Insisting and contracting

What is craving? Basically, experientially, it’s contracting onto a wish and getting insistent about it. A highly insistent contracting around something we want. And we can include in that things we don’t want also, because not wanting something is wanting something to be absent. Or wanting something to be different.

So, if we want to suffer less, we need to find where we are getting insistent and contracted around how we would like things to be. So don’t look at the suffering and say: I want that to stop. Look for craving instead…. try to find it, and just leave it at that for now. Just see the craving, and let it be. If we can just learn to do that, that’s a great big lesson.

Henry Shukman, Mountain Cloud Zen Center Blog

Who is in control?

The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.

To put it more accurately, it is not so much that you use your mind wrongly – you usually don’t use it at all. It uses you. This is the disease.

You believe that you are your mind. This is the delusion. The instrument has taken you over.
 

Eckhart Tolle

Never stops

In case you haven’t noticed, you have a mental dialogue going on inside your head that never stops. It just keeps going and going. Have you ever wondered why it talks in there? How does it decide what to say and when to say it? How much of what it says turns out to be true? How much of what it says is even important? And if right now you are hearing, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t have any voice inside my head!” – that’s the voice we’re talking about.

Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul

My strength is trust

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life.  The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and smallest scar on my bark. I was born to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers.  I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me.  I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else.  I trust that God is in me.  I trust that my labour is holy. Out of this trust I live

Hermann Hesse, Trees: Reflections and Poems

Hold firm

Whatever disquiet we sense in a room
we have brought there.

And so I instruct my ribs each morning,
pointing to hinge and plaster and wood –

You are matter, as they are.
See how perfectly it can be done.

Hold, one day more, what is asked.

Jane Hirshfield, A Room [extract]