Grow, even in difficult times

One of the challenges of ongoing lockdowns is that we postpone life until this is all over, and because of this, the possibilities that are there in every day can pass us by.

Be present. Make love. Make tea. Avoid small talk. Embrace conversation. Buy a plant, water it. Make your bed. Make someone else’s bed. Have a smart mouth, and quick wit. Run. Make art. Create. Swim in the ocean. Swim in the rain. Take chances. Ask questions. Make mistakes. Learn. Know your worth. Love fiercely. Forgive quickly. Let go of what doesn’t make you happy. Grow.

Paulo Coelho

Seeing the river

Since many places of worship have been closed these times, and we are removed from many of our usual supports,  we have developed sanctuaries and refuges inside ourselves

Once upon a time some disciples begged their old and ailing master not to die. “But if I do not go, how will you ever see?” the Master said to them. “What is it we can possibly see when you are gone?” one of them asked. With a twinkle in his eye, the Master answered, “All I ever did in my entire life was to sit on the river bank handing out river water. After I’m gone, I trust that you will notice the river.”

Found in Joan Chittister, in Thomas Merton: Seeder of Radical Action and the Enlightened Heart

Waves and water

Most people view themselves as waves and forget that they are also water. They are used to living in the realm of birth and death, and they forget about the realm of no birth and no death. Just as a wave lives the life of water, so, too, do we live the life of no birth and no death

Thich Nhat Hanh

It always comes.

Living without contention, we are well-rooted in the earth.  Zen poets say we become a mature bamboo – steady at the base, flexible in strong winds, and responsive to the movement of life.  The strength of non-contentiousness brings patience and trust.  The poet Rilke reminds us,

“Being fully alive means not numbering or counting,

but ripening like a tree which doesn’t force its sap and stands confidently in the storms of winter

not afraid that summer might not come. 

It does come. It always comes.

Jack Kornfield, The Wise Heart

Again and again

Each person becomes a wanderer again and again in the course of life, as we find our true self by becoming lost. Each person carries a “story that could be true.” Each crossroad in life secretly asks the question: Who are you really?

 Michael Meade, 1944 –  American author and mythologist.