Serenity

He knows how to enjoy the fullness of each moment, as his own mind is serene and at peace. There is a sufficiency in the things around him

At Nantai I sit quietly with an incense burning,

One day of contentment, all things are forgotten,

Not that my mind is stopped and thoughts are put away,

But that there is really nothing to disturb my serenity.

Shou-an , quoted in Suzuki, Essays in Zen Buddhism – First Series 

Appreciate

One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few… My life… lacks this quality of significance and therefore beauty, because there is so little empty space…. There are so few empty pages in my engagement pad, or empty hours in the day, or empty rooms in my life in which to stand alone and find myself. Too many activities, and people, and things. Too many worthy activities, valuable things, and interesting people. For it is not merely the trivial which clutters our lives but the important as well. We can have a surfeit of treasures – an excess of shells, where one or two would be significant.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1906 – 2001, American Writer and Aviator, Author of Gifts of the Sea

The secret

The ridicule or praise of  people means nothing
This is an old truth; Don’t think it was discovered recently.
“I want this, I want that”
Is nothing but foolishness.
I’ll tell you a secret:
All things are impermanent.

Ryoken, 1758–1831,  Zen Buddhist monk and poet

 

Complete

Some ideas to counter the frequent thought that our life would be better if only this or that happened, or indeed, if this or that had not happened to us.

No creature ever falls short of its own completion.

Wherever it stands it does not fail to cover the ground

Dogen, 1200 – 1253, Buddhist thinker,  founder of the Sōtō school of Zen

I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made.

Psalm 139: 14