Sometimes I’d go to see old religious sites with ancient temple buildings, designed by architects, beautifully built by skilled craftsmen. In some places they would be cracked. Maybe one of my friends would remark, “Such a shame, isn’t it? It’s cracked. ” I’d say: “If that weren’t the case then there’d be no such thing as the Buddha, there’d be no Dharma. It’s cracked like this because it’s perfectly in line with the Buddha’s teaching.
Most of us are very good at bringing suffering upon ourselves, by taking something that is happening and fixating on it, creating a worry and letting it take root inside us. We are less good at simply letting things be, without wanting to fix the world according to our preferences:
and the grass grows,
Matsuo Bashō, 1644 – 1694
Much of life is ruined for us by a blanket or shroud of familiarity that descends between us and everything that matters. It dulls our senses and stops us appreciating everything, from the beauty of a sunset to our work and our friends. Children don’t suffer from habit, which is why they get excited by some very key but simple things — like puddles, jumping on the bed, sand, and fresh bread. But we adults get ineluctably spoiled, which is why we seek ever more powerful stimulants, like fame and love.
The trick …. is to recover the powers of appreciation of a child in adulthood, to strip the veil of habit and therefore to start to look upon daily life with a new and more grateful sensitivity.
Alain de Botton, How Proust Can Change Your Life
The very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you are looking for.
The …thing in the cave, that was so dreaded, has become the center.
Easter Saturday.. a day of waiting
When I stop running from what frightens me, and instead try to feel and understand it, I learn to deal with the world with greater kindness.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
Naomi Shihab Nye, Kindness
photo AMISOM Public Information
Everyone, from time to time, experiences a challenge which makes life seem less safe, when things seem to tighten around them – a new job, relationship difficulties, facing an illness or being let down. Under these pressures we may stumble and even fall:
If there be anywhere on earth a lover of God who is always kept safe,
I know nothing of it, for it was not shown to me.
But this was shown:
that in falling and rising again we are always kept in that same precious love.
Julian of Norwich
photo of memorial for Captain Scott South Pole, by Barneygumble