The weather in our lives

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Is it the bowl that rolls around the pearl,

or is it the pearl that rolls around the bowl?

Is it the weather that is cold,

or is it the person who is cold?

Think neither cold nor heat —  at that moment, where is the self to be found?

Dogen (1200 – 1253)  commentary on Dongshan’s (807–869) koan “Cold and Heat”

Spring has started early in Ireland with some days very mild, blossoms already on the trees and daffodils in full bloom. However, everyday is different and today is forecast wet and windy. A weather that is always in motion, hot and cold…

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche said “there is no cure for hot and cold”. He meant that our lives have periods of good things and bad, things may go well but we still have self-doubt. Our minds seem to be always in motion –  a succession of thoughts and emotions, good intentions  and petty thoughts, kindness followed by self-seeking.

Pema Chodron used the phrase to encourage us not to  struggle but rather relax into life as it is. In this way, we not only can stop the complaining that goes on in our mind, but also be pleasantly surprised by what  the weather of a day blows into our lives: 

The way to dissolve our resistance to life is to meet it face to face. When we feel resentment because the room is too hot, we could meet the heat and feel its fieriness and its heaviness. When we feel resentment because the room is too cold, we could meet the cold and feel its iciness and its bite. When we want to complain about the rain, we could feel its wetness instead. When we worry because the wind is shaking our windows, we could meet the wind and hear its sound. Cutting our expectations for a cure is a gift we can give ourselves. There is no cure for hot and cold. They will go on forever.

Pema Chodron

The importance of knowing that we are not capable of everything

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The one who learns to live with his incapacity has learned a great deal. This will lead us to the valuation of the smallest things, and to wise limitation, which the greater height demands… . The heroic in you is the fact that you are ruled by the thought that this or that is good, that this or that performance is indispensable, … this or that goal must be attained in headlong striving work, this or that pleasure should be ruthlessly repressed at all costs. Consequently you sin against incapacity. But incapacity exists. No one should deny it, find fault with it, or shout it down.

Carl Jung,  The Red Book

Life knows better than we do

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Life has told me that it knows better plans than we can imagine,

so that I try to submerge my own desires…into a calm willingness

to accept whatever comes,

to make the most of it,

then wait again.

Julia Seton, By a Thousand Fires:

Nature notes and extracts from the life and unpublished journals of Ernest Thompson Seton