Seeing land

The ocean of suffering is immense, but if you turn around, you can see the land. The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy. When one tree in the garden is sick, you have to care for it. But don’t overlook all the healthy trees. Even while you have pain in your heart, you can enjoy the many wonders of life — the beautiful sunset, the smile of a child, the many flowers and trees. To suffer is not enough. Please don’t be imprisoned by your suffering.

 Thich Nhat Hanh

Small forgotten miracles

“It is believed that the onion originally came from India. 
In Egypt it was an object of worship — why I haven’t been able to find out. From Egypt the onion entered Greece and on to Italy, thence into all of Europe.” 
Better Living Cookbook 
 

When I think how far the onion has traveled
just to enter my stew today, I could kneel and praise
all small forgotten miracles,
crackly paper peeling on the drainboard,
pearly layers in smooth agreement,
the way the knife enters onion
and onion falls apart on the chopping block,
a history revealed.
And I would never scold the onion
for causing tears.
It is right that tears fall
for something small and forgotten.
How at meal, we sit to eat,
commenting on texture of meat or herbal aroma
but never on the translucence of onion,
now limp, now divided,
or its traditionally honorable career:
For the sake of others,
disappear.

Naomi Shihab Nye

At home with the breath

My peace is there in the receding mist
when I may cease from treading these long shifting thresholds
and live the space of a door
that opens and shuts

Samuel Beckett at his most zen-like.

What we call “I” is just a swinging door, which moves when we inhale and when we exhale.

Suzuki Roshi, Zen Mind, Beginners Mind.

Modern disorders

One day I would like to make up my own DSM with a list of “disorders” I have seen in my practice. For example, I would want to include the diagnosis “psychological modernism,” an uncritical acceptance of the values of the modern world. It includes blind faith in technology, inordinate attachment to material gadgets and conveniences, uncritical acceptance of the march of scientific progress, devotion to the electronic media, and a life-style dictated by advertising

Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul