Sunday Quote: Whats not wrong

We often ask, ‘what’s wrong?’  Doing so, we invite painful seeds of sorrow to come up and manifest. We feel suffering, anger, and depression, and produce more such seeds. We would be much happier if we tried to stay in touch with the healthy, joyful seeds inside of us and around us. We should learn to ask, ‘what’s not wrong?’ and be in touch with that.

One of my favourite thoughts from Thich Nhat Hahn, who died yesterday, aged 95

A raindrop

The human body at peace with itself
Is more precious than the rarest gem.

Cherish your body.
It is yours this time only.
The human form is won with difficulty.
It is easy to lose.
All worldly things are brief,
Like a flash of lightning in the sky.
This life you must know as the tiny splash of a raindrop
That disappears even as it comes into being.
Therefore set your goal.
Make use of every day and night to achieve it

Je Tsongkhapa, 1357–1419, Tibetan Buddhist monk

With all your energy

We cast a shadow on something wherever we stand, and it is no good moving from place to place to save things; because the shadow always follows. Choose a place where you won’t do harm – yes, choose a place where you won’t do very much harm, and stand in it for all you are worth, facing the sunshine.

E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

Clashing with reality

Suffering is a sign that you’re out of touch with the truth. Suffering is given to you that you might open your eyes to the truth, that you might understand that there’s falsehood somewhere, just as physical pain is given to you so you will understand that there is disease or illness somewhere. Suffering occurs when you clash with reality. When your illusions clash with reality, when your falsehoods clash with truth, then you have suffering. Otherwise there is no suffering.

Anthony De Mello

Clear flowing water

Our original nature is like clear water. Born again into a world of wildly changing forms, though having no essential form of our own, we take on the shapes of the containers we are poured into. We become sons or daughters and are told to think of ourselves in that manner. Acculturated, we bend to the curves of that arbitrary modality. Slowly we freeze into that shape. The straighter and harder the edge the more we are praised as being someone of merit….

But water is water. Melting, it remembers; evaporating, it ascends. When you let go of control of the universe, when you let go of everything, only the truth remains. Your actions come out of the present. There is no force. Fully present. Able to respond, not out of personal desire, but out of a sense of the appropriateness of things. You respond from the flow itself, or perhaps better stated, the flow responds to itself. Letting go of the little mind, of your suffering, is simpler than you think, though it’s the hardest work you will ever do.

Stephen Levine,  A Gradual Awakening

Don’t be your own obstacle

If you free yourself from the comparing and jealous mind, your creativity opens up endlessly. Just as water springs from a fountain, creativity springs from every moment. You must not be your own obstacle. You must not be owned by the environment you are in. You must own the environment, the phenomenal world around you. You must be able to freely move in and out of your mind. This is being free. That is my belief.

Jeong Kwan, Buddhist nun and chef of Korean cuisine