When feeling overwhelmed

Meditation doesn’t change life. Life remains as fragile and unpredictable as ever. Meditation changes the heart’s capacity to accept life as it is. It teaches the heart to be more accommodating, not by beating it into submission, but by making it clear that accommodation is a gratifying choice.

Sylvia Boorstein, Don’t Just do something, Sit There

He said not “Thou shalt not be troubled, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be distressed,” but he said, “Thou shalt not be overcome.”

Julian of Norwich

All conditioned phenomena are like a dream, an illusion, a bubble, a shadow,
Like dew or a flash of lightning; This is how you should observe and reflect.

The Diamond Sutra

 

Belonging and not belonging

Interestingly, we belong to life as much through our sense that it is all impossible, as we do through the sense that we will accomplish everything we have set out to do. This sense of belonging and not belonging is lived out by most people through three principal dynamics: first, through relationship to other people and other living things; second, through work; and third, through an understanding of what it means to be themselves, discrete individuals alive and seemingly separate from everyone and everything else.

David Whyte, The Three Marriages

Our friend this challenge

Dealing with any of our life’s difficulties is not a battle to be fought. Instead, we must learn how to make friends with our hardships and challenges. They are there to help us; they are natural opportunities for deeper understanding and transformation, bringing us more joy and peace as we learn to work with them

Thich Nhat Hanh

A radical stance

To wait with openness and trust is an enormously radical attitude toward life. It is choosing to hope that something is happening for us that is far beyond our own imaginings….The spiritual life is a life in which we wait, actively present to the moment, trusting that new things will happen to us, new things that are far beyond our own imagination, fantasy, or prediction. That, indeed, is a very radical stance toward life in a world preoccupied with control.

Henri Nouwen, A Spirituality of Waiting