Once or twice a year the abbot at the San Francisco Zen Center, Tenshin Reb Anderson, comes to speak with the hospice volunteers.
One night he gave a talk that included the best advice I’ve ever heard on caregiving.
He said simply, “Stay close and do nothing.”
That’s how we try to practice at Zen Hospice Project.
We stay close and do nothing. We sit still and listen to the stories.
If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life,
your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.
When we can be centered in ourselves,
even for brief periods of time in the face of the pull of the outer world,
not having to look elsewhere for something to fill us up or make us happy,
we can be at home wherever we find ourselves,
at peace with things as they are, moment by moment.
Jon Kabat Zinn
A similar idea to yesterday…
Let yourself be open and life will be easier.
A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable.
A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed.
Jack Kornfield, Buddha’s little Instruction Book
The great Suzuki Roshi’s classic image on how meditation develops space in our lives and allows us work with whatever challenging thoughts arise:
The way to control your sheep or cow is
to give him a large, spacious meadow .
This morning, thousands rose early to catch the birdsong at dawn in an annual celebration entitled “Dawn Chorus Day” which went out live on radio from locations all over the world
A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer,
it sings because it has a song.