Where to look

 

Without stepping out the door, one can know the world.

Without looking out of the window
One can see the way of heaven.
The further one goes
The less one knows.
Therefore:

The wise person knows without having to stir,
perceives without having to see,
Accomplishes without having to act.

Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching,  chapter 47

 

Always new

Not a single drop of water passes over the same rock twice, and the murmur of water rushing over a rock is constantly changing. Sameness is but an illusion of the human ears, eyes, mind. Water that has once flowed along a riverbed can never retrace its course. Human life is no different. It is only our mundane eyes and minds that we see yesterday as being the same as today.

Enlightened eyes and minds should recognize that each moment has a form different from that of any other moment

Shundo Aoyama, Zen Seeds

It’s all already here

Not till your thoughts cease all 
their branching here and there, 
Not till you abandon all thoughts 
of seeking for something,
Not till your mind is motionless 
as wood or stone, will you be 
on the right road to the Gate.

Huang Po, died 850, influential Chinese Chan master

All make mistakes

I often think of the way the Dakotah Indians responded to a small wrong. When, for example, a young person walked between an elder and the fire – an act of profound impoliteness in their culture – the young person said, simply, “Mistake”. It was an honest acknowledgement of an error of judgment, devoid of any self-recrimination or self-diminution. All present nodded in assent, and life went on.

How healthy such an attitude seems. We all commit mistakes in judgment and we all need forgiveness. If we had the option of making a simple acknowledgement of our mistake and then going on with affairs, how much clearer and gentler life would be. And how healthier would our own hearts be if we looked on the injuries caused us by others as  simply the mistake of human beings who, like us, are struggling to get by in a complex and mysterious world.

Kent Nerburn, Make me an Instrument of Your Peace