A pure, flowing river

The Buddha taught his students to develop a power of love so strong that their minds become like a pure, flowing river that cannot be burned.

No matter what kind of material is thrown into it, it will not burn.

Many experiences – good, bad, and indifferent – are thrown into the flowing river of our lives, but we are not burned, owing to the power of the love in our hearts.

Sharon Salzberg, Lovingkindness

Keep going

We have just passed the Spring Solstice. In Ireland this has meant more grey skies and rain than we saw in most of the Winter. Sometimes change happens out of sight and we have to keep going on trust

Our spirit persists like a man struggling
through the frozen valley
who suddenly smells flowers
and realizes the snow is melting
out of sight on top of the mountain,
knows that spring has begun

Jack Gilbert, 1925 – 2012, American poet


Whenever we are between here and there,

whenever one thing has ended and we are waiting for the next thing to begin,

whenever we’re tempted to distract ourselves or look for an escape route

we can instead let ourselves be open, curious, tentative, vulnerable

Pema Chodron


For Saint Patrick’s Day, an old Irish prayer, simple but profound in its wisdom on the mindful use of speech

A Íosa, Mhic Dé, a bhí ciúin os comhair Phioláit, ná lig dúinn ár dteanga a luascadh gan smaoineadh ar cad tá againn le rá agus conas é a rá.

O Jesus, Son of God,
who was silent before Pilate,
don’t let our tongues wag
without thinking about what we have to say
and how to say it.

The key insight

Groundlessness, uncertainty, insecurity, vulnerability — these are words that ordinarily carry a negative connotation. We’re generally wary of these feelings and try to elude them in any way possible.

But groundlessness isn’t something we need to avoid. The same feeling we find so troubling when we open to it can be experienced as a huge relief, as freedom from all restraints. It can be experienced as a mind so unbiased and relaxed that we feel expansive and joyful.

Pema Chodron, Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change