People are afraid to forget their minds, fearing to fall through the void with nothing to break their fall.
They do not know that the Void is not really void, but the place of the real dharma
Huángbò Xīyùn, died 850, Chinese Chan(Zen) Buddhist master
We cannot live in a world that is interpreted for us by others.
An interpreted world is not a home.
Part of the terror is to take back our own listening.
To use our own voice. To see our own light
Hildegard of Bingen, 1098 – 1179
Recall the way mere mortals are overwhelmed
by circumstance, how great reputations
dissolve with infirmity and how you,
in particular, stand a hairsbreadth from losing
everyone you hold dear.
Then, look back down the path to the north,
the way you came, as if seeing
your entire past and then south
over the hazy blue coast as if present
to a broad future.
Recall the way you are all possibilities
you can see and how you live best
as an appreciator of horizons
whether you reach them or not.
David Whyte, Mameen (extract)
There’s a kind of white moth, I don’t know
what kind, that glimmers
in the forest, just
as the pink mocassin flowers
If you notice anything,
it leads you to notice
I was so full of energy.
I was always running around, looking
at this and that….
Finally, I noticed enough.
All around me in the forest
the white moths floated.
How long do they live, fluttering
in and out of the shadows?
You aren’t much, I said
one day to my reflection
in a green pond,
Mary Oliver, Moths (extracts)
The real challenge lies in just being able to integrate awareness into the most ordinary things.
What [the Buddha] saw was that life is the permanent experience of suffering. This suffering is primarily occasioned by the ego’s desire to control – to control the environment, to control others, to control in proportion to our losses. The only path through and beyond this suffering, according to the Buddha, is the relinquishment of the desire to control, to let be, to go with the wisdom implicit in the transience of nature. This release is the proper cure for neurosis, for then one is not split off from nature, including ourselves, who are a part of nature. Such a relinquishment does not render one a slave to loss, but rather a participant in the act of letting go. Only letting go can bring peace and serenity […] None of us will likely attain Buddhahood, but we need not be eternal victims either.
James Hollis, Swamplands of the Soul: New Life in Dismal Places