with its smells, or a thing privately treasured, for instance a baseball glove or a pair of shoes. “All things are full of Gods” is an ancient Greek saying; “In my Fathers house are many mansions”, a Christian one. These suggest that there is something divine even in the baseball glove and the neighborhood street.
The forest is peaceful, why aren’t you?
You hold on to things, causing your confusion.
Let nature teach you.
Hear the bird’s song, then let go.
The line from the Dhammapada, a compilation of sayings attributed to the Buddha, that seems the best expression of wisdom, is: “Anyone who understands impermanence, ceases to be contentious.”
Does that make sense to you on as many levels as it does to me? I understand it, primarily, as meaning “I have only a certain span of life allotted to me, so I don’t want to waste a single moment of it fighting.” Other times, if I catch myself on the brink of contention, the instruction reminds me, “Whatever is happening will change, and what I add to this situation is part of the change. Agonizing makes it worse.” And sometimes, if I remember that whatever is happening will cause results that I really cannot anticipate (although I often do and worry needlessly), I say to myself, “I have no idea whether this changed circumstance, which I resent, is actually a good or a bad thing in the long run. I can wait to see.”
Sylvia Boorstein, Happiness is an Inside Job
Life always gives us
exactly the teacher we need
at every moment.
This includes every mosquito,
every red light,
every traffic jam,
every obnoxious supervisor (or employee),
every illness, every loss,
every moment of joy or depression,
every piece of garbage,
Every moment is the guru.
Charlotte Joko Beck
I remember I would sometimes go visit Ajahn Sumedho in his room. On the wall he had a picture of an old man sitting inside his little cottage on a rainy day, sitting just inside the window, looking out, and in his hand he held a cup of coffee. And I remember Ajahn Sumedho saying, for him this was the essence of meditation. It was really nothing more than just relaxing, and watching the happening of existence. Nothing needed to be explained. Nothing needed to be worked out. There’s just the event of existence presenting itself. Everything we are is simply presented. Whatever words come out, come out, but they’re not important; they’re simply the movement or the non-movement of whatever this happening is and it’s happening all by itself.