You are more than your emotions.

Yesterday morning driving across country…Hailstones, winds, blue skies. Afternoon ….annoyances that pass though as we work with unexpected requests…

It is essential to understand that an emotion is merely something that arises, remains and then goes away. A storm comes, it stays a while, and then it moves away. At the critical moment remember you are much more than your emotions. This is a simple thing that everyone knows, but you may need to be reminded of it: you are more than your emotions.

Thich Nhat Hahn, Healing Pain and Dressing Wounds

Non-Involvement

Non-involvement is about settling back into the present moment, relaxing into the way things are right now; it’s about letting go of the ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldn’ts,’ the past, the future and the imaginary, and meeting things as they arise in the present…. Letting go is also about giving things time to shift and settle, and being patient with oneself. It’s about not comparing yourself with others, and letting go of self-images. Letting go makes us more flexible and broad-minded. 

Ajahn Sucitto, Meditation, A Way to Awakening

Always rushing somewhere else

Only 22 shopping days till Christmas….

Along with the speediness we have the sense that there is not enough time. It’s interesting to observe how often we are living with that perception. It is usually accompanied by a squeeze of anxiety: “I’m not going to be prepared,” and a chain of insecurities. “There’s something around the corner that is going to be too much,” “I’m going to fall short,” “I won’t get something critical done.” There’s this sense that we’re on our way somewhere else and that what’s right here is not the time that matters. We’re trying to get to the point in the future when we’ve finally checked everything off our to-do list and we can rest. As long as this is our habit, we are racing toward the end of our life. We are skimming the surface, and unable to arrive in our life. When we’re speeding along, we violate our own natural rhythms in a way that prevents us from listening to our inner life and being in a resonant field with others. We get tight. We get small. We override our capacity to appreciate beauty, to celebrate, to serve from the heart.

Tara Brach, Gift to the Soul: The Space of Presence

When life bruises us

This morning the storm is fully evident, cutting electricity, disrupting ports and airports, blowing people and things astray, and causing damage. Storms of life…

One afternoon as I folded laundry, we heard a terrible thud against the patio door. I turned in time to see blue wings falling to the ground. A bird had flown into the glass. The children followed me outside. I half expected the bird to be dead, but she wasn’t. She was stunned and her right wing was a little lopsided, but it didn’t look broken – bruised maybe.

The bird sat perfectly still, her eyes tiny and afraid. She looked so fragile and alone that I sat down beside her. I reached out and brushed her wing. I sat beside her, unable to resist the feeling that we shared something, the two of us. The wounds and brokenness of life. Crumpled wings. A collision with something harsh and real. I felt like crying for her. For myself. For every broken thing in the world.

That moment taught me that while the postures of stillness within the cocoon are frequently an individual experience, we also need to share our stillness. The bird taught me anew that we’re all in this together, that we need to sit in one another’s stillness and take up postures of prayer. How wonderful it is when we can be honest and free enough to say to one another, ‘I need you to wait with me.’ or ‘Would you like me to wait with you?’

Finally she was finished being stillShe cocked her head to one side, lifted her wings, and flew. The sight of her flying made me catch my breath. From the corner of my eye I saw her shadow move along the ground and cross over me. Grace is everywhere I thought. Then I picked myself up and went back to folding the laundry.

Sue Monk Kidd, When the Heart Waits