When the shoe fits, the foot is forgotten,
When the belt fits, the belly is forgotten,
When the heart is right
“For” and “against” are forgotten.
No drives, no compulsions,
No needs, no attractions:
Then your affairs are under control.
You are a free person.
Easy is right. Begin right
And you are easy.
Continue easy and you are right.
The right way to go easy
Is to forget the right way
And forget that the going is easy.
Chuang Tzu, 4th Century BC, In the Dark Before Dawn, (trans. Thomas Merton)
Went to an outlet mall in Kildare yesterday to get some bread, 30 minutes before the other stores opened. 8.30 am, car parks already full, even buses arriving with shoppers from around the country. The modern Western tendency toward mid-winter speeding up and shopping. An interior felt-sense of running…
Advertising finds fertile ground in the mind’s response to an underlying sense of life as unsatisfactory. Meditation is essentially training the mind to free it from the type of craving which generates stress and anxiety.
How much does a person lack in him or herself
who must have many things?
– 1591, Japanese Zen Tea master
No matter how small we feel in our daily situation, we are always part of something greater.
Even for the simple flight of a butterfly,
all of the sky is necessary.
Paul Claudel, 1868 – 1955, French poet and dramatist.
Même pour le simple envol d’un papillon, tout le ciel est nécessaire.
Another Autumn Saturday, two more poets.
Very foggy all day yesterday, a good metaphor for how we live our lives sometimes.
Sometimes the mountain
is hidden from me in veils
of cloud, sometimes
I am hidden from the mountain
in veils of inattention, apathy, fatigue,
when I forget or refuse to go
down to the shore or a few yards
up the road, on a clear day,
that witnessing presence.
Denise Levertov, Witness.
Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished.
Mary Oliver, Sometimes
The perfect man employs his mind as a mirror;
it grasps nothing; it refuses nothing;
it receives, but does not keep.
Chuang-tzu, 4th Century BC
Stress is caused by the mind’s response to events and suffering by the stories we tell ourselves about our lives:
Not being able to govern events,
I govern myself.
(Ne pouvant régler les événements, je me règle moi-même)
Michel de Montaigne ( 1533 – 1592), Essais, Book II