Empty

Very windy these days,  as first the tail end of the tropical storm passed over the country, and this morning Storm Ali shakes things up.

The first of the leaves start to fall.

The Heart Sutra says, “all phenomena in their own-being are empty.” “Own-being” means separate,  independent existence… everything is a tentative expression of one seamless, ever-changing landscape. So no individual person or thing has any permanent, fixed identity. 

Lewis Redmond, Emptiness: The Most Misunderstood Word in Buddhism

Notice

Consciously inhabiting our senses is a pathway to the present moment, to feeling truly alive. Tuning in to our senses in nature invites presence and joy, whether we’re smelling the first full bouquets of apple and cherry blossoms in spring, seeing a crystalline carpet of dew on the lawn in the early morning, feeling the warm moisture of a tropical breeze as it softens our bodies and melts our hard edges, or hearing the dawn chorus of birdsong. Living with such a full awareness, we can be present to life’s gifts when they present themselves.

Mark Coleman, Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path to Self Discovery

Using difficulties

Hard times are not a mistake. You haven’t done something wrong to have hard times….. life is woven with praise and blame and gain, and loss and pleasure, and pain and disrepute for all of us. And those constantly change. 

So the spiritual life is not about avoiding loss and blame and difficulty

but taking those difficulties that come to us and using them to awaken a wise and free and compassionate heart no matter what.

And often it’s in the very difficulties that the greatest freedom comes to us.

Jack Kornfield, Difficult Times and the Crystal of Liberation

Billions of ways

When we are afraid, the fear-body tends to contract. The word anxiety has its roots in the Latin word ‘angere’ meaning to choke, or become tight, constricted, trapped and limited. It is good to breathe into this body sense and to maintain an awareness of spaciousness and of choice. To lift our eyes up to the hills.

Listen my love, illumination is eternal

Now is always evolving.

As there are billions of stars

There are billions of steps.

As there are billions of souls

There are billions of ways to grow. 

Rumi

Thusness

For those who would see directly into essential nature, the idea of the sacred is a delusion and an obstruction: it diverts us from seeing what is before our eyes: plain thusness. And This, thusness, is the nature of the nature of nature. The wild in the wild

Gary Snyder, The Practice of the Wild